Outside the building… women from groups like March for Change and One Million Moms for Gun Control, which are calling for stricter gun laws, stood far outnumbered by gun rights supporters, most of them men.
Photo by Jessica Hill/Associated Press
HARTFORD — Victims of gun violence, burly men clad in hunting jackets and National Rifle Association hats, mothers wearing stickers reading “We Demand Change Now.”They were among hundreds of people who packed into the State Capitol on Monday for a charged and often emotional hearing on gun laws. The turnout highlighted the deep divisions in a state that has become a focal point of the national gun control debate since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown last month that killed 20 children and 6 adult staff members.
Among those to testify Monday were parents of some of the youngest Newtown victims, who took opposing sides.
“The sole purpose of those AR-15s or AK-47s is to put a lot of lead out on the battlefield quickly, and that’s what they do and that’s what they did at Sandy Hook Elementary School,” said Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, was a victim. Mr. Heslin told lawmakers that he had grown up around guns and was the son of an avid hunter, but that he believed that there was no reason any citizen should have an assault-style weapon like the one used to kill his son.
“That wasn’t just a killing. That was a massacre,” he said. “Those children and those victims were shot apart. And my son was one of them.”
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