After Mark Barden’s first-grade son Daniel was shot and killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, his family barricaded themselves inside their house and writhed in agony for several days.
Family members flooded the Bardens’ home, offering support and trying to shield them from the media that packed Newtown, Connecticut, to cover the horrific events that followed the murder of 19 additional first-graders and six adults by a gunman. When his landline rang, Barden was still attempting to process the unimaginable death of his 7-year-old. Joe Biden, vice president, was there.
Barden brought down the phone to his recording studio. According to Barden, the two guys spoke for more than an hour. They discussed the passing of their kids.
After ten years without his kid, Barden prepares for another December 14 anniversary this week. He will consider the following advice that Biden gave him at the time: Keep a notebook by his bedside and every night, pick up a pen and share the day with a one to ten rating.
He predicts you will have plenty of children for a very long period. But you might get a two, then maybe a three, then more ones, and perhaps a four,” said Barden, describing one of the many lengthy conversations he had with Biden, whom he calls a buddy, over the years.
You won’t believe me right now, but there will come a day when you’ll think about Daniel, and a smile will come to your face before a tear comes to your eyes, he added. I give that a lot of thought.
The sorrow of the Sandy Hook shooting was unmatched. He said it was the darkest day of President Barack Obama’s term. Much of what Biden stated was similar.
But Biden faced political and humanitarian challenges in the weeks following the tragedy.
The victims’ families were on numerous calls with the vice president. Additionally, after Sandy Hook, Obama chose him to head the administration’s effort to change gun laws. People close to Biden at the time told POLITICO that Biden and his team spent months immersed in the work, driven to turn a sad time into something concrete.
Biden witnessed a bill to extend background checks die on the Senate floor, which put an end to their months-long campaign. According to former aides and close friends of Biden, the vice president was troubled, and his failure to provide for the families of Sandy Hook still weighs hard on him ten years later, significantly fuelling his ongoing efforts to reduce gun violence.
“He understands the struggles these families are through. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) referred to the passing of Biden’s first wife and infant daughter 50 years ago this month when he remarked, “There’s something in his gut that pushes him to make this a front-burner issue.” He feels a moral duty to stop using assault weapons, and I believe it comes from a place in his heart where he is emotionally connected to the families who lost loved ones at Uvalde and Sandy Hook.