It had been 34 years since City Hall last got a visit from a sitting vice president, but Joe Biden was there Thursday, joining Mayor Bloomberg and family members of the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre to continue the push for new gun controls. NY1's Bobby Cuza was there and filed the following report.
Neil Heslin's son, Jesse Lewis, was among the 20 children slaughtered in Newtown, Connecticut.
"December 14 was the last day I saw my son alive," he said.
On Thursday, Heslin and other family members came to City Hall and stood behind Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Vice President Joe Biden, perhaps the nation's two most prominent gun-control advocates, to demand action.
"There needs to be a ban on assault weapons, and weapons of war, high-capacity magazines," Heslin said. "Those weapons have no purpose, or no use on the streets or in our schools."
"Think about Newtown," Biden said. "Think about how many of these children, or teachers, may be alive today had he had to reload three times as many times as he did."
For all the impassioned rhetoric at City Hall Thursday, the fate of gun control, of course, rests in Washington, where some provisions of the proposed legislation now appear to be on life support.
While universal background checks may survive, proposed bans on high-capacity magazines and on assault weapons will not be included in a package of legislation headed to the Senate floor, though an assault weapons ban may get its own separate vote.
"Everyone’s going to have to stand up and say 'yea' or 'nay', and then, the rest of us have to decide just how we feel about people and their stands," Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg and Biden again made the case that gun control measures are not only effective, but also popular with the public and constitutional.
"There's not one single thing being proposed, not one, not one, not one, that infringes upon anyone's Second Amendment constitutional right," Biden said.
"The only question is whether Congress will have the courage to do the right thing, or whether they will allow more innocent people, including innocent children, to be gunned down," Bloomberg said.