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My Brother, Daniel

Daniel and SHP sign

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Our guest blogger is Natalie Barden, college student and sister of Daniel, who was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Natalie recently spoke with President Biden about gun safety reforms for NowThis News.

NowThis brought President Biden and young change-makers together to discuss some of the most critical issues facing their generation. Watch this excerpt of their presidential forum featuring Natalie.

Reflections on December 14

On Dec. 14, 2012, I was sitting in my fifth-grade science class when my school went under lockdown. When I came home, my parents told my older brother, James, and me to follow them upstairs.

I silently cried as I climbed the stairs. I’d heard about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary that day, and after seeing the look on my parents’ faces, I knew what was coming. I still remember screaming as they told us that our little brother, Daniel, had been murdered in his first-grade classroom.

After that day, I never wanted to think about gun violence again. I didn’t want to be constantly reminded about Daniel’s death.

More and More Families Shattered by Gun Violence

Years later, as I saw more and more families shattered by gun violence, I made the difficult decision to start speaking out and joined a gun violence prevention club at school. When Parkland happened, at first I didn’t even want to think about it. But I forced myself to get even more involved, caring less about the pain it would cause me. I felt like if I didn’t, then more people were going to die.

I used to leave the fight for gun violence prevention to my dad, Mark. But I want to honor my brother, my community, and everyone who’s been killed by gun violence by taking action myself. I know what losing a loved one to gun violence feels like, and I want to prevent other people’s lives from being shattered in that same way.

Together, I know we’ll build a safer world for all kids. Please join me in making the Promise to do everything you can to protect loved ones from gun violence.