Gun-loving heckler Tasered after harassing shooting survivor

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 9:50 EDT
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52-year-old New Hampshire resident Daniel Musso is arrested after repeatedly heckling a gun control rally's speaker. Screenshot via WMUR-TV.
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A gun enthusiast was tackled, Tasered and arrested by police at a Concord, New Hampshire gun control rally on Tuesday night after he repeatedly harassed a speaker who was calling for all gun buyers to undergo background checks.

The man that Daniel Musso, 52, was interrupting is John Cantin, a survivor of gun violence who was shot while attempting to save his daughter before her estranged husband murdered her in 2009. He became an anti-domestic violence activist who promotes gun safety measures, and on Tuesday Cantin hand-delivered a list to Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) bearing the names of more than 6,000 people who have been killed by gun violence since the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut last December.

The rally was staged by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is conducting a bus tour to drum up support for gun control measures supported by the vast majority of Americans, according to recent polls. Those measures include limiting magazine size for military-style assault weapons and forcing every gun buyer to undergo a criminal background check, along with expanding the background check database.

Sen. Ayotte voted against a White House plan that aimed to do just that, making her a clear target for gun control activists engaged in a major push for stronger regulations in the wake of the Newtown shootings. She instead supported a pro-gun bill endorsed by the National Rifle Association, which her spokesperson insisted would “fix the current broken background check system” and “increase the prosecution of those who illegally seek to obtain firearms.”

As Cantin spoke, just moments after delivering the names of the dead to Sen. Ayotte, Musso began to get agitated. “Why are you shaking talking about this?” WMUR-TV, which had a reporter on the scene, quoted him as saying. “You’re not the truth!” The Concord Monitor added that he kept asking Cantin to elaborate on what kind of gun was used to kill his daughter. “A pellet gun, a machine gun – what kind of gun, sir?” Musso reportedly said. All the while, he wore a red T-shirt with a message supportive of Native American rights, according to Concord Patch.

The interruptions continued for several more minutes before Musso walked away, but police had already arrived on the scene and decided they’d seen enough. A struggle ensued, lasting about 90 seconds before officers deployed a Taser and took him to the ground. A gathering of about 60 counter-protesters, many of whom were openly carrying firearms according to The Union Leader, appeared disappointed, but Cantin was unmoved. “They just weakened their cause and strengthened ours,” he told the paper.

“People just need to be more respectful, don’t get so emotional about this,” Cantin added, speaking to WMUR-TV. “Everybody has the right to their own opinion. We’re all Americans. We should be able to express that.”

Musso faces charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and two counts of assault on a police officer.

This video is from WMUR-TV, aired Wednesday, June 19, 2013.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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