In White House, Newtown mom pleads for gun control

Mother fills in for President Obama during weekly radio address.
Associated Press
Apr 14, 2013

The mother of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Connecticut school shooting used the opportunity to fill in for President Barack Obama during the weekly radio and Internet address to make a personal plea from the White House for action to combat gun violence.

"Thousands of other families across the United States are also drowning in our grief," said Francine Wheeler, choking back tears in the address broadcast Saturday. "Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."

Ben Wheeler was among the 20 first-graders and six adults killed in the Dec. 14 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Francine Wheeler was the first person to deliver the address other than Obama or Vice President Joe Biden since the two took office in 2009.

Her husband, David Wheeler, sat silently next to her as she made the recording in the White House Library. Both wore the small green pins that have become a symbol of the shooting.

Obama asked Wheeler to deliver this week's address, which was taped Friday. The White House said Wheeler and her husband wrote the remarks.

"Sometimes, I close my eyes and all I can remember is that awful day waiting at the Sandy Hook Volunteer Firehouse for the boy who would never come home — the same firehouse that was home to Ben's Tiger Scout Den 6," Francine Wheeler said. "But other times, I feel Ben's presence filling me with courage for what I have to do, for him and all the others taken from us so violently and too soon."

Some of the Sandy Hook families, with Obama's blessing, have launched a stepped-up effort to push a gun control bill through Congress.

Obama traveled Monday to Hartford, Conn., about an hour's drive from Newtown, to make his case for action. On the return trip to Washington, he brought back 12 of the victims' family members, who have been meeting with senators.

The Senate is considering a Democratic bill backed by Obama that would expand background checks, strengthen laws against illegal gun trafficking and slightly increase school security aid. The bill passed its first hurdle on Thursday, and senators will vote on amendments to the legislation in the coming week.

Its fate in the Republican-controlled House is uncertain.

Shortly after the vote Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the voices of the Newtown families may have been the decisive factor.

In the Republicans' weekly address, freshman Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana criticized the tax increases Obama proposed in the $3.8 trillion budget blueprint he unveiled Wednesday, calling it "a blank check for more spending and more debt."

Although she acknowledged that Obama's budget "offers signs of common ground" in the form of entitlement reforms the GOP has previously requested, she said it's wrongheaded for Obama to insist he'll only agree to those reforms if Congress also agrees to higher taxes.




Bahahaha, tell that to my cousin whose big dog (German Shephard) was the first thing that was shot when a group of home invaders broke down his door. You go ahead and rely on your big dog, I'll keep my guns. I could care less about the burglar who breaks into my house when I'm not there. I don't own anything that can't be replaced by insurance. If they want my guns, good luck, I hope they have a bunch of guys to carry a 900lb gun safe that is bolted to the floor. The gun is for when they show up and myself and family are here. I'm not gonna put my life in the hands of dog.
One more question, how many men and women in the armed forces do you think will actually take up arms against their fellow citizens, hmm?

Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling

Until we figure out how to keep the guns out of the hands of the bad guys (you know the real criminals) and the mentally ill no legislation is going to make sense. It only becomes an assault on the 2nd Amendment Rights of law-abiding people.

Until Obama addresses the violent video game industry (a major source of his campaign funding) that program the minds of the young and mentally ill who commit such atrocities it's all window dressing.

Until Obama cares enough for the least among us, viable babies within the womb and those born alive after failed abortions then maybe this land can begin to right itself and heal. If you don't know what I'm talking about Google "Gosnell" and ask yourself why the Sandusky Register hasn't covered this national tragedy. Come on can do better.

The Big Dog's back

Maybe you could look at everyone and tell us who the "real" criminals are.

Darwin's choice

Try looking at Chicago, Obama's hometown, for failure of their policy's

looking around

@ Mime Bloggling "Until we figure out how to keep the guns out of the hands of the bad guys (you know the real criminals) and the mentally ill no legislation is going to make sense. It only becomes an assault on the 2nd Amendment Rights of law-abiding people."

That would start with responsible gun ownership placed fully on the gun owners shoulders. You keep your guns and ammo secure by proper secure storage and utilize any number of disabling devices that are available or you share in the penalty of the crime with the perpetrator. You make your selection of weapon based on actual need for personal protection and or hunting and not on the idea of demonstrated fire power and rapid fire capabilities. I would agree with the statements that guns don't kill but irresponsible gun owners and bad people do.


So put them in a position where they are useless in a self-defense situation? You are insane. My guns are locked up but in a safe where I can get to them quickly if I need them. If you think i'm gonna put trigger locks and additional devices on them in order to make them completely useless when I need them, forget about it. Besides, none of this is gonna make it through congress to the Presidents hands so you are wasting your time. Even if it did, once Obama is gone, it will likely be repealed.

looking around

@ KnucleDragger in my home if I feel the need for a gun at the ready I keep one handy. When I leave I place it back in secure storage with a trigger lock installed and un-loaded. I could also take it with me depending on where my travels may take me as I am the holder of a CCW, but I rarely see the need for carrying, I got the permit to allow me the ability of crossing state lines legally as the permit I have is recognized in many states. If I am absent from my home for a longer duration I entrust the storage of my collection to another family member who is as responsible as I.

Simple Enough II

In my home should suffice. You steal a gun you get a needle problem solved.


She should be lobbying for more help for the mentally ill. That's what caused the shooting at Newtown.

Simple Enough II

I don't think it is so much the mentally ill as the drugs we are giving folks.


Agreed! Legal drugs at that!

Now The Rest of...

Cheap political trick prostituting these victims for his own political gain. The problem is mental illness, but who will determine who is and who isn't, what will the standard be, will it be a government bureaucrat? Even in the medical community different diagnosis will exist for the same person. Its not the the guns, its the criminals and the mentally ill.

Do we outlaw cars because drunk drivers misuse them? More people are victims of drunk drivers every year than from gun violence. When was MADD given the weekly address from the messiah?


DUI laws have changed! There is no need to outlaw anything. Was the drunk driver drunk or mentally ill? Most gun violence is not caused by anyone that is mentally ill. Just criminals . It is not a cheap political trick to offer comfort to a grieving parent. Some, like you, simply have a problem with this President regardless of what he does.


The fact is that we are using mass shooting victims as the reason we need these laws. Numerous studies have shown that the majority of mass shooters in fact had mental illness. Oh and by the way, quit insinuating that just because someone disagrees with your infallible President that they are a racist. Quit thinking that everyone in America should share your "white guilt." I never owned a slave, and none of my ancestors ever owned a slave or were part of the slave trade. I am completely free of the guilt that you possess.


@ KD:

FYI: Yrs. ago, you and others of European ancestry were "officially" absolved by the most “gracious and wise” Walter E. Williams for any and all past feelings of "white guilt." :)

Go and "guilt" no more.


White guilt? Please. I have Nothing to remotely feel guilty about. Some of the complaints and comments about Obama are race based. Only the racists don't want to hear the truth. You think if someone does not adhere to your backwards thinking, they are not real Americans or liberal scum. Give it a rest!


Once again knucklehead knows it all. You didnt own slave but you share the same thought as the people in all white who wants to bring it back. Why do people even liston to your garbage you get on here and lie. I dont agree with everything obama does or says. All the studies you say is only found on republican pages and alot are not true. Why dont you bring some true facts instead of rush or false news point of view.


Why is he only "comforting" Sandy Hook? What about those shot in Colorado? What about those from the college shootings? What about the teen that shot and killed his family (Arizona I think). What about Columbine survivors/parents? There are (sadly) hundreds of parents that have lost children to violence, gun, domestic, accidental, take your pick.....BUT the president CHOOSES to use the ones he wants. And like others have said all the "new" gun control they are pushing, NONE of it, not one part would have stopped or prevented Sandy Hook.

Darwin's choice

You are exactly correct! Picking and chosing whomever fits the knee-jerk reaction to fit their agenda's needs! Bet we'll never see this on the front page, his son was a victim at Sandy hook.....

Now The Rest of...

DUI laws have changed, and we still kill record number of people every year by drunk drivers, changing a law does not solve a problem. Mass killers are either criminals or mentally ill and will not, or mentally unable to obey a law.


In 1775 around 50% of the people still supported England and only 2-3% percent actually fought for our freedom. That means over 95% laid back, like today, and benefitted from the blood of the few brave men who won our freedom. It's little wonder that those families of the 95% are still supporting England. You had your chances to fight, several times and continue to hide and depend on the bravery of a few.
Thousands of felons have tried to buy guns legally and were turned down because of back-ground checks. Very few were ever charged and brought to court. If the government has failed to prosecute these thousands of individuals what would ever make you think they care about us?
If you want to injure a person there are many, many choices. Having been in combat, I'll explain. An assault weapon isn't necessarily an offensive weapon. You can defend yourself with a 9 mm or even a crossbow against one or two people or assault or rob a person with a pistol. Assault weapons are fire power that gives you more of a fighting chance against many people. This is why assault weaons and ammunition sales have sky-rocketed. People don't fear their neighbors, they fear our government.
Yes, as a parent my heart goes out to the people at Sandy Hook who never would have imagined this could have happened to them. Russia, China, Cambodia, Germany--Oh, most of you can't imagine that happening to the United States. I say, wake-up, because it really is happening.


The majority on here advocating the loss of one of our constitutional rights have never served a day in uniform. I would venture to guess, that if we were ever attacked, most of them would run across the border to Canada with their tail tucked between their legs. Once they got there they would be vocal supporters of the enemy.


Exactly who is advocating to take away one of your constitutional rights? More gibberish and falsehoods as usual from you. If you think that only those that wear or wore a uniform are the only brave people in the world you really are pitiful. Everyone but you is so wimpy right? I would and have defended myself and always will. I tell my kids to die fighting, not to fear any man or woman. You probably have no clue what it feels like to take a life! Your bushmaster is not necessarily going to be your savior.

S w Rand 2016

Democrat Senator Diane Feinstein is. She has also gone on record in the past stating that, if she had the votes, she would ban all civilians from owning any firearm at all.
Are you pretending that the original push to ban all rifle and handgun makes and models that could accept clips with over 10 rounds wouldn't have effectively banned 90% of the firearms that Americans now purchase? It would've.
Granted, now it is only about background checks and a few other things. Nevertheless, VP Biden assures us that "This is just the beginning."


No one is saying the proposed legislation would have or will prevent another tragedy like the one in Newtown, Aurora, or any where else. Why not give these families some comfort even if it is only symbolic? We alter laws when a little girl or boy is a victim. We even change or modify laws when adults are victims. It's not infringing on anyone's rights and it may be helpful. I also don't believe it is always simply a mental health issue. Some people are just evil.


If that is the case, then why exploit the victims families for the purpose of passing these laws? Every politician supporting them is saying they are doing it to stop another tragedy like Newtown from happening. Are you even watching the news? If these laws won't do anything, then why pass them?


Who is exploiting anyone? Fact is, the legislation may be of some benefit in the future. We both know there is no law that can stop these things from happening? Why do nothing? Are you even watching the news or just opinion style journalism? What has Meagan's law or Polly's law or any of these other laws created and named after victims prevented? If that was my child that was blown to bits by some maniac I would want something done even if it was only symbolic.

S w Rand 2016

The very fact that you can type all of that, look at it, and still dare to complete the posting of the comment, tells me that your emotions are negatively affecting your critical thinking skills.
How does taking measures to enforce our current laws equate to "doing nothing?"
And how does "symbolic" equate to "something done?"

On the issue of Gun Control, the Democrat leadership seems to prefer to make things worse rather than better. Either that, or they are severely misinformed and/or letting their emotions negatively affect their critical thinking skills as well.

The Big Dog's back

You right wingers have no conscience. No apathy, no moral bearings.


You lefties have no clue.