The mother of one of the child victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting in the eastern U.S. in December has made a plea for other Americans to push Congress to pass tighter gun control laws.
Francine Wheeler made the call on U.S. radio and Internet Saturday, in lieu of President Barack Obama's usual weekly address. She implored, "help us do something, before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."
Her address came just two days after the U.S. Senate voted to move forward the debate on a gun-control bill that has become one of the most controversial and emotional pieces of legislation this year. Several other Sandy Hook families traveled to Washington this week to pressure lawmakers for stricter gun laws.
A compromise between two pro-gun senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Pat Toomey, over expanding background checks for gun buyers cleared the way for the debate to begin. The compromise would require checks at gun shows and on the Internet, but would exclude sales between friends and family members.
The National Rifle Association
, the powerful gun rights group, issued a statement opposing the agreement, but said it was "a positive development" since it fell short of the wide-ranging background check system sought by Obama and many gun-control advocates. The NRA opposes any new gun control measures as an infringement on the constitutional right to own weapons.
Any gun control legislation must also pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
In the Republican address Saturday, first-year Representative Jackie Walorski of Indiana criticized President Obama's budget proposal released this week as "a blank check for more spending and more debt."
Watch weekly Republican address: