Barden’s brother was murdered in the Sandy Hook school shooting where a gunman killed 20 students and six teachers.
“I kind of am just trying to force myself, because I feel like if I don’t, then people are gonna die. So, I don’t exactly have a choice,” she said. “I was telling me mom, I can be in the most relaxing place. I can be lying on a beach and in my head, I’m thinking, somebody could come up right now and shoot me. Like, there’s really nothing stopping them at this point.”
Barden fights for safer gun laws through the organization her dad started called Sandy Hook Promise, in honor of her late brother.
“I just think there that are simpler ways that we could prevent shootings from happening,” she explained. “Like, Sandy Hook Promise does a lot of prevention, which is effective and amazing. And then I think legislation-wise really just simpler restrictions, like background checks.”
Barden is trying to find her voice in the country’s divisive gun reform debate. When it comes to somber memories about her brother, she says she tried to appreciate the “high points” in her life.