Newtown dad vows to push on for gun control

Although gun control legislation failed in the Senate earlier this week, its supporters vow to try again.

The legislation was drawn up after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. Among other things, it would have expanded background checks.

Many Sandy Hook parents lobbied senators in person. Mark Barden, who lost 7-year-old son Daniel in the shooting, was one of those parents.

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Below is an edited transcript of their interview.


Chip Reid: What was it like sitting in the office with members of Congress, especially those who were on the other side of this issue?

Mark Barden: Our message is truly from the heart; our message has nothing to do with politics. I'm a guitar player, I'm not a politician, so we just have this very plain simple message that is about people, and it's about saving lives.

Daniel Barden, 7, a victim in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 14, 2012.
Rex Features via AP Images

Reid: Did you get the impression that you were swaying people or changing their minds?

Barden: Absolutely. They would tell us it's so important, thank you so much for being here.

Reid: Well given that, were you surprised that you didn't get the votes?

Barden: I guess I was a little surprised. How can you look me in the face, how can you look at pictures of my child and vote against something that will save lives?

Reid: Yesterday at the White House, you said you came to Washington with a sense of hope and optimism. Is that gone?

Barden: oh no.

Reid: This defeat did not stop that?

Barden: not even a little bit. I'm ready to get back to work right now ... [Daniel] was all about compassion and we're honoring his life trying to bring some good out of that and he's not going to be here to help people anymore so we have to do it for him.


Many of the senators who opposed the gun control bill have said their hearts go out to the Sandy Hook families and that they were deeply moved by their stories. But they also say the bill before the Senate would have done little to stop gun violence and would have significantly interfered with the second amendment rights of gun owners.

  • Chip Reid

    Chip Reid is CBS News' national correspondent.