Transcript: Mark Barden, father of Sandy Hook victim Daniel Barden, on the Senate’s failure to pass the gun legislation

Transcript of remarks by Mark Barden, father of Daniel Barden who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, on the Senate’s failure to expand background checks for gun purchases online and at gun shows. The press briefing was held at the White House on April 17, 2013:

Hello. My name is Mark Barden. Just four months ago, my wife Jackie and I lost our son, and our children, James and Natalie, they lost their little brother Daniel. Daniel was a first-grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our sweet, 7-year-old Daniel was one of 20 children, six adults lost on December 14th. I have to say it feels like it was just yesterday.

In our deepest grief, we were supported by the love of our families and comforted by the love and prayers we received from millions of America, from every corner of the country.

What happened in Newtown can happen anywhere. In any instant, any dad in America could be in my shoes. No one should feel the pain. No one should feel our pain or the pain felt by the tens of thousands of people who’ve lost loved ones to senseless gun violence.

And that’s why we’re here. Two weeks ago, 12 of us from Newtown came to meet with U.S. senators and have a conversation about how to bring common-sense solutions to the issues of gun violence. We came with a sense of hope, optimistic that real conversation could begin that would ultimately save the lives of so many Americans. We met with dozens of Democrats and Republicans and shared with them pictures of our children, our spouses, our parents who lost their lives on December 14th.

Expanded background checks wouldn’t have saved our loved ones, but still we came to support the bipartisan proposal from two senators, both with “A” ratings from the NRA — a common-sense proposal supported by 90 percent of Americans. It‘s a proposal that will save lives without interfering with the rights of responsible, law-abiding gun owners.

We’ll return home now, disappointed but not defeated. We return home with the determination that change will happen — maybe not today, but it will happen. It will happen soon. We’ve always known this would be a long road, and we don’t have the luxury of turning back. We will keep moving forward and build public support for common-sense solutions in the areas of mental health, school safety, and gun safety.

We take strength from the children and loved ones that we lost, and we carry a great faith in the American people.

On behalf of the Sandy Hook Promise, I would like to thank President [Barack] Obama, Vice President [Joe] Biden for their leadership and for standing strong and continuing to fight for a safer America. I would like to thank Senators [Pat] Toomey, [Joe] Manchin, [Chuck] Schumer and [Mark] Kirk on coming together to seek common ground on legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals and save lives.

And I would like to thank Connecticut’s Senators [Richard] Blumenthal and [Chris] Murphy. They’ve been right with us. They stood by us right from the very beginning. From the first few hours after this tragedy they were with us.

We will not be defeated. We are not defeated, and we will not be defeated. We are here now; we will always be here because we have no other choice. We are not going away. And every day, as more people are killed in this country because of gun violence, our determination grows stronger.

We leave Washington hoping that others, both here and across the country, will join us in making the Sandy Hook Promise, a pledge that we’d had great hope that more U.S. senators would take literally. I’d like to end by repeating the words with which the Sandy Hook Promise begins: Our hearts are broken. Our spirit is not.

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One Comment on “Transcript: Mark Barden, father of Sandy Hook victim Daniel Barden, on the Senate’s failure to pass the gun legislation

  1. Pingback: Transcript: President Barack Obama's remarks on the Senate's failure to pass the Toomey-Manchin gun legislation - April 17, 2013 | What The Folly?!

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