David Wheeler’s youngest son Ben was one of the 20 children killed in the December 14th attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Since the tragedy, Wheeler, his wife Francine, and other Newtown families have worked to urge state and national lawmakers to pass meaningful, comprehensive gun control legislation, and to encourage citizens to come together for a national conversation about making our communities safer. Their work helped convince Connecticut’s government to pass the strongest gun control law in the country in April 2013. The law bans the sale and purchase of high-capacity magazines like those used in the Sandy Hook shooting.
They also work closely with Sandy Hook Promise, a nationwide group founded by Newtown friends and neighbors to heal the hurt, and open new avenues of communication and action against the scourge of gun violence in the United States. The Wheelers were among the Newtown parents who flew with President Obama on Air Force One to speak with members of Congress about gun control legislation, specifically to enforce mandatory background checks on purchases of firearms at gun shows and online.
In addition to their fight in Washington, the Wheelers spread their message through music. In February, they performed in a free concert with folksinger Peter Yarrow, which was attended by families who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook and other members of the Newtown community.
A former actor and comedian who now works as a graphic designer, Wheeler performs with his wife in a variety show called the Flagpole Radio Café in Newtown.