Father of Sandy Hook victim speaks before president's speech on - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Father of Sandy Hook victim speaks before president's speech on gun control

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Mark Barden talks about his experiences before introducing the president. (CBS) Mark Barden talks about his experiences before introducing the president. (CBS)
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WFSB) -

Wiping back tears as he recalled the tragedy at Sandy Hook, an emotional President Barack Obama unveiled plans to tighten gun control.

The president said he is frustrated with congress because there hasn't even been a debate on gun control since the Sandy Hook massacre. While he would like congress's help, he said he feels we must do something before more lives are destroyed.

Mark Barden’s son Daniel was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on Dec. 14, 2012. On that day, 20 first-graders and six adult staff members were killed by a gunman.  

"Today is another example of how president Obama and vice president Biden continue to keep that promise,” Barden said

Barden said the day of his son’s death, he made a promise to save lives. 

"People are dying and the constant excuse is not enough,” Obama said.

President Obama said instead of solving the problem, gun violence has become partisan and polarizing.

Because the United State Congress has failed to act, the president plans to use his executive power to enforce background checks.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation data shows nearly 700,000 convicted criminals were denied guns, but were still able to buy them at gun shows and the internet along with 147,000 fugitives and 120,000 domestic abusers.

“I can no longer explain to people in Sandy Hook, Hartford and New Haven why congress has done nothing,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said.

"The gun lobby can hold congress hostage but it can't hold American hostage,” Obama said.

"The NRA is not holding anyone hostage,” Scott Wilson with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League said. “They protect rights of law abiding citizens."

Officials said with the Connecticut Citizens Defense League said they feel the problem isn't background checks, but the lack of harsh penalties. They doubt whether more gun control will save lives.

"They say it may not stop anything, but I reject that thinking,” Obama said. “We can't stop it all, but maybe one act."

Several Newtown families are in Washington D.C. and will be attending a town hall meeting this Thursday on how to reduce gun violence.

To see why the NCIS denied more than 1 million people gun permits, click here

Eyewitness News will be heading to the nation's capital to talk with some of those families.

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