‘The Second Amendment Shall Not Be Infringed!’: Sandy Hook Victim’s Father Interrupted During Public Hearing
UPDATE: The folks over at Twitchy point out that MSNBC selectively edited their clip to advance the idea that the father was “heckled.” Read our complete breakdown of the evidence in our follow-up story here.
Some of the parents who testified about gun control before a subcommittee of the Connecticut Legislature on Monday called for stricter laws and improvements in mental health care. While Mark Mattioli, whose 6-year-old son James was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School attack, instead, focused upon personal responsibility and a call to civility, other parents mentioned cracking down on so-called assault rifles. Among them was Neil Heslin, a father whose child, Jesse, also perished during the rampage. As he was making his case against assault weapons, he was interrupted by alleged gun rights advocates who were a part of the audience.
Right after Heslin made the point that citizens do not need access to “these assault-style weapons or military weapons,” a man in the audience spoke out fervently against the father’s appeals.
“The Second Amendment shall not be infringed,” he uttered in response to Heslin’s seemingly-rhetorical question:
The Daily Mail has a recap of how the incident unfolded, with a hand-full of individuals purportedly joining the man in voicing their angst over the issue:
He said: ‘It’s not a good feeling. Not a good feeling to look at your child laying in a casket or looking at your child with a bullet wound to the forehead. It’s a real sad thing,’ said Heslin, who held up a large framed photograph of himself and his son.
A handful of people at the packed legislative hearing then shouted about their Second Amendment rights when Heslin asked if anyone could provide a reason for a civilian to own an assault-style weapon.
‘We’re all entitled to our own opinions and I respect their opinions and their thoughts,’ Heslin said. ‘But I wish they’d respect mine and give it a little bit of thought.’
Watch a portion of the incident at the start of the MSNBC clip, below (UPDATE: however, as Twitchy notes, the network edited out the portion where Heslin asks his rhetorical question):
Following the incident, MSNBC host Martin Bashir covered the event on his show, deriding those who interrupted (or responded, depending on who you ask) and claiming that the behavior was inexcusable; his guests agreed.
“This, I think, has to be a new low in this debate — the idea that you would desecrate the memory of the victims of Newtown and insult their families,” Democratic strategist Julian Epstein said during the segment (watch it in its entirety, above). “This shows just…how extreme and outrageous the NRA — and I assume the hecklers were NRA moles — how they’ve become.”
But Twitchy took issue with this assessment, writing:
MSNBC is propping up its story with a blatantly edited video. In fact, Heslin was not heckled. Gun rights advocates in the audience indeed voiced their support for the Second Amendment — after he asked why anyone would need “assault-style weapons or high-capacity clips.” You’d never know based on the MSNBC version, which completely cut out the footage of Heslin’s question.
Watch the unedited footage, below:
The audience at the Gun Violence Prevention Working Group hearing in Hartford, Conn., numbered well over 1,000 individuals and featured a wide array of perspectives. From people advocating greater firearms controls to NRA-enthusiasts and gun rights activists, ideological diversity was in no shortage.
What do you think about the incident? It seems Heslin was certainly interrupted (unless he wanted the audience to weigh in), but were the responses hecklers or merely passionate Second Amendment adherents? Let us know what you think in the comments section.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that audience members may have been responding to a rhetorical question posed by Heslin.
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 488 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 473 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 464 Comments
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 368 Comments
- CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Has Awkward Moment With Okla. Tornado Survivor After Asking If She ‘Thanked the Lord’ 329 Comments
- Pope Francis’ Sermon Sparks Debate: ‘Even the Atheists’ Have Been Redeemed ‘With the Blood of Christ’ 179 Comments
- Beck Issues Challenge to People of Faith in Wake of Okla. Tornado: ‘What Have You Done?’ Read More
- ‘Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad!: Michelle Malkin Rips Progressives, Clashes With Lib Radio Host Over Islamic Terrorism and the London Machete Attack Read More
- Ariz. Lawmaker Surprises Colleagues, Comes Out as an Atheist While Delivering Daily Prayer 105 Comments
- Emails Released: Congress Was Asking for Updates on IG’s IRS Audit Before 2012 Election Read More
- Weekly Unemployment Benefits Tumble Read More
- Why Is This German Company Recruiting Tech Staff With Autism? Read More
- House Votes to Speed up Keystone Pipeline: Here’s Everyone Who Voted for and Against It Read More
- Here are the 7 Most Explosive & Informative Moments from Today’s IRS Hearing Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 120 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- Video: Introducing ‘ConservoTax,’ the first tax software made for Republicans
- Watch the other hand: Immigration reform advances under cover of scandals
- Bill O’Reilly counts calories, orders salad at fried-food restaurant
- ‘Middle class champion’ Elizabeth Warren joins Senate Millionaires Club
- Matt Drudge calls MSNBC host ‘squirrely’…
- 26 killed in 2 simultaneous car bombs in Niger
- Body of child found in deadly Minn. landslide
- Court cancels Ukraine's first gay pride rally
- WHO: 22 deaths worldwide from coronavirus
- Between economy and trouble, Obama approval steady
- UN chief visits Goma, Congo
- UK attack suspects part of previous investigations
- Shuttered NM plant resumes making peanut butter