AUDIO CLIP BELOW Far too many American dads and moms have grieved far too long because their children were killed because of gun violence. Neil Heslin, father of one of the 20 innocent children slain in the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut visited Indianapolis to ask our community and state to urge their Senators and Congresspersons to pass responsible gun control legislation.
Heslin’s son Jesse Lewis was one of those first graders who lost their lives in that horrific crime back on December 15. Mayors Against Illegal Guns brought Neil Heslin to Indianapolis to help present petitions with over 20,000 names to Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly urging action on gun control. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, an organization of hundreds of Mayors, is pushing for tougher gun control legislation. Unfortunately, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard isn’t a part of the group and has never given any reasons why. Heslin appeared live on the Friday Amos & Abdul program and in a somber, emotional voice told why the gun violence must stop. “I support the Second Amendment”, Heslin told listeners, but emphasized that the nation needs getter background checks, especially for those with mental issues and problems, like the Newtown shooter Adam Lanza.
Heslin endorsed a ban on assault weapons and the reduction in the size of those 20, 50 and 100 round ammunition clips. Asked about what kind of security our schools should have, Heslin surprisingly said that there should be an armed police officer assigned to every school. Even though the Sandy Hook massacre was nearly four months ago, Abdul and I and listeners could hear the deep grief and pain Neil Heslin still feels towards the loss of his son Jesse. In recent weeks, Heslin and other Newtown parents have gone public with their advocacy for responsible gun control. Neil Heslin appeared with Vice-President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a press conference on this issue. The New York Daily News newspaper featured Heslin on their front page as part of the newspaper’s effort to pressure and embarrass Congress into action. It’s always hard for me to interview a parent who has lost their children to street violence in this community. And it was just as hard to interview Neil Heslin. I know the prayers of Indianapolis and Indiana, no matter one’s views on gun control, go out to Neil Heslin and all the other parents and residents of New Town and that part of Connecticut for what they’ve endured these past weeks. Click the Link To Hear Our Interview with Newtown Parent Neil Heslin. Runs 15 Minutes ©2013 WTLC/Radio One. Interview with Newtown Parent Neil Heslin 040513