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Alex Heckel, 13, his mother Andrea Heckel and younger brother Matthew Heckel, 10, of Alexandria listen to speeches Aug. 4 near the same spot where Matthew Heckel spoke against gun violence at another youth-led NRA protest April 14. Both boys will attend George Washington Middle School in the City of Alexandria, where a student resource officer accidentally discharged his firearm March 13 and was indicted in May for reckless handling of a firearm. Alex Heckel notes the SRO, who is on administrative leave without pay, is well-liked by students. Alex Heckel believes the incident was an honest mistake. He spoke for his classmates: “Every kid forgives you at the school,” he said, “and wants you to come back.”

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