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Mark Barden’s Introduction of President Barack Obama, January 5th, 2016

“On the morning of Friday, Dec 14 2012, my 7 year old son, Daniel was among 20 first graders and 6 educators who were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown CT.

In the 3 years since those 26 precious lives were lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School – far too many more lives have been lost to gun tragedies in this country. Far too many people who are right now hearing these words, are grieving the loss of a loved one to gun violence.

As a nation, we have to do better than this. We ARE better than this.

In April of 2013, I had the honor of introducing President Obama in the Rose Garden. Unfortunately, it was to announce that a bill that had been proposed to close the loophole in the existing federal background check system for firearms sales had been blocked by some members of congress.

But President Obama delivered an address that day that was palpably charged with genuine passion and commitment. The President made a promise to not give up. I remember standing there with my family and Vice President Biden, listening to our president speak and our feelings of despair were replaced with hope.

And I recall thinking..”Who’s going to help him do this?”

Since then, I have come to know and respect many amazing individuals and organizations who are doing good, smart work in this space. Many of the folks in the gun violence prevention coalition, including Sandy Hook Promise have had numerous meetings with President Obama, Vice President Biden and their top advisers to address this issue. But we can’t do it alone. And the president can’t do it alone.
Every gun related death is preventable – and we need your help to do it.

President Obama made a promise as an elected official, and a promise as a father, that he would do everything in his power to protect our nation’s children, to make our communities safer and curb the loss of life to gun violence in America.

Today, we celebrate another example of how President Obama and Vice President Biden continue to keep that promise.

It is with great honor that I introduce to you, The President Of The United States, Barack Obama.”



About Sandy Hook Promise

Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to end school shootings and create a culture change that prevents violence and other harmful acts that hurt children. Through its life-saving, evidence-informed “Know the Signs” prevention programs, SHP educates and empowers youth and adults to recognize, intervene, and get help for individuals who may be socially isolated and/or at risk of hurting themselves or others. Through nonpartisan policy and partnerships, SHP advances gun safety, youth mental health, and violence prevention education at the state and federal levels that protect all children from gun violence in their schools, homes, and communities. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012.  Learn more at

Media Contact:
Aimee Thunberg, Senior Director, Communications, Sandy Hook Promise | [email protected] | 646-761-5579