Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Weekly Address: Sandy Hook Victim’s Mother Calls for Commonsense Gun Responsibility Reforms

From the White House – Weekly Address

This week’s address is delivered by Francine Wheeler, whose six year old son, Ben, was murdered alongside nineteen other children and six educators in Newtown, Connecticut, four months ago. Now, Francine – joined by her husband David – is asking the American people to help prevent this type of tragedy from happening to more families like hers. Since that terrible day in December, thousands more Americans have died, and thousands more families have suffered the pain of losing a loved one to violence. Now that the Senate has agreed that commonsense gun safety reforms deserve a vote, they must finish the job and pass those reforms to protect our children and our communities. Now is the time for all Americans to help make this a moment of real change.

Transcript Remarks of Francine Wheeler –

Hi. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not the President. I’m just a citizen. And as a citizen, I’m here at the White House today because I want to make a difference and I hope you will join me.

My name is Francine Wheeler. My husband David is with me. We live in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

David and I have two sons. Our older son Nate, soon to be 10 years old, is a fourth grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our younger son, Ben, age six, was murdered in his first-grade classroom on December 14th, exactly 4 months ago this weekend.

David and I lost our beloved son, but Nate lost his best friend. On what turned out to be the last morning of his life, Ben told me, quite out of the blue, ” I still want to be an architect, Mama, but I also want to be a paleontologist, because that’s what Nate is going to be and I want to do everything Nate does.”

Ben’s love of fun and his excitement at the wonders of life were unmatched His boundless energy kept him running across the soccer field long after the game was over. He couldn’t wait to get to school every morning. He sang with perfect pitch and had just played at his third piano recital. Irrepressibly bright and spirited, Ben experienced life at full tilt.

Until that morning. 20 of our children, and 6 of our educators – gone. Out of the blue.

I’ve heard people say that the tidal wave of anguish our country felt on 12/14 has receded. But not for us. To us, it feels as if it happened just yesterday. And in the four months since we lost our loved ones, thousands of other Americans have died at the end of a gun. 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.

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.

We have to convince the Senate to come together and pass commonsense gun responsibility reforms that will make our communities safer and prevent more tragedies like the one we never thought would happen to us.

When I packed for Washington on Monday, it looked like the Senate might not act at all. Then, after the President spoke in Hartford, and a dozen of us met with Senators to share our stories, more than two-thirds of the Senate voted to move forward.

But that’s only the start. They haven’t yet passed any bills that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. And a lot of people are fighting to make sure they never do.

Now is the time to act. Please join us. You can talk to your Senator, too. Or visit to find out how you can join the President and get involved.

Help this be the moment when real change begins. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.


  1. slksfca

    Just now the (local) morning news mentioned it with a brief clip of Francine Wheeler, and said there would be more on Good Morning America (which is just now leading off with mention of the address).

    Also on this morning’s local news, they interviewed a guy in charge of the company that’s holding a major gun show here. He said that people are “rightly” afraid of the evil government coming to take away their weapons, maybe not today, but someday, and “quoted” Senator Feinstein as proof of that.

    The reporter had the good sense to note after the interview that he had covered the Senator for decades, AND had scoured the congressional record, yet had found no such statement from her.

  2. zenor

    Most everybody not armed on drugs nor criminal perpetrator would like less weapons and less easy access to for thugs, drugs and bugs, if u c what I mean.

    btw, mad president, if I was AG, there wouldn’t be an NRA for very much longer, and Wall Street would be Walled In Street. So there.

    I’d get you to pardon at least half the prisoners and put SPLC’s list of domestic terrorists at the top of the Most Wanted, including the anti-doctor and health care mob, and get them.

  3. princesspat

    In Gun Debate, No Rift on Better Care for Mentally Ill

    “This is a place where people can come together,” said Senator Debbie Stabenow, Democrat of Michigan, who has worked with some of the Senate’s most conservative Republicans on a piece of mental health legislation. “As we’ve listened to people on all sides of the gun debate, they’ve all talked about the fact that we need to address mental health treatment. And that’s what this does.”

    The issue also appeals to members of Congress in another important way: it serves as a political refuge for Republicans and more conservative Democrats who are eager to offer a federal response to the shootings in Connecticut and Aurora, Colo., but have no interest in taking any action that could be seen as infringing on constitutional gun rights.

    It is good to know this is quietly happening and that real help for mentally ill people and their families is being considered.

  4. GlenThePlumber

    hearings start Tue…

    Senate Bill 140 (Leno/Steinberg) gives law enforcement the resources to confiscate the guns of Californians who are known to illegally possess them, currently there is an 18,000 person backlog;

    SB 53 (de León) requires a background check for all ammunition purchases;

    SB 47 (Yee) closes a loophole in California’s assault weapons ban that allows guns with a “bullet button” to sneak through;

    SB 396 (Hancock) outlaws “mega-magazines” that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition;

    SB 755 (Wolk) expands the list of Californians who can’t legally own guns to include those convicted of multiple drug/alcohol convictions, carrying ammunition onto school grounds, active participation in street gangs, and others;

    SB 374 (Steinberg) bans semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines and retroactively requires an ownership record for all guns;

    SB 683 (Block) expands safety certificate requirements to long guns, rather than just handguns;

    SB 567 (Jackson) closes a loophole in California’s definition of an illegal shotgun to include a shotgun with a revolving cylinder and a rifled bore.

  5. This story is frightening and gets even more so as the story gets fleshed out:

    What Actually Happened To That Same-Sex Couple In The Missouri Hospital [UPDATED]

    Roger Gorley was arrested away from his husband Allen’s bedside in a Missouri hospital earlier this week. Despite the fact Roger and Allen have granted each other power of attorney for medical decisions, the Research Medical Center claimed that Roger was “disruptive and belligerent,” arguing that is why the police arrested him and removed him from the facility.[…]

    At the foundation of the story remains the fact that Roger and Allen’s relationship was treated as inferior. Because they did not have a state-recognized marriage, they were regarded as legal strangers despite even having set up the available legal protections for each other.

    The federal government is investigating because this should not have been allowed to happen following the executive order issued related to hospital visitations … in 2011.

  6. Toomey: ‘Let The Political Chips Fall Where They Fall’

    “In 1999 I supported expanding background checks,” [Sen. Pat]Toomey (R-PA) said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I just think it makes common sense. I’ll just let the political chips fall where they fall.”

    Interesting. Toomey is the former Club for Growth leader which demands perfect fealty to Deficit First but does not extend that purity to another GOP hot button issue: fealty to the gun lobbyists.

    There are a thousand cracks in the GOP coalition: Wall Streeters unhappy about the talk of default, big business unhappy about the loss of defense contracts because of the sequester and the loss of cheap labor because of the hardliners on immigration reform, religious righters anxious about all the talk of marriage equality and pushing back against reproductive freedom which further alienates women.

    I think, short of a “transformative figure” like another Ronald Reagan, these groups don’t get woven together again for electoral victory.  

  7. The GOP Amendment That Could Kill Gun Reform

    Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) decision to guarantee Republicans the opportunity to alter the legislation may have convinced Republicans to support proceeding to the measure, but gun safety advocates fear that it could also sink it. NRA-backed lawmakers are widely expected to introduce a series of killer amendments to weaken the underlining proposal – none more pernicious that a so-called “concealed carry reciprocity” amendment.

    The measure, last considered in 2009, is a long-held NRA priority and was almost included in the bipartisan Senate amendment to expand background checks to gun shows and online purchases. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) sought to add the provision to the final agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), but Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Reid rejected it, fearing that it would alienate gun safety advocates.

    This would essentially make the weakest state regulations the law in all the other states, thwarting the will of the people of each state to choose to restrict gun ownership. Another example of GOP hypocrisy: screaming states rights … until the rights of the states go against some of your sacred cows … then decrying them.  

  8. Pope Francis Supports Crackdown on US Nuns

    VATICAN CITY (AP) – The Vatican said Monday that Pope Francis supports the Holy See’s crackdown on the largest umbrella group of U.S. nuns, dimming hopes that a Jesuit pope whose emphasis on the poor mirrored the nuns’ own social outreach would take a different approach than his predecessor.

    The Vatican last year imposed an overhaul of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious after determining the sisters took positions that undermined Catholic teaching on the priesthood and homosexuality while promoting “radical feminist themes incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

    Yes, and not so down with the Republican party

    [Sister Simone Campbell defended] Obama’s health care reform law as a cause she considers “part of my pro-life stance and the right thing to do.”

    “In Cincinnati, I met Jini, who had just come from her sister’s memorial service,” Campbell said in one of several anecdotes she related from the summer bus tour of nine states. “When Jini’s sister Margaret lost her job, she lost her health insurance. She developed cancer and had no access to diagnosis or treatment. She died unnecessarily. That is tragic. And it is wrong.”

    Like many other speakers so far, Campbell underscored the plight of poor and working class Americans in the recession, and pointed to Democratic policies as both the most effective answer, and the most moral one.

    Caring for the sick? Blasphemy for sure!!!

Comments are closed.