The father of one of the children brutally murdered in the most deadly school shooting ever is in Arkansas trying to get his message about new gun control, to an Arkansas senator.
Neil Heslin from Newtown, Conn. said he wasn't getting enough answers from politicians in Washington, D.C., who shot down the bill on stricter gun laws, so he wants to tell them his story one-on-one.
It's that personal mission that he brings him 1,300 miles from home, to our state.
Jesse Lewis was a vibrant, first grade student at Sandy Hook Elementary, who walked into his classroom on December 14, but never returned home.
"Really been not even a closure of a chapter, a whole book is closed in my life," Heslin said.
Lewis was Heslin's only child.
"I waited there until 1:30 in the morning 'til he was confirmed a victim," Heslin told us with misty eyes about his son Jesse. "It was the worst day of my life, extending into the day I laid him to rest."
Heslin comes to Arkansas not only because much of the family on Jesse's mother's side lives in the Fayetteville area, but for a much larger reason: to convince U.S. Senator Mark Pryor that something needs to be done for gun restrictions.
"With the mental health that has to, I feel, has to be incorporated into background checks, to be able to identify people that are a risk; or, individuals that are a risk with mental health issues," Heslin added.
Heslin told us he's in favor of Second Amendment rights, but wants to do what he can to protect the rest of the country.
"It's something I never want to see any family or parent ever have to go through," he said of his son's murder.
Heslin said he invited Senator Pryor to a private dinner to speak about how legislation he wants to eliminate gun loopholes. However, Heslin told us he never heard back from Pryor, but plans to speak with him at a public event in Lonoke County Thursday.