Millions of people are arguing about gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn., but what is maybe the most poignant voice of the debate comes from from 10-year-old Natalie Barden, sister of victim Daniel Barden.
Natalie is a member of her school newspaper and meant to hand her letter to the president while he was in Newtown last weekend. She became nervous and didn’t pass it on.
As the Huffington Post reports, in a heart-wrenching interview with Katie Couric earlier this week, Daniel’s father, Mark, said the family’s meeting with Obama “was a little less 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.”
The Barden family decided to give the letter to a family friend who passed it on to CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who, by reading the letter on air, gave it more attention than it likely would’ve gotten if Natalie had simply given it to the president in the first place.
Natalie’s letter voices her concern about guns in the hands of civilians:
My name is Natalie Barden and I wanted to tell the president that only police officers and the military should get guns. If people want to do it as a sport than they could go to a shooting range and the guns would not be able to leave there.
Daniel Barden was laid to rest on Wednesday. His family described him as an old soul who showed empathy beyond his years. And, as reported on Yahoo, his father talked about how sweet his son was and recalled times when he’d be halfway to the car (after shopping, say) before turning around and noticing that Daniel was still holding the door open for strangers.
You can watch Anderson Cooper read Natalie Barden’s letter on the air in the video below.