Democrats have begun an all-out push to move a new assault weapons ban through Congress. But it faces strong headwinds from House Republicans, Democrats in pro-gun rights states and many legislatures in western and southern states who are moving in a different direction to ease gun control, rather than strengthen it.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by the bill’s author, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, heard emotional testimony Wednesday from a witness list stacked with pro-ban speakers — none more powerful than Neil Heslin of Newtown, Conn., whose son Jesse, was killed in the elementary school massacre. He pointed to his forehead and told the hushed hearing panel about the bullet that struck just below Jesse’s hairline.

“Jesse looked at coward Adam Lanza in the eyes, saw his face and he looked at the end of that barrel, Jesse didn’t run, Jesse didn’t turn his back. That was the fatal shot that killed Jesse,” he said.

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