Francine Wheeler, the mother of one of the children killed during the Newtown school shooting, sat in for President Obama today during his weekly address to talk to make a plea to the nation about gun control.
Wheeler, whose 6-year-old son Ben Wheeler was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, said:
“Thousands of other families across the United States are also drowning in our grief… Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy.”
Since 2009, President Obama or Vice President Joe Biden has addressed the nation on a weekly basis via the internet. This is the first time that someone other than Biden or Obama has filmed the weekly address.
Wheeler, who was accompanied by her husband David, continued:
“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… 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.”
Here’s the video of Obama’s weekly address.
According to the Huffington Post, the Wheelers, and about a dozen other Newton families, visited the White House this week to talk to the senate about gun control laws. White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the Newton families may have been the deciding factor to end a GOP filibuster.
Carney said: “The president congratulated the families on this important step forward, noting that the bipartisan progress would not have been be possible without their efforts… He reiterated that much work remains and pledged to continue fighting for the votes they deserved.”