Obama to bring some Sandy Hook families on AF1
by Nedra Pickler, Associated Press
April 08, 2013 01:28 PM | 740 views | 3 3 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this February 15, 2013, file photo President Barack Obama hugs Gilles Rousseau, father of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Lauren Rousseau, as her mother Terry Rousseau, watches at left during a White House ceremony in Washington to posthumously honor their daughter with the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal. Families of the school shooting victims are making regular appearances with President Barack Obama and walking the halls of Congress to advocate for stricter gun regulations. They helped push through the nation's most restrictive firearms law in Connecticut this April. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
In this February 15, 2013, file photo President Barack Obama hugs Gilles Rousseau, father of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Lauren Rousseau, as her mother Terry Rousseau, watches at left during a White House ceremony in Washington to posthumously honor their daughter with the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal. Families of the school shooting victims are making regular appearances with President Barack Obama and walking the halls of Congress to advocate for stricter gun regulations. They helped push through the nation's most restrictive firearms law in Connecticut this April. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is providing rides to 11 relatives of those killed in the shooting at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School so they can attend his gun control speech Monday before heading to Washington on Air Force One to personally encourage senators to back gun legislation that faces tough opposition.

After Obama's speech in Hartford, relatives of seven children and one staffer killed during December's massacre at the school will travel back to Washington with him, according to the nonprofit organization that works with the families, Sandy Hook Promise.

The White House says Obama is going to argue in his speech that lawmakers have an obligation to the children killed and other victims of gun violence to act on his proposals.

Gun legislation could come up for debate in the Senate this week as lawmakers return from spring break. The Sandy Hook families want to speak to senators who have not voiced support for the legislation, to ask for support in memory of their children and the school staff who were killed Dec. 14. The White House offered to give the families a ride so they could also attend Obama's speech before their lobbying push.

Sandy Hook Promise said in a statement, "The group is encouraging senators to come together around legislative proposals that will both save lives and respect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans."

In his speech Monday evening, Obama plans to invoke the memories of the 26 students and staff members killed. He is speaking at the University of Hartford, near the state capitol where last week the governor signed into law some of the nation's strictest gun control laws with the Sandy Hook families standing behind him.

But legislation in Washington faces a tougher challenge, as the nation's memories of the shooting fade with time and the National Rifle Association wages a formidable campaign against Obama's proposals. Senators were negotiating Monday in search of an eleventh-hour deal to expand background checks for gun buyers, after weeks of talks had failed to reach a compromise that could win bipartisan support.

Other measures Obama wants are unlikely to pass. Senate leaders say there are not enough votes for an assault weapons ban. Prospects are also bleak for a proposal to limit the number of rounds of ammunition in a single magazine to 10.

With time running out on negotiations, the White House is making an all-hands-on-deck push this week. Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder planned to promote their plan at the White House on Tuesday with law enforcement officials. First lady Michelle Obama planned to wade into the debate Wednesday with a speech on youth violence in her hometown of Chicago. And on Thursday, Biden was taking part in a discussion on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" with people who have different views on gun control.

The matter is divisive in Newtown, Conn., as in the rest of the country. Not all Sandy Hook families support gun control, and even those involved with the lobbying push organized by Sandy Hook Promise are not backing the assault weapons ban. But those families are asking lawmakers to expand background checks, increase penalties for gun trafficking and limit the size of magazines. The magazine issue has a particular resonance with those families.

Nicole Hockley told The Associated Press in an interview that she wonders if her 6-year-old son, Dylan, might still be alive if shooter Adam Lanza hadn't be able to bring 10 magazines holding 30 rounds each into the school that day. Lanza was able to get off 154 shots during a four-minute rampage in the school. But he stopped shooting briefly in her son's classroom to reload, giving 11 children time to escape.

"They ran for their lives," Hockley said in a telephone interview Friday. "Dylan was not so fortunate. If there were lower capacity magazine clips, there's a chance Dylan would be here with me today."

Hockley plans to introduce Obama in Hartford and sit on stage during the speech with her husband, Ian. The other families who plan to fly on Air Force One are scheduled to meet privately with the president before he speaks and then attend the speech. Those relatives include:

— Mark and Jackie Barden — parents of 7-year-old Daniel

— Nelba Marquez Greene — mother of 6-year-old Ana

— Neil Heslin — father of 6-year-old Jesse

— Jennifer Hensel — mother of 6-year-old Avielle

— Bill Sherlach — husband of Mary, a 56-year-old school psychologist

— Ben and Cheyanne Wyatt — parents of 6-year-old Allison

— David and Francine Wheeler — parents of 6-year-old Ben

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Follow Nedra Pickler on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nedrapickler



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Comments
(3)
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George Middleton
|
April 08, 2013
Yeah, Stupid. Wine them and dine them and give them a ride of AF1, at our expense, while you use their grief to try to disarm the American people.

Why don't you tell them the truth? Tell them that your stupid gun control laws would not have prevented even one of the Newtown children's death.
anonymous
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April 09, 2013
This is a direct violation of the 1970 RICO act but we do have a Chicago street hood in charge of the justice department laws don’t matter. To use our own taxpayer money and wage a one sided campaign to front a Nazi gun grab is all this is. This somewhat black president black when he needs to be but played the White Card to get elected now plays the race card all the time. I guess they’ll even have Presidential Dead Kid t-shirts!!
FROM TEXAS
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April 08, 2013
Russia has a murder rate five times as high as the United States Obama uses dead kids to prop up a second amendment gun rights grab. What about the war on babies killed in abortion clinics every day? Czar Obama is always using dead kids and shows you his police state when he surrounds himself with hundreds of cops. Every time I’ve bought gun at a gun show or gun store I’ve had to fill out paper work and they called it in then I bought the gun. If you think the drug cartels won’t flood the country with cheap AK-47’s you better think twice on that one.
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