Newtown parents frustrated with gun debate

(WTNH) -- Families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre joined Vice President Joe Biden and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Thursday.

The administration is calling for tougher gun control but their agenda is being met with plenty of resistance.

Parents of the Newtown school shooting victims say they're frustrated with the opposition to gun control proposals and are calling on Congress to act.

They spoke out on Thursday at a press conference that came on the heels of what some say is disheartening news.

"On December 14th, it was the last day I saw my son alive and I don't wish this on anybody, what I had to go through," said Neil Heslin.

In Manhattan on Thursday, Neil Heslin joined other Newtown parents in voicing his disapproval after learning that some key elements of a federal gun control bill will be left out when it goes to a vote in the Senate.

Heslin's son Jesse was killed in the Tragedy in Newtown that left twenty children and six adults dead.

"Jesse's life was taken by a cowardly, deranged person with an assault weapon," said Heslin.

It's those weapons that many people say need to be kept out of the hands of potential killers.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid said that bans on assault weapons and high capacity magazines don't have enough vote to pass and therefore will not be included in the proposed bill. Those opposing the ban say it violates people's second ammendment rights but still the Obama administration is fighting for change.

"Tell me how it violates anyone's constitutional right to be limited to a clip that holds ten rounds instead of thirty, or in Aurora, a hundred," said Biden.

Lynn McDonnell, who lost her daughter Grace at Sandy Hook also asked for leaders to reconsider and push the proposal forward.

"We were not experts on gun safety before the shootings in Newtown and we do not presume to be experts now," said McDonnell.

McDonnell hopes what happened in Newtown can still serve as the tipping point that results in progress for gun control.

"We feel an immense responsibility to our daughter Grace to help bring about change," said McDonnell.

"No child deserves to be murdered, brutally slaughtered the way these children were and quite honestly, I'm really ashamed to see what Congress doesn't have the guts to stand up and make a change," said Heslin.

Reid said the elements of the gun control bill that are being dropped will at some point be voted on as amendments.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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