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.




Why is my tax dollar being used to transport these parents to D.C. on Air Force One? Is Obama going to offer the same opportunity to those who oppose his views? Like his administration has said, Never let a good crisis go to waste!


Maybe they will receive a 1099 for their 2013 taxes!


blah, blah, blah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


No they won't pay for opposing views to fly out there. In fact a couple of local media outlets near Newtown surveyed both families that lost children in the incident and survivors families and found that the vast majority don't support anymore gun control laws. In fact, I heard it reported on CNN that even most of the families that lost children in the tragedy don't want anymore laws and that the 8 or so families that the keep touting are the only ones who have been convinced that more gun control is the way to go. They are nothing more than pawns in the liberals little game. I can't wait for the senate to vote and send it to the house. At that time, it's game over, and finally back to the business that is really important to this country, instead of the Dems using this as a distraction.

Pterocarya frax...

Thank goodness Republicans never resort to distractions, and concentrate on important issues like restricting birth control, abortion, relations with animals and furniture, Benghazi.

tell it how it is

wow are you retarded.
This has no place here? Besides to do exactly what you're criticizing Republicans for- a distraction because you know you're views are wrong.


Pterocarya frax...

If it make you feel like a big man to refer to others as retarded, then I feel sorry for you.


just look bho can get all the guns he wants without a background check so there you have it CRIMINALS CAN GET THEM ANYWAY
And you can not even get a box of bullets anywhere


Concerned about your tax dollars being used for these families to be present in Wash.? How about your tax dollars being used to shut down our community schools this past Weds. to teach school administrators and teachers on recognizing the different sounds of gunfire and the protocol to try and save as many as possible in the event of an unnecessary slaughter of our children? You are b****ing about Pres. Obama but you have failed to see the bigger picture- how did we get to this point in our country? I get chills just thinking of it,of how terrified any child or adult feels when tragedies like these massacres happen! Of receiving the phone call that my child is dead and I will never hear her voice again-how dare you or anyone try to minimize the horror of what is happening in this nation?! It makes me sick!


Keep your tax dollars, I'll pay for it! These people lost small children. Imagine sending your kindergartener to school and have him never return home. Leave those families alone, haven't they suffered enough?!


When you come for mine bring yours.


Molon Labe


My condolences to Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler-please don't ever give up fighting! It's a sad testament to our country that we still haven't learned our lesson, that we're ok with innocents dying,that we're ok with providing assault weapons being bought and taken across the Border to kill thousands others by the drug cartels, that we're ok with any of this, I have never had a problem with owners having pistols or shotguns or rifles but why do so many feel the need to own assault weapons? How many of you mourn each and every year the death of your child who was taken from your arms because of the stupid actions of others? How many of you who support the NRA ever saw a whole family(mom,Dad, kids, Grandma and Grandpa) lined up on a wall and slaughtered like dogs then thrown into a ditch and left to rot? And how many of you have tried to console a grieving family walking to the store to purchase a gallon of milk on a beautiful sunny day that witnessed their 5 year old daughter shot and killed by gangbangers in a driveby? Where do you think these thugs get their weapons? Maybe home burglaries that they stole the weapons from law abiding citizens such as yourselves who don't want to give up their guns until they're pried from their cold dead fingers> Again, what is the reasoning behind the ownership of assault weapons? Because you are afraid the government will come knocking at your door someday and haul you and your family away> Do you really think in your paranoid and delusional mind what little you stockpile will make a difference? Or is it for protection of your home and family? A good ole .44,.45.380 or 9mil. will suffice in that scenario, It's not like ya'll living here in this area are encountering Bloods or Crips or MS13 around here! Personally, a 380 would be my weapon of choice to put one of them down,just saying.


What they are defining as assault weapons are responsible for less than 1% of homicides, and of that 1%, the vast majority are due to gang violence. So no what they are doing will do nothing. According to our own government research, the last assault weapons ban did nothing to drop the homicide rate. As far as not having major gangs close by, you have your head in the sand. The likes of the Bloods, Crips, and MS13 are alive and well as close a the city of Lorain. Just call their PD and ask, like I did. You are nothing but a useful idiot for the dems. How about actually doing research instead of going strictly by your feelings? Following feelings has only lead to millions of broken hearts.

Simple Enough II

You are funny. When did that term "assault weapon" originate? Gangnangers can't afford a good weapon so get off your uninformed high horse.


your claim of A good ole .44,.45.380 or 9mil is an assault weapon?


@happyfeet64 +1
It must be a terrible thing to live in fear…


The only thing that is scary is the fact that you libs are so afraid of being though of as racist, you can't critically examine the President. So I guess you're right, maybe you should grow a pair and quit hiding in the basement.


“Liberal”? LOL You surely aren’t the brightest bulb in the box.

Don’t get your knickers in a twist, mama’s brave little man.


Uninformed? I think not. I am aware of the gangs that are in Lorain, Cleveland and the other communities around here. I don't need to pick up the phone to question they're PD's to confirm that.I have lived in their neighborhoods and seen the results of their presence. My community is Norwalk and last I saw, they have not taken a foothold here. As for my head in the sand, I am more connected to my community than you can ever imagine. I am very much against ANY weapon that has the capacity to fire more than 10 rounds- it's not necessary. I have many experiences in my life and many regrets that have shaped my view of what's right and wrong.And if I could undo the damage that I helped create ,I would. You see my friend- I was someone who was present in El Salavador in the 80's during the war and I wasn't providing blankets and medicine. So don't tell me I'm naive or sheltered or uninformed- you have no idea of my life or my experiences.

looking around

@happyfeet64 AMEN!


She should be pleading to enforce the laws that are already on the books! Nothing being proposed would have made a difference.

Kottage Kat

Nickle mines was a school also

There you go again

Tell me how background checks would have prevented the Sandy Hook rampage? So sad that Obama uses this terrible tragedy to play on the emotions of Americans. Let's put our energies together to understand how mental health and the violence in movies influence the young minds that are causing these tragedies.

The Big Dog's back

Maybe it would weed out the "real" criminals.

Darwin's choice

Well, blind dog, their in the white house....!


Really? You didn't answer the question.


Any kind of censorship is a bigger threat to our liberty than the strictest gun control. A big dog will protect your home better than any stockpile of weapons because they're "on duty" even when you're not home which is when most burglaries occur. All your weapons are useless if you're not there to use them. Your stockpile of weapons also makes you a target for burglars since guns are one of the items most often stolen when homes are entered by burglars. Burglaries aren't random. They know which homes to target and ones with lots of guns are at the top of the list.

So keep deluding yourself by thinking more guns will protect you from burglars who usually break in when you're not home and the government who has way more fire power than you could ever buy if they choose to use it against you. As for me, I'm not wasting my money on a false sense of security by buying a bunch of guns. That's just being stupid.


So that's why the SR published the CCW's name and address, so the criminals know what houses to break into.


You must know that the EPA gave information about farmers and ranchers, so let's fill out the new required forms so the ATF can sell the lists to criminals.