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A War on Children

Wed, 06/01/2022 - 12:18


Here we are again — after each mass shooting, calls resume for stronger gun-control laws. Yet the killing goes on. There is a war on children and people of color in the United States that must be stopped. Hope alone for answers from state legislatures and the federal government will not save lives if a shooter decides that today is the day, or tomorrow, or a week from now, or next month. The attacks, particularly on schools, must be seen as a present threat, one that requires an immediate response. There is a pestilence raging outside school walls from which America’s children must be protected. Both short and long-term solutions are needed.

Long term, a renewal of a nationwide ban on assault weapons is called for. Other steps, such as background checks, age limits on gun sales, and violence intervention, make sense, too. Tragically, none of this is new. Gun ownership itself has become one weapon in this country’s political culture battles, dimming the prospect of change. We repeat the same grim statistics over and over and click “send” to email messages to senators. Voices on the left confuse matters as well by focusing on legislative answers that may never come while deriding protective measures, such as school security. So, while we are locked in this endless debate, the deaths continue.

It is shocking that it is far more challenging to enter an American office park than it is for a shooter to get onto school grounds. Gatehouses and fences are common in corporate settings, but not in the places we trust with our most vulnerable. Few would want to see the places we educate our children become fortresses, but this is needed. Armed security at schools can be easily outgunned by attackers’ superior firepower. In a nation swimming in guns, schools must make additional protection a top priority. Checkpoints and hardened perimeters are needed now, and Washington must provide funding for the places that cannot afford them themselves. Enlisting the National Guard may be called for, too.

As we push for new laws, we must also acknowledge that they will not come in time — and act boldly with whatever methods possible to protect children.


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