(NEWTOWN, Conn.) — Connecticut’s legislature’s task force on gun violence prevention and children’s safety met in Newtown Wednesday, the site of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first-graders and six adults dead.
Parents of the murdered children appeared at the hearing to express their desire for strong action to avoid another occurrence of “an unstable, suicidal individual” having access to military-style assault weapons.
The reference was to 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who first killed his mother at home before going on a shooting spree at the school and then taking his own life. Lanza had been diagnosed with mental issues throughout his life.
Neil Heslin, who lost his 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis on Dec. 14, was direct in what he expected from the task force, calling for “a ban on assault rifles and military-style guns.”
Nicole Hockley’s 6-year-old son Dylan was also one of the youngsters killed in the attack. She told the gathering, “I’m not here to remind you of our sorrow. I’m not here to proselytize about legislation. You are our elected officials and it is your duty to create and enforce the laws that protect and help us.”
Meanwhile, a father of a Newtown pre-schooler told lawmakers, “The basic constitutional right to bear arms is a right that should not be impaired merely because others may precipitate violence. Further restrictions on and bans merely protect the robber, and give them to the advantage over the robbed.”
Wednesday was the task force’s final hearing. Last Monday in Hartford, many of the participants stood in opposition to weakening what they believe are Second Amendment Rights while the Newtown summit focused more on gun control.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jeffrey Acevedo, CNN
Stefania Okolie and Gabrielle Harmon, CNN
Jeff Peterson, Deseret News
Heather Kelly, CNN