Jul 6, 2013 2:31 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Sandy Hook victim's father speaks in Tucson

TUCSON - The father of a Sandy Hook shooting victim was in town, rallying for universal background checks and other restrictions on firearms on Friday.

Neil Heslin's son, Jesse Lewis, was 6 years old when he was killed in the Newtown, Connecticut mass shooting.

"It's not easy to be here," Heslin said. "It's not something I enjoy. It's something I feel I owe to Jesse and something I feel I have to do."

He was part of the "No More Names" bus tour, which stopped at St. Odilia Catholic Church near Ina and Oracle Roads. It was organized by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

Heslin has been to about a dozen states.

"I think it's making an impact," he said. "I know, in the long run, changes will come."

Several of the January 8, 2011 Tucson mass shooting survivors were in the crowd, but it also included talk radio host, Charles Heller, who did not support their message.

"What they're doing is making it phenomenally more dangerous," Heller said, "by impeding lawful people who have no harmful intent from being able to defend their children."

Even though gun control was recently defeated in the United States Senate, Heller does not expect groups like MAIG to go away.

"Oh no," he said. "There will always be people who are easily convinced that something emotional is more important than something logical."

The bus left for Las Vegas after its stop in Tucson.


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