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Social Issues
No Father’s Day Is A Heartbreaking Plea For Action On Gun Control
June 15, 2013
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Tomorrow is Father's Day, and we hope you have a great one, however you choose to celebrate.

Before we get there, though, we felt we had to share this campaign organized by Neil Heslin, a father from Connecticut who lost his six-year-old son Jesse in the Newtown shootings.

It's called 'No Father's Day', and it features heart-wrenching postcards depicting scenes missing a crucial element: a father or a child.

On the campaign's website, the message of the cards is spelled out:

"Each day in this country eight fathers lose their children to gun violence, and dozens of children lose their fathers. Sons no longer have someone to teach them how to play catch. Daughters walk down the aisle alone. Fathers no longer have anyone to tuck in at night."

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The campaign asks supporters of the movement to send a card to their member of Congress to demand they take action to get gun control legislation passed.

On the back of each card is this message:

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Heslin worked on the campaign with partners including Rev. Samuel Saylor from Hartford, whose 20-year-old son was shot last October, and organizations like Americans United and New Yorkers Against Gun Violence.

The story of Jesse's death is devastating: Neil Heslin is divorced, and both of his parents are dead.

When he lost his six-year-old son in the shooting, he was left without any reason to celebrate father's day - he no longer had a father or a son.

"It's very difficult to be coming upon [the holiday] by myself," he told reporters by phone during the launch of the No Father's Day campaign.

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Neil Heslin at the White House in April, 2013 (Photo: Getty)

That launch coincides with the six month anniversary of the mass shooting.

The push for gun control legislation "remains strong" in the U.S., Alec MacGillis writes in New Republic, despite the narrow defeat of a bill in April that would have expanded background checks for gun purchases.

With their campaign, Heslin and his partners want to galvanize Congress into action.

On the No Father's Day website, they write "all too often we forget about the real impact of gun violence. We forget that the victims aren't just the people who are shot. They're also the friends and family members left behind."

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The postcards are intended, the site says, to remind members of Congress "to do their part to stop gun violence by passing legislation that creates universal background checks, ends gun trafficking and keeps guns out of the hands of people."

Heslin doesn't believe it's possible to prevent gun violence entirely, but he maintains some action must be taken.

"You're never going to be able to stop all gun violence," Heslin told reporters. "But any step we can take to prevent it is worth it. For anyone to say it's not worth it is wrong.

"I don't know how anyone can look at the pictures of those kids who lost their lives and not say that something has to happen."

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Via New Republic

Related:

INFOGRAPHIC: Mapping All The U.S. Gun Deaths In One Year (And The Victims' "Stolen Years")

YouTube Sensation And Self-Professed "Gun Nut" Found Shot To Death, "Surrounded By Several Guns"

Who's In The NRA? Check Out These Photos Of Members At A Convention In Texas

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