Such an admirable goal: if we could save the life of just one child, any cost would be worthwhile. Banning semi-automatic weapons (pistols, rifles and shotguns) is only a beginning. Too many children die because of bullets fired from revolvers. Let’s ban revolvers. After all, if we could save just one little child, any cost is worthwhile.
President Obama touched many hearts as he was surrounded by the group of children for his January 16 TV photo-op. Maybe he should have upped the ante and incorporated images of children who have died in Iraq, Afghanistan or even Vietnam. Then, too, he might have included the Palestinian children who have been killed by weapons fire from our ally, Israel. We, both the US government and US citizens contributing private funds, do provide much of the money to pay for Israeli weaponry or fund its development. In fact, many of the parents who cry out for weapons bans also contribute money to the Jewish government, dollars that are used to fund weaponry that kills children in Palestine, Lebanon and other countries that face Israeli ire.
Maybe the children of people from other nations don’t count. Maybe the president and his supporters don’t consider Afghani, Iraqi or Palestinian children significant enough to consider banning mines, bombs, rockets, drones, fully automatic weapons and other devices of death any more than our past presidents considered banning napalm in Vietnam.
Then, too, if saving just one little child is important, maybe we should consider health care. Or poverty. The number of children living in poverty has increased 33 percent since 2007, not in Palestine or Iraq or Afghanistan but here in the United States. Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty has increased 30 percent in California. Read this report if you want more. Or this one, by US Senator Bernie Sanders. Pinning a tag to the number of children who live (and die) in poverty in the United States each year, each month…each day…is difficult to do. Poverty-related fatality has many faces, including malnutrition, lack of medical care or even high crime rates resulting in children who die from from gunfire.
The list of how we could save that one child might include increasing the penalties for driving an automobile under the influence of alcohol or drugs, limiting the amount of power of an auto engine so we aren’t producing or buying cars capable of 150 miles an hour on roads designed for a maximum speed of 60 or much less. Almost all modern vehicle have a computer at the heart of the power control system. Maybe a receiver could be placed in the computer, one that could be signalled to limit speed to 30 or 35 in a residential area. Likely just as many children die in auto accidents as by gunfire. After all, 40,000 people die each year in vehicle accidents on American roads. Surely a statistically significant number of these deaths are children. Limiting speed, auto performance and driving while impaired would surely save more than one child. And, truthfully, who needs a vehicle that was designed for the race track, not for crowded streets?
Questions go on an on, answers: well, not quite so simple. Saving just one child is a noble goal if only it were meaningful. If President Obama (or anyone else) truly wants to save the lives of little children, lets include some additional methodology. Let’s increase funding for alleviating poverty. Let’s make our world safe in realistic, achievable means. As it is, using that one child as a reason for doing something that likely involves political goals of controlling an unruly populace is insulting to everyone who reads the words or hears them uttered.