King shouldn’t hide behind Newtown victims

In the Portland Press Herald Sunday, in an article by Bill Nemitz, US Senator Angus King made the remarkable statement that the families of Newtown victims that he met with agreed with his position that assault weapons “are no different than most semi-automatic hunting rifles” and that they do not want an assault weapons ban in the final gun package.

Beyond the absurdity of King parroting the NRA that an assault rifle is “no different” than a standard hunting rifle (how come mass murders always choose assault weapons over hunting rifles), I guess King did not see this testimony from Neil Heslin, father of 6 year old Jesse Heslin, when he testified in favor of an assault weapons ban.

Or this ad from Jillian Soto, Terri and Gilles Rouseau, Chris and Lynn McDonnell, and Neil Heslin, family members of Jesse, Grace, Vicki and Lauren who were all killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In the ad they explicitly call for an Assault Weapons Ban.

A simple search on-line will find many more examples of family members supporting the assault weapons ban and barely any in opposition as King asserts. That said, I have heard some families say they have given up hope on lobbying for an assault weapons ban because it is politically too hard.

Bill Sherlach, husband of Mary Sherlock, the school psychologist who rushed Adam Lanza in an attempt to stop the massacre, said this about the loss of the assault weapons ban as part of the final bill,  “I don’t think as a realist that you can expect to get to the ultimate on your first foray on this. But we’re not going away.”

But we don’t elect our US Senators to avoid what is politically hard. We elect them to do what’s right.