Sandy Hook 6 Years Later: One Parent Turns Grief Into Action

December 14, 2018 - 7:00 am

NEWTOWN, Conn. (WCBS 880) — It's been six years since 26 students and educators were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot 20 children, between the ages of 6 and 7, as well as six adult staff members.

Now, WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell spoke to one parent who has been turning his grief into action since the tragedy.

Mark Barden lost his 7-year-old son Daniel on that day, and worked to channel the grief of losing a child into a national advocacy for gun control.

Barden is the founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, a gun violence prevention group.

“At the end of the day, all of this is wrapped up in the fact that my little Daniel’s gone, and he's gone forever, and no matter what I do, or don't do, that's going to be the reality of it no matter what,” the father said.

He says that constantly facing his own heartbreak is a challenge, but the work is necessary.

“It is very difficult and sometimes I just have to put the blinders on and focus on the mission and know that I'm doing good work and helping people,” Barden explained.

“Other times, I just can't get away from it and I just have to leave, I just have to collect myself, and sometimes I'll just go sit on a park bench and cry, sometimes I just have to go home,” he added.

Based on his commitment to Daniel and his two surviving children Barden says he can't give up.

Sandy Hook Promise is committed to preventing gun-related deaths due to crime, suicide and accidental discharge.  

The non-profit seeks to train students and adults to identify signs of gun violence before another tragedy occurs.