Fox Contributor Attacks Obama For "Exploiting" Kids While Endorsing The NRA Using The President's ChildrenUsing Children To Pass Gun Laws Is Grotesque And Childish
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 16: U.S. President B...
President Barack Obama embraces Grant Fritz and other children who wrote letters to the White House about gun violence after Obama signed a series of executive orders about the administraton's new gun law proposals in the Eisenhower Executive Office building January 16, 2013 in Washington, DC.(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Parents are often asked by their children to solve unsolvable problems. When woken by nightmares, my daughter seeks reassurance that bad dreams won’t return when she closes her eyes again. I offer a fresh pillow, inviting her to think that somehow it will foster only happy visions.
If I cajoled them to, my kids could scratch out some tear-jerking pleas for the President to put an end to nightmares, lost stuffed animals, and illnesses of all kinds. Yet that really shouldn’t be the impetuous for nation-altering legislation. Grown-ups—including politicians—may have a duty to offer children reassurance after a trauma, but we cannot pretend that we have the power to wipe bad things out of existence.
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Using children’s pleas to end violence is about the most grotesque rhetorical tool available to politicians. Our natural instincts are to want to shield children from life’s pain. Yet fixating on our desperate desire to protect children from harm distracts from the truly important, adult business of assessing what solutions are actually available.
So it is with the gun debate. As if the massacre of children in Newtown, Connecticut wasn’t emotional enough, the President is now posing with children and publicizing kids’ pleas for the government to take action to prevent gun crimes. The Administration’s messaging strategy is clear: If you care about children, then you’ll do what we say and support new regulations and restrictions. Never mind questions about whether there is any evidence that the new restrictions will actually disarm would-be killers. We have to do something. You are either with us and the children, or you are on the side of mentally-ill, child-murdering maniacs.
This is not an intelligent way to approach public policy.