It’s September, and you know what that means! Shorter days, cooler temperatures, the leaves on the trees starting to turn from green to vibrant gold, purple and red. Pumpkins and apples, the smell of woodsmoke in the air, and … oh yes, those big yellow buses once again rumbling down the street – back to school! You won’t see a back-to-school ad like this in France, Germany, or the UK. You won’t even see an ad like this in Syria or Afghanistan. Only in America would you would ever see an advertisement like this one.
That was a Public Service Announcement by the Sandy Hook Promise, an anti-violence nonprofit founded by the parents of victims of the Sandy Hook shootings in 2012. Raw, jaw-dropping, disturbing? Yeah, it was meant to be. Only in America. What a claim to fame, eh?
This morning, I watched the neighborhood kids walking down the street, backpacks slung over their shoulders, heading to the corner to await the big yellow bus. I was thinking, as I watched, that I hope they all make it home safe and sound today. Only in America.
We do everything possible to make sure our kids are safe from the day they are born. We spend hundreds of dollars on the best car seat to protect them in case of a crash. We spend even more on monitoring systems so that we can listen for the slightest aberration in their breathing while they sleep. We sterilize their bottles and insist on only the purest ingredients in their food. We buy them helmets and other safety equipment to protect them in the event of a fall from a bicycle or skateboard. But the one thing the citizens of this nation refuse to do to protect their children is to demand Congress pass laws to limit guns in the hands of unqualified civilians.
I’ve often wondered, if Mitch McConnell’s grandchild were the victim of a school shooter, would he then be willing to talk about gun legislation?
Only in the U.S. will you find these …Yep … kid-themed bullet-proof backpacks. Wow, huh? According to a CBS News report …
“Demand for bulletproof and bullet-resistant backpacks and related products are soaring this back-to-school season amid growing fear about mass shooters.”
Of course, they are only useful if the child is shot in the back and if he happens to be wearing his backpack at the time he is shot. What next? Full body armour and bullet-proof helmets? Only in America.
Nearly a quarter of a million children have been affected by gun violence in their schools since Columbine in 1999. Think about that one for a minute. And we’re not talking about New York City, Houston, or Los Angeles, folks! We’re talking about Newtown, Connecticut, population 27,560. We’re talking about Parkland, Florida, population 32,202. Columbine, Colorado, population 24,280. The madness isn’t just in the cities … it has come right to a neighborhood near you. Or, maybe it has come to your neighborhood.
The NRA and our own lawmakers have suggested that arming teachers is the solution … more guns. But we all know it isn’t. Guns don’t belong in schools. Period. Not in the hands of teachers, and for damn sure not in the hands of students. Only in America would such a ludicrous proposal even be considered.
The only answer is serious gun regulation. You know it and I know it. Our legislators know it, but their children are safe, they go to posh private schools with the latest technology to protect their children, and thus their interests lie in lining their pockets with donations from the gun industry. What does it matter if a few of our children die? Only in America.
Think of your children, your grandchildren, the kid down the street who brought you a handful of wilting wildflowers last week “just because”. I think the video by Sandy Hook Promise should be required watching for every single lawmaker in this country. Let them think how they would feel if that little girl in the bathroom at the end were their own child. Only in America.