Nightly News   |  August 21, 2013

Newtown parents in ‘mile one of a marathon’ for gun reform

There have been at least five incidents of school violence after the shootings at Newtown Elementary School. On Wednesday, two parents in Newtown said they were stunned by Tuesday’s shooting in Georgia, but they are just as determined to campaign for gun reform. NBC’s Ann Curry reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> been at least five incidents of school violence since the shootings at sandy hook elementary in newtown , and like so many of us yesterday, when people there heard what happened in georgia, the reaction was, please, not again. today, ann curry spent the day in newtown with some of the parents, determined to make sure children are safe at school.

>> reporter: today, an emotional ricochet for two parents in newtown , connecticut, where last december 20 children and six adults were gunned down at sandy hook elementary. their deaths shocked america and forced their parents into action. marquez greene, who lost her 6-year-old, anna, and mark barden, who lost his 7-year-old, daniel, were stunned by yesterday's shooting.

>> here we are the day after an individual stormed into a school with an assault rifle , into an elementary school .

>> and there's silence. we are a nation in denial. and one day we're going to look back at this moment in history and say we should have acted earlier, because no parent should ever have to worry about getting their child off a bus when we send them to school.

>> reporter: in the eight months since they last saw their children, newtown parents have campaigned for gun reform. it passed in two states, connecticut and colorado, but failed at the federal level . what was your reaction when the federal legislation failed for gun reform?

>> it was frustrating, but it was also round one. and i feel like we are in mile one of a marathon.

>> reporter: how many rounds? or how many miles?

>> as many as it takes.

>> until we get it done.

>> reporter: these newtown parents also cautioned against neglecting troubled young people . that actually might be interpreted as being empathy for the illness of the man who pulled the trigger that killed your son.

>> my son, daniel, was known by his teachers as an unusually empathetic little boy who would notice somebody sitting alone and ask to go comfort that person. the individual that killed our children was also that little boy that sat alone.

>> reporter: a mother and father still in grief and after yesterday's shooting still fighting.

>> i didn't feel i was reliving my own stuff. i felt more determined, even more determined than i was before, and convicted to help protect other mothers from going through what i have to live every day.

>> reporter: since sandy hook , the national education association says there is a trend towards beefing up school security nationwide. but according to a gallup poll released just today, parents by a margin of 2 - 1 favor increased mental health spending over hiring armed guards, lester.

>> the e emotions still raw. i don't think any of us will forget that day.