Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Gun Control Is A Must, Let’s Save Our Children.

February 21, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( The United States is failing in what surely is the first duty of government — protecting our children from threats that they cannot deal with themselves. Voters and politicians are failing our children.

After 17 students and teachers were killed and a dozen wounded on Valentine’s Day by an unbalanced 19-year-old firing an AR-15 rifle at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the students vowed no more as they buried their friends.

Young organizers are reaching out to students across the country to enlist them in a national drive to force action on sensible gun laws. As a first step, they’ve called for a national demonstration in Washington on March 24 called March for Our Lives.

More demonstrations across the country will come. “We want this to stop. We need this to stop. We are protecting guns more than people,” said Emma Gonzalez, 18, one of five core organizers, as reported in The New York Times. “We are not trying to take people’s guns away; we are trying to make sure we have gun safety.” Gonzalez, a student at the Florida school, invited politicians from any party to join, but she warned: “We don’t want anybody who is funded by the NRA. We want people who are going to be on the right side of history.”

In a stunning opinion piece in The New York Times, Christine Yared, 15, a freshman at the school who huddled in a closet when the shooting broke out, wrote that her parents settled in Parkland because the school had a “stellar reputation and because we thought that it was a safe place to live.”

She called on people to “work together beyond political parties to make sure this never happens again.”

People visit a makeshift memorial setup in front of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Monday in Parkland, Florida. Police arrested and charged 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for the Feb. 14 shooting that killed 17 people.

She argued sensibly: “If a person is not old enough to be able to rent a car or buy a beer, then he should not be able to legally purchase a weapon of mass destruction. This could have been prevented. If the killer had been properly treated for his mental illness, maybe this would not have happened. If there were proper background checks, then those who should not have guns would not have them.”

A recent study using data from the World Health Organization and the global Human Mortality Database, found that America is now “the most dangerous of wealthy nations for a child to be born into.” Higher infant mortality — high particularly among the poor in states that refused to expand Medicaid — accounts for some of that. Gun violence accounts for much of it.

The U.S. suffers 21,000 “excess deaths” — deaths above the average — for children under 19 every year. As one writer noted, think of that as three Sandy Hook or three Stoneman Douglas shootings a day, every day of every year. We have failed our children.

Yet, President Donald Trump responded to the latest school shooting with “prayers and condolences,” never mentioning the word gun. After he was elected, he went to the National Rifle Association convention. The NRA had spent millions in support of his election.

“You came through for me,” he pledged, “I will come through for you.” There is no more brazen statement of the corruption of our politics. Since 1968, America has lost more lives to gun violence than we have in all the wars of our nation’s history from the Revolutionary War forward.

Our leaders are failing in their duty to protect our children. The NRA and the gun lobby reward politicians who block sensible reforms, and punish those who promote them.

A majority of Americans support sensible gun laws. Yet no progress is made. Politicians fear that they will risk their seats if they oppose the gun lobby. They choose their own political career over the duty to protect our children. After each mass shooting, there is outrage and tears, but no action.

Perhaps the young organizers from Parkland can break through. They can reach millions of their peers through social media. Their passion is clear. It is not partisan, not liberal or conservative, but moral. At 18, they can register and vote in large numbers.

Even now, they can organize marches and demonstrations, do research that exposes who is on the take and who is in the pocket of the gun lobby, run registration and voter education drives. Our leaders have failed our children. Our parties won’t do the hard work needed. The news media will soon turn to new outrages and new stories.

Our children are at risk. Now they are calling all of us to account. Maybe they have the grit and the moral clarity to break through the icy indifference of those who claim to lead us. Christine Yared wrote: “We need to expose the truth about gun violence and the corruption around guns.

Please. If you have any heart, or care about anyone or anything, you need to be an advocate for change. Don’t let any more children suffer like we have. Don’t continue this cycle. This may not seem relevant to you. But next time it could be your family, your friends, your neighbors. Next time, it could be you.” She and her classmates have witnessed the unbearable. Let us heed their call.

Written by Jesse L. Jackson, Sr.

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3 Responses to “Gun Control Is A Must, Let’s Save Our Children.”
  1. Anirban (aka Abner) Bhattacharya says:

    Former Detective Craw-guns make it easier to kill. Yes, people commit assault and battery along with murder using other weapons such as knives and 1 can kill with their own hands, but with guns, it’s just easier for some1 to commit murder. Many to most murders are passion crimes committed by ordinary people-2nd Degree Murder cases such as a man who has a quarrel with his wife after he finds out that she has been having an affair and he takes out a gun and shoots her dead. If the gun had not been there, then possibly he would have had time to cool down. But with a gun, it made it easier for him to pull the trigger in a rage and then spend many years in prison for killing his wife.

    Owning a gun should be a privilege not a right. If people want to own handguns and rifles, then they should go through same reqt. as owning and driving a car, such as licensing, training and insurance. People who don’t understand guns owning guns must not own guns for the same reason as people who don’t understand cars must not drive.

    If people want to own a hunting rifle to hunt for food, then require marksmanship for hunters, so that it’s a fast kill. While I support animal welfare, I don’t go to the extreme as PETA does. Though PETA would differ, I would rather see a hunter quickly shoot and kill a quail, duck, deer or rabbit and eat their kill vs. a python killing a rabbit. Yes, the python is doing what is nature, but nature can be cruel.

    I can tolerate hunting wild goats, deer, ducks, pheasants, hares, rabbits & squirrels for food as long as animal is quickly killed for food. But I can’t tolerate hunting animals just because it’s there & poaching is bad. They must punish people who poach.

    I am a vegetarian but could not be vegan because I like dairy and eggs. Life would be easier if people were vegetarians, but I don’t pass judgment on those who eat meat as most of the world eats meat and is not vegetarian like I am. I don’t pass judgment on people who hunt wild goats, deer, ducks, pheasants, hares, rabbits & squirrels for food as long as animal is quickly killed for food. We must support animal welfare.

    It’s best that guns are owned mainly by police, security guards and military.
    There’s no need for people to own military weapons and ordinary citizens must not be allowed to own them. Machine guns, tanks, flamethrowers must be for military only just as ICBM, atomic weapons, etc. belong to military. Guns and other weapons are there to kill and it’s the military who must own the most destructive weapons. If people want to own handguns and rifles, then again, go through the same reqt. as getting a car.

    My interest with guns and other weapons are limited to military especially watching military programs such as the Big Picture (TV show presented by US Army from the Korean War until 1971), USMC Presents, US Navy presents and others, dealing with topics such as the 2 World Wars, Korean War, Vietnam War. While alot can be said, on the Big Picture, 3 of the best commenters they had on that program were Capt. Carl G. Zimmerman, Sgt. Stuart A. Queen and Sgt. Mansfield.

    Many people including educated people do not know much about the Korean War and many do not know that the Korean War did not end in a peace treaty but in a 1953 armistice which has been violated a few times by North Korea. Many do not know that during the Vietnam War, North Korea sometimes violated the 1953 armistice by doing attacks on American Soldiers and their South Korean allies south of the 38 Parallel DMZ.

    Big Picture also discusses topics such as nuclear powered submarines, small nuclear reactors, Ranger training, training military dogs, Berlin Airlift, Berlin Wall, Cuba Missile Crisis, etc. The USMC, US Navy Presents and USAF presents did shows on these topics, as well as the Korean War and Vietnam War.

    Finally, the military has used atomic energy since the 1950s. President Dwight David Eisenhower came up with the idea of atoms for peace. I support nuclear/atomic energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We must use Small Modular nuclear reactors (SMR) and we must use Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor. I also support hydroelectric dams and geothermal. American Lung Association supports nuclear/atomic energy since that gives cleaner air and benefits asthmatics. Professor Steven Arthur Pinker supports atomic/nuclear energy. There are wildlife experts who support nuclear/atomic energy.

  2. Trevo Craw says:


    I just spoke with a former detective and firearms instructor about the school shootings and part of the soluition is arming the teachers. I agree with Trump and he does as well. Most of those who disagree either fear guns or don’t know squat about public safety.

    Nobody is suggesting arm all teachers. And sayting teachers can barely control their classes, their emotions and students is short changing teachers. If that is true, maybe they are incompetent, don’t have the resources and support they need from upper level administration or teaching is not for them.

    The solution is logistically simple, including who will pay for the training, where the firearams will come from and who will carry them concealed. There are many former police officers and ex military in school teqacher and administrative positions now. Utilize them and arm them. They already know about weapons and the gun range. They likely have personal firearms already. I can practically guarantee you that a former police officer or ex military person has a firearms, much more so than not. Simply have them register their handgun with the local school resource officer who in turn forwards the info to his department.

    School systems can add a quota standard to their hiring practices of how many teachers and/or administrators they hire must havve former military or law enforcement background. Simple as well. Again, people who are against this likely are afraid of guns or have no knowledge of public safety.

    If a shooter knows people in a building are definitely armed and he does not know who, this fact will definitely impact the shooter before he enters the building. Of course arming teachers is only a part of the solution but it is a big part of the solution.

    Food for thought, there are likely already teachers or administrators in schools who are carrying concealed weapons. I know numerous people who do or who did. Fortunately in Georgia the governor hadd the good sense to allow college students to carry weapons on campus if theey have permits. And the numbers of accidents or incidents have not shot up like some thought they were.

    Stop being scared of guns and allow them to be used to save lives instead of taking them senselessly. In Columbine, Parkland, Aurora and Sandy Hook, a few armed and well trained people in a school would havve surprised and taken out the shooter, you better believe it.

    And for those who say “most of the time even police do not shoot well at the range or in crisis situations”, those officers simply need to be required to spend more time on the gun range practicing monthly.

  3. Pelvo White, Jr. says:

    The AR15 did not get itself down from the shelf, load itself, and go to the high school in Parkland, Florida and kill people. A person did the planning, purchased the high powered rifle, and did the killing. We do not need more gun control, we need more control over the violent mentally ill in our society. It is thoroughly unreasonable to blame a mindless machine for the terror that took place in Parkland, Florida. Florida has enough laws and political actors in place to help prevent school shootings. We need more money to do what need to be done. We have congress, and the federal government, governor of the state of Florida, the state legislature, circuit court judges, state prosecutors, county sheriffs, local police officers, security agencies, school boards, Department of Children and Families, other professional psychiatric evaluators of children and adult behaviors. These agencies should coordinate their efforts to create a law enforcement program through which to thoroughly investigate those children, and their families who have been, or are presently involved in violence other than self-defense in their homes, on school campuses, and, or in our communities. These individuals and their families should be thoroughly investigated by the proper state and local authorities and a determination should be made by state prosecutors, and a circuit court judge as to whether these violent individuals should be legally charged as adults, or determined delinquent, brought before the bar of justice, and possibly committed, or sentenced to detention, or incarceration within the appropriate juvenile, federal, state, or contracted facility. It is time that a more thorough effort be made to legally identify, and adjudicate family members, to include delinquent children, that are contributing to juvenile delinquency, and also to the criminality of violent youthful adults.

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