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.



John Harville

{...none of the laws they proposed would have prevented this...."

Really? The shooter had been home-schooled because of his diagnosed mental problems and anti-social behavior... he could have been taken from the mother at an earlier age.... among other preventions.


Typical Obama, figure out which way the wind is blowing and go with it. Sure this was a tragedy of the highest order, but not one thing in this proposed legislation would have prevented it, not one thing. So get rid of the emotion and enforce the laws already on the books. You cannot legislate control over mental wing nuts like the Sandy Hook shooter, too many of them out there, just like ticking time bombs.


Called this the day after the shooting. Obie pass up on a tragedy to pass more regulations.....nahhh, that aint what this brutha does.


"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before." Rahm Emanuel...White House Chief of Staff.


Sounds like Teddi Nugent.


Well I can see the moderators support the cursing of John Harville. As one can see, he added a word to my user name and the moderators must have deemed it appropriate. On my part, all I mentioned was a poll by the left leaning Pew research center stating that people have more confidence in the operation of their reflective state than the federal government under Obozo. His retort was a 150 year ago event under a president that knew what he was doing. People can you see the foolishness of the left when you attack their basic beliefs of big federal government, they resort to childish name calling and out of date events and situations which are not germaine to today's problems.


He ought to love today's gallup poll

S w Rand 2016

Did Senator Feinstein introduce legislation that would effectively ban 90% of the rifle and handgun makes and models that Americans purchase and then, after everyone is riled up about it, the Democrat leadership in the Senate switched to only voting on background checks?
Did the mainstream national media only report on the background checks and clip sizes all this time, and now the demagogues pretend that it was only about background checks all along and exclaim that pro-2nd amendment people are crazy?
Inquiring minds want to know.

S w Rand 2016

Anyone who wants to debate Gun Control (and, by Gun Control, I am not referring to mere background checks) must consider the following:

I would ask anyone who replies against my comment to cite the specifics of the article or the video with which they disagree and provide a coherent rebuttal. Emotional outbursts do not qualify as rational debate, nor does cherry-picking parts of the article/video while turning a blind eye to the big picture.


i like the video....some one needs to show this to Piers Morgan.

S w Rand 2016

There's a link in the upper left corner at the end of the video to a "part 2" video, which delves deeper into the comparison between the U.S. and the U.K.
I'd be interested to hear Piers Morgan's reply to that.

As with my original comment, people need to bring their attention spans with them. The videos are short enough and only take a few minutes to hear everything out.
The wordpress article is fairly lengthy but I suggest all voters hear it out.


The senate killed the gun bill, better call whine-1-1 for all the liberals!!!


why would you allow a small group of a recent tragedy define U.S. Law? I feel for them but it makes no sense to allow a few make the rules for the masses because of a life happening. By the way, there are Newtown parents AGAINST gun law changes............but of course we won't see or hear reports on them.