Robbie Parker’s 6-year-old daughter Emilie was killed at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut last year.
He tells Here & Now’s Robin Young that he’s seen part of the investigative report released yesterday by Connecticut prosecutors, which reveals some chilling details about shooter Adam Lanza, which prompted a new round of grieving within his family.
But Parker says there is a time “to let it go,” and “to live life in a way Emilie would be proud of.”
Interview Highlights: Robbie Parker
On Adam Lanza’s mother giving her son a check to buy a new gun
“That information is new, and every bit of information that you get from any of this, you have to go through that whole kind of grieving process and you have to try and understand it the best you can. You try and make sense of it in your head and then at some point you have to let it go. Because if you sit there and you dwell on it and you try to figure out who to blame or who to point the finger at, it doesn’t change the fact that my daughter is gone or these other kids and teachers are gone.”
On the Safe and Sound school safety initiative
“What transpired after December 14th was, at first there was such a sponsorship of unity and love across the country and everybody’s heart pouring out, and then it was a little terrifying to see how quickly those feelings metastasized into something more bitter and divisive. And gun control was a really, really hot topic. And that is something that I’ve never commented on publicly. Again, it’s not something that I really wanted to get into because it just sponsored so much division amongst people. As the months went on, we realized that nobody was really talking about the school safety aspect of it and changes that could be done immediately and that could take effect. You didn’t have to wait for a politician, you didn’t have to raise money, and you could start right now to make a big difference in the safety of our children.”
On how he talks with his two other daughters, who are 4 and 5, about their sister
“That’s probably the thing that has been the biggest weight on my shoulders, as their father, and Alissa’s shoulders as their mother. As far as what you tell them, you be very honest and you be very upfront with them, with their questions that they ask. You answer them and you be honest about it, but obviously at the same time, very age appropriate. And probably the most important thing about that is to make sure that I put myself in the most healthy place possible to know how to process all of these emotions and feelings and anger, so that I am in a good spot and so that when they come to me, that they have that confidence and faith in me that I will be able to give them what they need.”
- Robbie Parker, father of Newtown shooting victim, Emilie Parker, founder of Emilie Parker Art Connection and co-founder of the Safe and Sound school safety initiative.