Natalie Barden, whose young brother Daniel was one of the 20 children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary on Dec. 14, was one of the many family members who met with President Barack Obama just days after the shootings.
The 10-year old apparently had a lot to say to the President. But she never got a chance to express her feelings during Obama’s whirlwind visit on Dec. 16.
Her father, Mark, told Katie Couric in an interview later that week, that the President’s visit was ‘less than fruitful than we were hoping.
“James and our daughter Natalie had a few things that they were hoping to express to him out of concern for the fact that this situation happened at all and how we can maybe hopefully stop this from happening again,” Mark Barden told Couric. “My daughter Natalie was interested in asking him if he could pass some kind of legislation so that the only people that had guns were military personnel and law enforcement, and if people needed guns for sport that they could go to a range and the guns would have to stay there.”
The Barden family found a way to get Natalie’s message to the President. She wrote a simple note which was passed on to Lillian Bittman, the former chair of the Newtown Board of Education, at Daniel Barden’s wake.
Natalie asked if Bittman would forward the letter to CNN’s Anderson Cooper to read on the air.
Bittman passed the note to Cooper, who read it live during a live segment aired Friday night.Her note said:
My name is Natalie Barden and I wanted to tell the President that only police officers and members of the military should get guns. If people want to do it as a sport they could go to a shooting range and the guns would not be able to leave there.
“I told her, ‘Now you’re a member of the White House press corps,’” Bittman said. “And she giggled at that. And that was really good because she wants to make a difference. And this is her little way of making a difference. …It’s helping her heal. Now she can make Daniel’s life count for something…”
Barden’s thoughts on gun control were aired just hours after Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, called for putting armed guards in American schools.