Francine Wheeler, the mother of 6-year-old Ben who was killed at the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School, testified at a hearing of Senate Democrats on Wednesday. Wheeler spoke alongside other survivors and family members, including a student who survived the shooting in Parkland, Fla., last month.
Wheeler told Senate Democrats that after every shooting, she thinks of survivors and family members, whom she described as the fresh ranks of the grieving.
“And every single time the previous group moves one place further back and watches more families line up in front of them as they experience their own individual specific version of what I’ve related to you here.”
Wheeler’s son Ben was 6 when he was killed in the 2012 shooting. She said her family’s world has been freshly shaken after every mass shooting since.
“My argument for sensible gun legislation is not a speculative fear of what might happen to me or my family. My argument lies in the earth a few miles from my front door in our town cemetery, 6-years-old forever.”
Democrats said they arranged the hearing because of Congress’s inability to pass gun control legislation following several major mass shootings.
Congress took up a bill to require universal background checks four months after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. That bill failed in the Senate, and every major gun control measure has failed since then.