Protecting our children

Dear Editor:

I write today because I am concerned about protecting our nation’s children. I don’t know why, but people bring their young children to political rallies. Maybe these parents believe that they are giving their children the opportunity to experience history. Maybe they don’t understand what is scary to children.

I am a retired teacher and mother of three grown sons. I believe that adults are responsible for minimizing trauma in the lives of our young ones. When they are babies, we hold them on our laps and comfort them when they get vaccinated. We help our children talk about their fears and insecurities to empower them.

As I watch political rallies that feature lines like “send them back” and “you could only get away with that in the panhandle,” I pay particular attention to the expressions on the faces of the children in the audience. Look closely. You may see what I see. The children are confused and scared and look like they have a lot of questions.

In the midst of the current chaos, we seem to have forgotten about the children. The frequency of mass shootings keeps escalating. We “harden” targets like schools and we practice active shooter drills in classrooms and cafeterias across the nation. Gun advocates tell us that these measures will protect the children. But there have been at least 250 mass shootings in our country this year.

There are more military assault rifles in the homes of our citizens than in our military arsenals. Our elected lawmakers can’t reach consensus on banning these awful weapons or instituting universal background checks.

Children are scared. Some are having bad dreams. But do we really care about them? If we do, then we would be able to make progress and stop traumatizing them with the fear that a shooter is coming to their school to kill them and their teachers and friends.

Gail D’Urso, Carlisle

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