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Francine Wheeler Gives The Weekly Presidential Address

Francine Wheeler gave the Weekly Address from The White House on Saturday, April 13, one day before the four-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings.

“Hi,” she began. “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,” Mrs Wheeler said.

Mrs Wheeler and her husband, David, lost their son Ben, 6, on 12/14. They have another son, Nate.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney announced the President’s decision to have Mrs Wheeler offer comments on April 13 during that afternoon’s press briefing.

“The President has asked Francine Wheeler... to speak to the American people in this week's Weekly Address,” he said.

 Mrs Wheeler issued the following statement:

“I am honored that the President asked me to give the Radio Address [Saturday]. We were grateful this week to be able to speak directly to Senators about our children and our hopes that no other parent should have to experience our grief.  I am equally grateful today to speak directly to the American people about the common sense solutions that are currently under debate.”

Mrs Wheeler may be the first citizen during the Obama Administration to deliver the Presidential Radio Address.

Mr and Mrs Wheeler have been in Washington, DC, since Monday, April 8, when they flew to the nation’s capitol following remarks by the President at the University of Hartford. The Wheelers were among a number of Sandy Hook families and relatives of those killed on 12/14 who traveled on Air Force One in order to be on Capitol Hill by Tuesday to make 11th-hour pitches to try to rescue gun-control legislation that was in limbo in the Senate.

“I’ve heard people say that the tidal wave of anguish our country felt on 12/14 has receded,” Mrs Wheeler said during the Weekly Address. “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.”

The President has tried to offer a weekly video address every Saturday of his Presidency, according to WhiteHouse.gov. While few radio stations continue to air the addresses on a regular basis, the addresses are made available on The White House website.

More stories like this: 12/14, Francine Wheeler, The White House

Comments

My heart breaks for you

Dear Mrs. Wheeler,
First I want to say that my heart breaks for you and the people of NewTown. I have shared a similar event in my life but, none as tragic as yours will ever be. I can say that I do understand what you are feeling but not the depth you feel it. On September 28, 2000 Sophal Prom left work disgruntle because she was upset at a co-worker, she returned to work with a 380 and shot Darlene Adams 17 times ending her life. The reason I know somewhat of how your feeling is I was the manager on duty and was a witness. Sophal had enough bullets to kill all 40 of us that night. It seemed like the shooting lasted forever, people frozen, people running for their lives, and people hiding. At the time in my mind I told myself I didn't know who the shooter was but, on the 911 call I revealed it all. It seemed like forever before help arrived. The help was delayed due to the company trunk lines being hooked to the wrong 911 number and there being two Distribution Circles. I remember everything clearly including how Darlene layed the bullet holes, her glasses and ball cap. I remember how my shipping lead had to peal me off of Darlene saying " C'mon boss she's gone" I did not want to give up I wanted to save her but it was useless. I have lived that night over and over and I live it every time one of these shootings occur.
I have spent 13 years trying to figure out why this happened and why we can't stop the madness. My company whom I will not mention the name tried to place the blame for this occurence on me. When the family threatened a law suit the company lawyer said your on your own. When I begged that they offer counseling for everyone who was there that night they said they would but in the end they didn't. Most of my crew were temps so they weren't paying. I was told they were so cold to offer my people double time if they would come to work the next night. I myself went to a dark paranoid place from which I never thought I would return. I has taken me 12 years to get my life back on the right track. I wanted to say that in my heart I do not believe that further gun control will accomplish anything. The problem lies with responsibility, not guns. People must be responsible, if you have guns lock them up, keep the key with you. Gun dealers must be held accountable they must do the background checks. Sophal Prom got her gun from a pawn shop, she had a criminal record not to mention mental health issues. We MUST make people accountable. To many children die accidentally from guns that are not locked up. My plea is that they make it an automatic 25 years for using a gun during a crime, if a gun was obtained without a background check then the seller also receives 25 years. No questions ask no excuses. My heart does truly break for you and your families, all of these victims need to be remembered, I know I will never forget. We are so desensatized that people forget I pray the world never forgets any of the many innocent victims....My God Bless all of you stay with you always.
Roxann Lindsey

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