Another Perspective

Shill Game

The great cooptation of our children by the president.

By 1.25.13

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The hostage crisis goes on. Not the ones in Mali and Algeria; those have ended awfully. I refer to the President and all his friends in the Senate holding innocent children hostage in their quest for the moral high ground on gun violence.

The President put on a typical D.C. dog-and-pony show last week to announce his new initiatives on firearms. He surrounded himself on the stage with lovely young boys and girls, who were no doubt thrilled to enjoy such a privilege. They were being praised for writing letters to the White House asking for the President to save their lives from bad guys. No one could possibly fault them for doing something so sweet and innocent.

Instead of educating those youngsters that there are different ideas about how their safety can best be preserved, the man to whom we entrusted the safety of the free world chose to pander. Essentially he endorsed them as major policy geniuses who had eclipsed their tender years by penetrating through all the humbug and arriving at the master plan: take guns away from ordinary citizens.

Nobody explained to those children that on the very same day as the Newtown shooting, a deranged slasher attacked a public school in China, stabbing 22 kids. Not only that, there has been a series of such attacks in Chinese schools over the past several years. It turns out that taking one weapon away is not a guarantee of security for students against overwrought attackers.

By putting those children out front, the President essentially co-opted them to his cause. He sent a message to the country that people who support his measures are gentle folks who love children. Those who oppose his approach do not care about the welfare of our youth.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Gun owners as a class do not have fewer children than gun control types. They do not invest less time and money and energy in their children. In fact, I would love to see someone do an experiment. Take the NRA mailing list and send them a solicitation to donate to Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, then do the same for a list of equal size populated with gun control activists. The results might be instructive.

Furthermore, many well-intentioned individuals studying the question of child safety believe that trying to achieve that by gun control is a chimera, but using armed guards is feasible. The first approach calls for removing several billion weapons in a country that has never been able to control drugs or human beings from crossing its borders. It hopes that police far away will be called and will arrive in time to enter a scene from the outside to take control. The second approach calls for a teacher or principal or security guard, some nice decent person, to be equipped to defend from the inside. Sounds much more doable to a simple layman like myself.

Now the Vice President, Senator Feinstein, and others have picked up the ball to push their major gun initiative forward, always citing the children as the ones asking for their safety to be guaranteed in this way.

During the 1996 Presidential election, the Town Hall debate began with a teacher saying to Bob Dole, “We can learn so much from our children. What would you answer to a 6-year-old in my class who asked…?” At that moment, my heart sank in genuine despair. We send teachers into classes with youngsters age 6 and they are going there to learn from the kids? We then pass the word along to the leaders of the country so they know how to govern? Seventeen years later, my worst fears have been confirmed.

How about if we send all the kids back to class and we teach them true history from true textbooks? How about if we teach them how to think and how not to be gulled by surface impressions? How about the adults get together and debate policy using adult-level education and mature intelligence?

Here is my plan. Let's discuss these issues in depth and with real evidence. Only adults in the room. Parental guidance suggested.

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About the Author

Jay D. Homnick, commentator and humorist, is a frequent contributor to The American Spectator.