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.



Pterocarya frax...

Apparently you are used to the tin foil hat comments. I guess when you go around making comments like:

"What will you do when a mob of over 20 is breaking into your home for food or to rape your loved ones and children?", you better get used to those comments.

A couple years ago you used to sort of make sense on here...maybe a bit eccentric, but often had valid points. But the last few months you have really gone off the deep end. It wasn't enough to post this craziness as Centauri, so then you created another username (Bullydogs1971) to have conversations back and forth with? Perhaps you should talk to your doctor about those changes in your medication.

I am sure it is okay though. Your knight in shining armor will ride in and delete this comment before anyone else sees it.


Republican, Democrat.....blah blah guys are still at it? When are you all going to wake up and realize they are both controlled by corporate interests, not the people....they are all (minus a few) bought and paid for....i just don't understand how anybody can say one group of crooks is better than the other.....lets see...we had Reagan/Bush, Bush/Quayle, Clinton/Gore 4 years, Bush/Chaney 4 years, Obama/Biden (Hillary Clinton Sec. St. ran for Pres in 08), now we hear rumors of Hillary Clinton vs. Jeb Bush in 2016. Anyone see a pattern here?? I for one am tired of seeing these same goons every 4 years!!! Can't the greatest country in the world(cough cough)come up with some better leaders than these morons???? They all belong to the same club! Wake up you idiots, erase the labels and get rid of all these damn white color boys. Get some people in there who have actually had to work a hard day in their lives and know what its like to be a real American! I have a feeling the real America idealism is DEAD! Has anyone else just about lost hope in all that is good and honest in this country or is it just me!?!?


"Republican, Democrat.....blah blah guys are still at it? When are you all going to wake up and realize they are both controlled by corporate interests, not the people....they are all (minus a few) bought and paid for.."

I love smart and well informed people like you. :)


......the rabbit hole is deep my friend.....very deep!

this video gives me chills every time i see it.....TRUTH

"50 years later, Eisenhower’s grim warning on military profit rings true"


The only thing that would have protected those innocent children, would be IF someone was armed and could have stopped the crazy person from shooting. It was already "protected" by a law that says the school is a gun free zone. Do away with gun free zones, and the violence will stop, at least after the first shot. Stupidity keeps making laws that lawless people won't follow.




Matt Westerhold has my email address and can contact me. I did notice that a now deceased member of the Outlaws MC did have a CCW permit.

Matt Westerhold can contact me anytime by email.

I feel that Matt Westerhold is the "good guy" now to expose the corruption in Ohio.

All is confidential between Matt and I.


Every single post by a Republican relating to this article is notable for one theme: a complete, utter lack of empathy. They each sidestep the main player in this article, a mother of one of the Newtown children. Why is it that conservatives are unable to show empathy towards anyone, unless that person is from their own immediate family?

The most out-of-touch ones were those who took Obama to task for supposedly exploiting the Newtown massacre as a way to "advance his agenda". They don't give a hoot about the 20+ murdered kids, so they apparently cannot believe that anyone ELSE speaking out on behalf of the kids would have anything other than ulterior motives. Sad, but I guess that's what it means to be a conservative these days. I'm glad I'm not one of them, now more than ever....


"Republican, Democrat.....blah blah guys are still at it? When are you all going to wake up and realize they are both controlled by corporate interests, not the people....they are all (minus a few) bought and paid for....i just don't understand how anybody can say one group of crooks is better than the other..."

Almost both are all crooks.


if we turned our empathy for every unjust act in this world to restricting the rights of others then we must ban everything......why are we so narrow minded to think our government can legislate and regulate everything we do in the name of keeping everyone safe? Ban, restrict, regulate all you want....nothing will stop the madness...pass every law possible and you will still turn on the news and see more of the same. This isn't a gun problem it is a human problem. We are spiritually dying in this country, and no amount of laws or restrictions will change that.


all we think about is war!

John Harville

"...legislate and regulate everything we do...

Oh,.. like same-gender marriage? birth control? choice?


I do have empathy. I do feel horrible ANYONE lost a child. BUT why should I not be able to arm myself and protect MINE? NONE Of the laws they are pushing would have stopped this horrible tragedy. It was a gun free zone. The guns were purchased LEGALLY with background checks. I am a mother. I feel bad for ANY mother that has lost a child. I have lost a child (not to gun violence but still a loss). I have friends that have lost children. My 2 cents of thoughts of the whole article is WHY were only certain parents flown to the White House on AF1? Why not parents from Columbine? Why not parents from Aurora? Why not the parent of the child gunned down after singing at the inauguration? They are using the tragedy for their OWN agenda. And the other point is....why am I NOT allowed to protect myself and MY family? Why all the NEW laws that will stop nothing, but law abiding citizens from arming/protecting themselves. Gangs, thugs, criminals and yes crazy folks will still have guns, still find a way to kill people.
I do not associate myself as a republican, conservative or democrat. I think for myself. I do not trust anything that comes from EITHER side of the fence. They are not "of the people, by the people, for the people" they are all out for themselves and their friends with the big fat checkbooks.

S w Rand 2016

Sure, sure, coasterfan. It couldn't possibly be that they are just people who understand the following information:


most people forget that not too long ago there was an assault rifle ban that falsely banned many guns from the market. do you know what happened in the following years of the assault rifle ban???? NOTHING!!! hell, cali still has a ban on the modern sporting rifles and there hasn't been anything close to a hiccup in the downward direction of gun violence.

and for the person that says the major gangs havent made their way to our area.. they must have messed the ms13 tags on the warehouses close to jefferson street. sandusky has a few kids pretending to be gangs, but they also have some heavy hitters as well... you're naive to think that they havent made it here yet... how else would you explain the massive drug influx over the last 10 years?

your master

Gun control will happen just like national healthcare happened. This bill will be voted down, but one day the votes will be there to pass it. It may take 5 to 10 years but it will happen, and there is nothing the NRA or anyone else will be able to do about it.


1. There are 279 million estimated civilian owned firearms in America.

2. The United States is #1 in the world when it comes to gun ownership, however we are not even in the top-25 when it comes to gun murder rate.

3. 2.5 million is the estimated number of incidents where a gun was used defensively to stop a crime in the US in 2011.

4. In 2011, ALL RIFLES (including the AR-15) were involved in fewer homicides than blunt objects, fists, or knives.

5. In 2011, 1.5X as many homicides were committed with blunts objects as rifles, 2.2X as many homicides were committed with fists, and 5.2X as many homicides were committed with knives.

6. Only 2.6% of all murders in 2011 involved a rifle.

OUTLAW FISTS...they kill more people per year.


We don't need any gun control laws, the police are just illegally taking them anyway.....This was two days ago from the Daily Caller a man was arrested for carrying a rifle and a hand gun....he has a CCW and lives in an Open Carry state......check this out!


This administration will exploit anything that takes away from the very poor job that they were elected to handle,Mainly; jobs, the economy, health care, Iraq, borders, etc. To say a person of a certain political party has less feelings for those parents losses is a false statement. Parents of those killed have to go on with their every day lives, most probably have other Children to raise. Time makes the pain less but it never goes away totally. Long, long ago, our Politicians needed to let this tragedy rest.

Go Figure

On 9-11 middle eastern people flew planes into buildings, however we cannot judge the entire population only by acts of a few "Crazies".

So liberals, tell me why you judge our population by acts of a few crazies?

Your logic says that if you support gun control, then you must support banning middle eastern people from entering the U.S. simply because of the 9-11 attacks, car bombings, subway bombings, and the middle eastern people do not do this just in our country. Look what they did in Somalia the past few days. Your arguments just make absolutely no since, and how pitiful of you to have to use families of deceased children to pass you silly law. You all should wake up and realize you are just his puppets.

There are still good people that come from that racial background. That is why we allow them in our country, even though certain people from their ethnicity have made mistakes. So if certain mentally unstable people in America make huge mistakes by killing innocent people, you still (by your argument) should not judge them, because the majority of us would not do that. Gun control will not stop people from getting guns. The last thing we need is for this dictatorship to obtain any more power than it already has.

The pencil does not write the paper, the person does.

The Big Dog's back

There have been all kinds of flight restrictions since 9/11. How many planes have flew into buildings since then?


How many El-Al flights have flown since 911 that people didn't have to walk thru a naked body scanner or take their shoes off

"During the Senate Judiciary meeting today to markup a potpourri of bills designed to deny the American people their rights under the Second Amendment and disarm them, Senator Dianne Feinstein opposed an amendment to her so-called assault weapons ban legislation that would allow veterans to continue buying firearms the bill would outlaw."


Total Gov't control coming soon!


Sounds like it's more state rights time

John Harville

goofass... how did that 'states rights ' things work out the last time?

John Harville

goofass... exactly how will the states rights thing change what's goin' on now? How's that gonna work?

Are you inciting revolution?

John Harville

goofass... Are you inciting revolution?

When you people do your own research and realize the Second Amendment was written to give the Federal government a means to put down state revolutions? You desegretaing schools, for example.