10-Year-Old Sister of Newtown Victim Writes Heartbreaking Letter to Obama About Guns

Inspiring 61

writing letterSo your kids have heard about the Sandy Hook tragedy, and you are wondering: what's next? The answer has come to us in the most surprising place. Natalie Barden, 10-year-old sister of little Daniel Barden, one of the children killed in the shooting last week in Newtown, Connecticut, has written a letter to President Barack Obama.

The letter made public by the former chair of the Newtown Board of Education, Lillian Bittman, on Anderson Cooper's show, is impactful in no small part because it's about -- what else -- gun control. But the reason all parents -- no matter their politics -- should be listening to what little Natalie had to say isn't because of guns.

Because the letter to the president, Bittman told Cooper, isn't just a letter. It's power. It's something Natalie Barden could do, physically do, to try to make a difference in this world after losing her 7-year-old brother.

We talk a lot about helping our kids move on from this tragedy, and for many parents, that has been interpreted as simply shutting down, forgetting, refusing to talk about Sandy Hook any longer.

That might be right for some kids. In my house, we haven't even uttered the words "Sandy Hook" with our daughter, opting instead to reiterate past conversations about gun control and making her aware that if she hears anything at school that troubles her, we are here to answer any questions. For her, for us, that worked.

But for many kids who now know about Sandy Hook, simply moving on may not be enough. After all, we adults want to do something, don't we? We have lists of foundations for the Newtown victims we can send money to, addresses to send letters of support and condolence.

So why not our kids? Why wouldn't they want to do something, want to prove that they are not helpless in the face of tragedy?

This applies not just to Sandy Hook. Any tragedy in a child's life can spur a feeling that they need to act. Just look at this little girl, mourning her brother, her life in a tailspin. This, for her, was cathartic, this gave her purpose. Here's Natalie's letter to President Obama:

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.

Pretty big and amazing thing for a grieving kid to do, don't you think?

Have your kids been talking about the tragedy? How have you helped them deal?


Image via woodleywonderworks/Flickr

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jalaz77 jalaz77

By the way 2nd amendment is the right to bear arms not just guns. Which also means canons, bazookas, missiles...so remember that before anyone wants to bring up the 2nd amendment.

nonmember avatar Christy

These comments are asinine. Why the hell would anyone own a semi automatic gun with a high capacity magazine? Those should be banned and destroyed. The 2nd amendment gives militias the right to bear arms. What has that got to do with Joe Schmo down the street and his trigger happy idiot family? They are much more likely to kill one another than an intruder. So stupid. *smh*

Flori... Floridamom96

jalaz, do you even know what semi-automatic means?

Flori... Floridamom96

How does writing a letter to the president change the world?

WCURi... WCURiverRat

@jalaz do you even know what semiautomatic means? Before you start spewing hate and marching to Washington to take my guns, you might want to find out what semiautomatic means. You ask anyone would need a semiautomatic weapon, but say that handguns are ok? If you would do your research and actually understand how guns work, you would know that semiautomatic means that with one trigger pull, you get one bullet. MOST guns (handguns included) are made this way! It doesn't mean that when you pulled the trigger, the gun just sprays bullets.

It's uneducated idiots like you screaming for the government to ban guns. So how about you go educated yourself a little more about guns and how they work. Until you can bring an educated, not fearful or ignorant argument to the table, what you have to say on the matter means nothing to me and probably most other gun owners out there.

cmjaz cmjaz

I wish our schools would teach about the Constitution and the reasons behind it and the Amendments. We are free to carry guns so a would-be dictator can't supress The People, like has happened many times before. A little history would go a long way. I feel so bad for her and her family for what happened. So sad and tragic.

nonmember avatar Truth Teller

All of you attacking this child make me sick. She's a little girl who just lost her brother. She's not a politician or a constitutional scholar. She's grieving her loss and if writing a letter to the President helps her feel better in a powerless situation, then good for her. This is not a political issue for her, it's about a brother she will never see again. She's not regurgitating her parents feelings. She's ten and just buried her little brother. She is old enough and has gone through enough to be allowed to have an opinion.

WCURi... WCURiverRat

Second Amendment to the Unites States Constitution:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Tisha Bottoms

I completely disagree. The right to bear arms is to protect us from an over controlling gov't. Taking that away give the gov't more power and control. Also, when did criminals start following the law? If the teachers were packing students wouldn't be murdered.

nonmember avatar Rachel

Does no one realize it is to late? How would we get millions of guns off the streets? Sure law abiding citezens would turn theirs in, but we all know who wouldn't.
And everytime Gun control is mentioned it just makes it worse people panick and go sell out gun shops, now there are hundreds more on the street.
It's my right to own a gun and if the criminals are going to have them then so I am that way its a fair fight!

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