Jim Crawford: Children deserve protection

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2022

America has decided, and the decision is that we must accept that sending our children to school may end their lives in a violent death, and no child is safe.

There is nothing we can do about it because, as our Republican friends tell us, the guns (over 400 million) are innocent. The assault rifles, the favorite weapon of mass murders of our kids, and their large magazines holding so many lethal bullets are innocent and cause no deaths.

So, gun regulation would be useless and we must accept that the most innocent, the most cherished, and the most loved must just go to school living with the knowledge that nothing their parents can say or do can take away the fear, for it is real.

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And the loss, the loss that never ends, the tears followed by unbearable sadness and held back only when memories can find the best days to recall endlessly, because all the future days are lost for every child murdered. And there is nothing that has happened to end the horror, to protect these innocent lives. And nothing will happen because the guns are protected, but the children are not.

Yes, the guns are protected by laws passed by Republicans that make it impossible to sue the gun manufacturers for their contributions to the deaths of our children. And the guns are protected, allowing 18-year-olds to buy weapons of mass destruction, weapons that not only kill, but maim the small bodies beyond recognition. And the guns are protected by manufacturers that advertise the macho image that guns make young men more powerful, more male. It is too much to bear, but the guns are protected, the children are not.

Yet year after year, our children are murdered again and again and Republicans not only refuse to consider laws to protect the innocent, they campaign wearing, holding and shooting guns as their own image is shaped as stronger with a gun in hand.

And now, once again, Republicans are meeting with Democrats in response to the latest carnage, aware of the public outrage and intending to do nothing to change anything. They may have a group hug in a solemn moment together, but, at the end of the day, Republicans will once again find the guns innocent and leave the kids exposed to death daily.

Republicans will argue that we only need to turn our schools into fortresses, our hospitals, our public events, and everything will be OK, because the guns are protected; not the public, not the children, not the nurses and not you. And, after constructing Fortress America so everyone can have guns designed for mass murder, the only thing we need to do is identify the mass murderers in advance of their actions. That should be easier than taking away any guns of murder or gun magazines, right?

There is only one path to rational action. That path is to outlaw the production and sale of assault weapons, the prohibition of large magazines that no one needs, and the prohibition of producing any shell that might fit an assault weapon already in use. Additionally, there must be a waiting period for the purchase of any gun, a training class requirement for the use and protection of the weapon, a background check for every firearm sold, public and private, and a federal red flag law. That is a starting point for saving the children, for if we genuinely want the children protected, we must stop protecting only the guns.

In today’s political environment, you must not elect Republicans unless they promise to stop protecting the guns and start protecting the children.

Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.