Gun background check supporters hold rally in New Orleans

NOLA – by Paul Purpura

Proponents of federal legislation that wouldexpand background checks on people buying firearms brought their nationwide bus tour to New Orleans on Saturday, thanking U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., for supporting the measure and reading names of victims of gun violence. Speakers at the sparsely attended press conference in the shadow of New Orleans’ City Hall included Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was among the 20 first graders and six teachers who were slain by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., last year.  

“If it can happen in Newtown, Conn., it can happen anywhere,” Heslin said.

The Duncan Plaza appearance was among the stops in the six-month “No More Names” tour that began in Newtown last month. It was organized by a group calling itself Mayors Against Illegal Guns that supported a bipartisan measure sponsored by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

Landrieu, who is seeking re-election next year, in April voted in support of the legislation, which has raised the National Rifle Association’s ire. Her name was mentioned in speeches and appeared on signs held by supporters Saturday.

Calling it “a common-sense bill,” Heslin, who at times cried during his speech, suggested tighter background checks could have kept guns out of the hands of Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old whose reported history of mental illness might have led him to kill his mother before going to the elementary and firing more than 150 bullets in minutes, killing the children and teachers, before killing himself.

“It’s not hurting the sportsmen, it’s not hurting the hunters,” Heslin said, calling opposition to the Manchin-Toomey bill “a shame.”

Cinthia Finch of New Orleans also stood behind the podium, recalling how her 14-year-old son Jermaine was gunned down with a 16-year-old friend while standing on an Algiers street corner on Oct. 18, 2003.

“I ‘m sad still today, almost 10 years later, by his death,” said Finch, who thanked Sen. Landrieu for supporting background checks. “And I feel like her colleagues should back her.”

Lt. Greg Baker of the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office also spoke favorably of background checks, blaming all nine of that parish’s homicides this year on gun violence.

During the bus tour, gun control supporters are reading the names of the more than 6,000 people who have been killed by guns nationwide since the Newtown massacre.

“Today’s emphasis is: We do not want to add another name to a list,” said the Rev. J.C. Dyson, a former New Orleans police officer.

2 thoughts on “Gun background check supporters hold rally in New Orleans

  1. It looks like they have more protest signs than people at this “rally”.

    Who exactly is it that they think they’re “rallying” anyway?

    It seems obvious to me that the people across the country have spoken on this matter, and no one wants their new gun laws, but you can always find a whining Jew who insists on continually trying to ram this crap down everyone’s throat.

    1. Now JR you can clearly see that both of those mad mothers that are against guns showed up so what this tells us is that 100% of mothers (they aint Redneck mothers)are against guns,you just have to accept these “statistix” its what the mothers want.

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *