Summary List Placement
Shortly after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, then-Vice President Joe Biden shared his advice for managing grief in a lengthy phone call with Mark Barden, who was still in shock from losing his seven-year-old son Daniel.
Keep a notepad by your bed, Biden told the father, a musician. At night, rate each day on a scale of 1 to 10. There will always be low days, but you’ll see they’ll get further apart over time, Barden recalled Biden saying.
“I remember feeling very comforted,” Barden said.
Daniel was among the 20 children and 6 adults gunned down in one of the deadliest school shootings in American history. In his first of several opportunities to speak with the vice president, Barden felt that Biden could relate to the trauma after losing his first wife and daughter in a 1972 car crash.
Barden felt a “kinship and connection” with Biden that he said defined their relationship moving forward as the two focused on a shared goal: sparing more families from devastating tragedies.
After the shooting, Biden — the former Democratic senator from Delaware for 36 years who had chaired the Judiciary Committee — led the Obama administration’s push for stricter gun policies and expanded background-check legislation for gun purchases.
Barden, who co-founded Sandy Hook Promise, and other Newtown, Connecticut, parents lobbied for the measure.
It didn’t work. The measure couldn’t overcome the power of the gun lobby.
And so four months after the deadly 2012 shooting, Biden presided over the Senate as the bipartisan legislation failed by six votes.
Leaving the Capitol that day, Biden said the Senate “let down an awful lot of people today, including those Newtown families, and I don’t know how anybody who looked them in the eye could have voted the way they did today.”
President Barack Obama described the moment as “a …read more