Neil Heslin is the parent of a child killed at Sandy Hook elementary school. His call for additional gun control laws–made during a Connecticut hearing on gun violence prevention–received lots of attention after some news outlets claimed he’d been heckled.
Heslin was never heckled. He also wasn’t the only parent who testified this Monday. Mark Mattioli, whose six year old son James was killed in the shooting, offered a very different perspective on gun laws.
“I don’t think the gun laws are protecting the people. What have
those gun laws done to make Chicago a safer city? I want responsible
legislation. It needs to be simple and it needs to be enforced.
“We need much stricter enforcement. I believe in a few simple gun
laws. I think we have more than enough on the books. We should hold
people individually accountable for their actions.”
Mattioli spoke for about ten minutes, stopping several times to hold back tears. When he finished spontaneous applause led to a standing ovation.
Both Heslin and Mattioli have suffered a terrible loss. Both have a right to voice their opinions on what should be done to prevent a similar tragedy in the future. But Mattioli’s testimony didn’t get nearly the amount of attention that Heslin’s did.
Video of the entire hearing is included below. Mattioli’s testimony is at the very beginning after a few minutes of introductory comments.