A father whose son was murdered during the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre praised Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students for speaking out for gun control, saying they are “a force to be reckoned with” after the mass shooting there last week. 

Mark Barden said that he was “sick” of trying to figure out what was going to be done about gun violence, five years after his 7-year-old son, Daniel, was killed. 

“We need to do something. And you know who are doing something is these amazing high school students,” Barden said of the students from Parkland, Fla. 


The students have become outspoken activists following the deadly shooting that killed 17 people at their South Florida high school. They have organized marches and confronted politicians who accept money from the National Rifle Association. 

Insurance giant MetLife and car rental companies Hertz and Enterprise have all ended discount programs with the pro-gun group amid criticism from the left. 

“Oh my God, what a force to be reckoned with,” Barden said at a press conference. “That is a no-bullshit constituency that is speaking up. They are protecting their own future. They are not going to be intimidated by corporate greed. They’re not going to be bullied by money and power.” 

Barden’s two older children, James and Natalie, attend Newtown High School. 

“Believe me when I tell you that the laws of odds and averages don’t make us immune that this could happen to us again,” Barden said. 

Barden has spent years advocating for stricter gun control, co-founding the nonprofit Sandy Hook Promise with other Newtown, Conn., parents. 

On Wednesday, Barden attended a listening session at the White House with President TrumpDonald TrumpCuban embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios Trump endorses Ken Paxton over George P. Bush in Texas attorney general race MORE and other survivors and families of the victims of gun violence.