Daniel Barden, 2005-2012
Sunday’s Washington Post features an article that will break your heart. Written by Eli Saslow, it’s a brilliant piece of journalism titled “After Newtown shooting, mourning parents enter into the lonely quiet.” The article focuses on one family, Mark and Jackie Barden, whose 7-year old son, Daniel, was murdered in the Newtown massacre. Part of it focuses on the devastating grief they cope with every day. The other part is about their anti-gun activism, and how they stoically soldier on with it, despite their deep frustration and disappointment with a profoundly dysfunctional political system that gives no quarter to reasonable restrictions on guns, in spite of overwhelming popular support.
Here’s an excerpt, which details some of the activist work the Bardens have done:
The Bardens had already tried to change America’s gun laws by studying the Second Amendment and meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office. They had spoken at tea party rallies, posed for People magazine and grieved on TV with Katie Couric. They had taken advice from a public relations firm, learning to say “magazine limits” and not “magazine bans,” to say “gun responsibility” and never “gun control.” When none of that worked, they had walked the halls of Congress with a bag of 200 glossy pictures and beseeched lawmakers to look at their son: his auburn hair curling at the ears, his front teeth sacrificed to a soccer collision, his arms wrapped around Ninja Cat, the stuffed animal that had traveled with him everywhere, including into the hearse and underground.
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