Gun-Rights Advocates Heckle Father of Murdered Sandy Hook Boy

Sometimes it’s just a good idea to shut the hell up. For gun advocates, that time would’ve been, say, Monday at the Connecticut Legislature, where the father of a boy killed in the Sandy Hook Massacre was shouted down by gun-rights activists:

The sometimes boisterous public hearing — after nearly four hours of testimony from State Police, parents of slain Newtown first-graders and city mayors — seemed dominated by gun owners, who railed at more than 90 proposed bills.

“The Second Amendment!” was shouted a couple of times by as many as a dozen gun enthusiasts in the meeting room as Neil Heslin, holding a photo of his slain 6-year-old son, Jesse Lewis, asked why Bushmaster assault-style weapons are allowed to be sold in the state.

“There are a lot of things that should be changed to prevent what happened,” said Heslin, who said he grew up using guns and was undisturbed by the interruption of his testimony.

“That wasn’t just a killing, it was a massacre,” said Heslin, who recalled dropping off his son at Sandy Hook Elementary school shortly before Lanza opened fire. “I just hope some good can come out of this.”

Some thoughts for gun advocates:

• You can be in favor of the Second Amendment, and against any new rules, but letting other people state their case without shouting them down might make you seem more reasonable, less like jerks, and help you come across like you care about other amendments in the Constitution. Like, say, the First.

• Even if you think you’re right, shouting down the father of a murdered child makes you no friends and allies, and in fact makes you look like fanatics that the rest of us want nothing to do with. A lousy way to win a political argument.

• Even if you don’t care about the tactics of winning a public debate, consider this: Maybe you just don’t want to be the world’s most horrible people. Horrible people shout down and heckle grieving fathers. Stop it. [Connecticut Post]