Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Eli Saslow on the family of a slain Newtown child

Such a great story by Eli Saslow for the Washington Post a few days ago. "After Newtown shooting, mourning parents enter into the lonely quiet" was about Mark and Jackie Barden, parents of three children until their youngest, Daniel Barden, killed in his classroom.

Like others (well, at the least like one other shown below), I find myself thinking of the story in relation to some areas other than the overwhelmingly horrible loss.
The writing itself - Saslow is a someone who I've previously posted on and linked to ESPN pieces he's written and I'm sure there will be additional great analysis done on his Washington Post story, but two I've seen thus far were from the website Gangrey and by Paige Williams with a "Why's This So Good?" for Nieman Storyboard that features a breakdown of the story along with short Q&A with Saslow. As was noted by Williams and others I've seen commenting on the story, it just felt so incredibly restrained and created for myself as a reader the feeling of sitting and watching a family's life lived.

Other related writing - Two different post labels I've used on this blog are Newtown and Gabrielle Giffords and between them there's five posts that link to multiple pieces. The stories are by some great writers and run the gamut in terms of subjects and emotions. There's David Von Drehle on what happened in Tucson and why, Joe Posnanski on the loss of a young girl, Jim Dwyer on one family not knowing if their child safe, Gary Smith on how he envisions responsible gun legislation coming about from tragedy and, as a sort of counterpoint to Smith, Joe Klein, Charlie Pierce and Gabrielle Giffords on the prevention of said responsible gun legislation.

Efforts by the Bardens - It's remarkable reading in Saslow's piece of the strength that Mark and Jackie Barden show in campaigning for responsible legislation around guns. On one hand, it seems as if their efforts are futile in the face of both active opposition and passive ignoring of the problem, but on the other, the Bardens are working towards something important so perhaps the odds of their success don't matter as much as the end goal itself.

All in all, it was great work by Saslow that was both difficult to read and an important and revealing story.