Watching the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School unfold has been devastating for all of us here at “Katie.” Our hearts go out to the families and all affected by the shooting in Connecticut.
The pain we feel for the community of Newtown, Connecticut is overwhelming, and the death of 27 people, 20 of them young children, is almost too much to bear. This weekend, Katie traveled to Newtown to speak with the families who are grieving such an incomprehensible loss. Among them are Mark and Jackie Barden, who are mourning the tragic death of their baby boy. Daniel was a bubbly and outgoing first grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School who leaves behind his two older siblings, Natalie and James.
“In one word, Daniel was a light.” -Mark Barden
@katieshow can’t stop crying. As a parent my heart breaks4those parents, my faith helps me2know these children have been lifted to heaven.
— Marisela (@marisela76) December 17, 2012
Robbie Parker and his wife Alissa moved to Newtown eight months ago after Robbie got a job as a physician’s assistant at Danbury Hospital. That is where Robbie was when he heard about the shooting. The hospital went into lockdown and Robbie went to the emergency room expecting that some of the children might be taken there. He eventually made his way to the firehouse, where his wife Alissa was waiting, desperate for any news about their 6-year-old daughter, Emilie.
“The only way to move forward is to think about these beautiful children and their lives and be so thankful that we all had them.” -Alissa Parker
— amy patterson (@amy_joexo) December 17, 2012
No one can understand the pain that the families in Newtown, Connecticut are going through right now better than those who have gone through a similar experience. Craig Scott and his mother Beth Nimmo lost their sister and daughter, Rachel, in the Columbine High School shooting and Joe Samaha’s 18-year-old daughter Reema was one of the 32 people killed in the Virginia Tech shooting five years ago.
“We’ve experienced that tragedy and it is a suffering nobody wants to go through.” –Joe Samaha
RT @katieshow “I don’t want other parents to have to walk in my shoes-my shoes are worn out” – Joe Samaha’s daughter was killed in VA Tech
— Eudora Linde (@EudoraWTVM) December 17, 2012
Whenever there is a school shooting, we are reminded of what happened at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado 13 years ago. Since then, there have been 31 more school shootings. Dave Cullen is the author of “Columbine,” the definitive book on that tragedy in Colorado. He explained to us what could drive a person to commit such a horrific act.
“There’s not really a warning sign that it’s going to be violent or mass murder.” -Dave Cullen
@katieshowStuck to my TV. The mental heath part of the show needs some real looking into. Thank you so much.
— bonnie jo white (@rody982) December 17, 2012
The tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut has brought two major issues front and center: gun control and mental health. Dan Gross is the president of the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence and Dr. Harold Koplewicz is a child and adolescent psychiatrist. They helped us understand how we can prevent such shocking events from happening again.
“Another big important part of the conversation is background checks.” -Dan Gross
@katiecouric I think the bigger issue is mental health. We need more help for those that suffer from mental health issues.
— Linda Beer Sanders (@lbsanders1) December 17, 2012
One question that we’ve all be asking ourselves since Friday’s tragedy is, “How can a merciful God let this happen?” Joel Osteen, pastor of the largest congregation in America in Houston, Texas, sat down with Katie to help us make sense of this question.
“God has given us all our own free will… Unfortunately, some people choose evil.” -Joel Osteen
— Brian Cook(@BrianCook_WHY) December 17, 2012