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

by Jeanne Sager on December 20, 2012 at 10:28 AM

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

Filed Under: inspiring kids, independence, in the news

Comments

61
  • bills...
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    billsfan1104

    December 20, 2012 at 10:33 AM
    Only Hitlers military had guns, and looked what happened.
  • bills...
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    billsfan1104

    December 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM
    I have talked to my 11 year old about guns and respecting guns, because we are a pro gun family. She wants the teachers armed so if a madman comes in, the madman can be shot.
  • WCURi...
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    WCURiverRat

    December 20, 2012 at 10:52 AM
    Another child brainwashed by their parents into thinking that guns are the devil. I understand her brother was killed by a madman, but really? Why not educate people on guns and how to safely use them instead of letting people continue to fear them and teach their kids to fear them?
  • WCURi...
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    WCURiverRat

    December 20, 2012 at 11:02 AM
    And I'm sure if her letter to the president was pro-gun and in fair of more people being armed, her letter wouldn't even make the news.
  • WCURi...
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    WCURiverRat

    December 20, 2012 at 11:03 AM
    **in favor
  • LSeab...
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    LSeabolt1982

    December 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM

    Gun pro person here and I am sick and tired of people thinking if guns were banned this would never happen. It is like blaming the car for the accident or the spoon for making you fat. If crazies want to kill they will find a way regardless of the source.


  • jalaz77
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    jalaz77

    December 20, 2012 at 11:07 AM
    Um why do you need an automatic or semi-automatic weapon WCURiverRat?? Really that is what it boils down to.

    For those of you that think guns are safe, here are some things to thing about. First, most educated smart caring parents that own guns have them LOCKED away UNLOADED, bullets elsewhere, so what happen when you are sleeping and there stands a man with his gun pointed at you? You are screwed because your safety net is locked away. Second, say you are that gun toting individual who is trigger happy or thinks a gun is safest cause someone MAY break into your house one day, you have that loaded gun under your pillow and your young child finds it, figured out how to take the safety off it, or in some cases the safety was never on, and fatally shoots himself, sibling or you on accident? Then what? I will be that parent that judges...why in the hell would you have a loaded gun where a kid could access it? So this kid isn't brainwashed, she lost her brother to a psycho with guns that no one needs to own. A handgun is one thing but again how is it safe locked away or what kind of life do you have where you need your hand on it at all times??
  • zandh...
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    zandhmom2

    December 20, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    Maybe if our educational system wasn't so effed up, she would know that we have something called the 2nd amendment.  I understand her pain but gun ownership is a right we have in this country and as our great politicans are ever so slower taking our rights away from us, we should protect them even more.


  • bleed...
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    bleedingheart8D

    December 20, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    A love of a thing that only has job; to take a life never made any sense to me. Ever!


  • KA
    -- Nonmember comment from

    KA

    December 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM
    So I'm going to wade into this debate. I was raised in a home w/guns. My father used them mainly for hunting, yes, he had hand guns too. These guns weren't locked up, although they were unloaded. And you can bet your sweet butt that we were taught to respect these weapons. There were 6 children in our house & NOT ONE OF US ever touched those guns w/o an adult to supervise us. @bleedingheart8D - you got it all wrong, but most liberals do anyway, the VAST MAJORITY of legal, properly trained gun owners would never want to take the life of another human being. However, if it comes down to their lives & the lives of their family you can bet they are going to do whatever they have to do to protect themselves & those they love. You can choose not to have a gun, that's your right & I can respect that, but I'll be damned if you're going to disrespect my right to own a gun.
1-10 of 61 comments

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