Kids and Debate on Gun Control

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ObamaIn the wake of
the Newtown tragedy where 20 children lost their lives to a gunman,
kids have taken center stage in the debate about gun control. And
both sides of the debate question these tactics.

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Some believe that the NRA was wrong to point out that President
Obama’s children have armed security guards in their schools.
There’s been a lot of controversy about using President Obama’s
children in this anti-gun-control ad: “Are the President’s Kids More Important Than
Yours?”
 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie called it
“reprehensible.” The White House called it “repugnant and
cowardly.” 

Yet the White House released this video of children who’d written letters to
President Obama for gun control. Children were included in the
President’s January 16 press conference. When Obama signed 23 gun
control orders, he had these children stand behind him. He
high-fived them, then signed the orders and hugged them
afterward.

Is it exploitative to use children in the media in these
ways? 

Because of the horrific mass murders of the children in Newtown,
is there any other way to have this conversation without talking
about–and involving–children in some way? I grew up in a
“children are to be seen and not heard” era. As an advocate for
today’s children, I actually appreciate that children are being
seen and heard in this debate. 

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I appreciate that the conversation orbits what’s right for
children and their schools and their future.

Are there better ways to do this? Most likely. But I appreciate
that the images of children we’re seeing now are not the images of
precious slain children, but the images of children whose lives are
worth fighting for.

This isn’t to say whether I’m pro or anti gun control or gun
rights. I’m simply saying that children have a rightful place in
this debate since so many of them (in addition to Newtown) have
been victims of a broken system.

 

 

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 26 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as Group’s Children’s Ministry Champion. She’s responsible for development and innovation of new resources.

4 Comments

  1. Children's Ministry Magazine

    Very surprised that you would choose to show the entire video to show on a Christian site. These newscasters did not use very professional language. I would have appreciated just hearing what the children had to say and nothing of what the newscasters had to say.
    As far as Obama, I personally would not promote him on ANY Christian site. President Obama on Tuesday night addressed the annual meeting of NARAL saying "we celebrate the Roe v Wade decision" and praised NARAL's work. Then, only 36 hours later, at the Annual Prayer Breakfast told the room full of Pastors and Christians "as Christians, we place our faith in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Christ".
    Quite a contradiction, don't you think? Too bad Obama doesn't see it himself.
    Yes, I think it is exploitive to use children in this public way. There are other ways that children could be involved and that they could have their voices heard without standing on a stage with Obama so that Obama could use them as a tool for political gain.
    Politics aside, I hear your heart for children and honour that. I do appreciate the work that Group does to spread the gospel to the children in a creative and effective way.

    Colleen

  2. Children's Ministry Magazine
    Chris Yount Jones on

    Colleen,
    Thank you so much for your response. I appreciate your perspective and apologize for the full video having offensive language.
    Christine

  3. Children's Ministry Magazine

    Chris, Thanks for compiling the information and for allowing us to read and watch actual footage. We like the fact that you write and post actual facts and not just your opinion. Hundreds of my volunteers compliment your honesty and style. We're big boys and girls and are not offended my the remarks of those you are covering. Keep up the good work.
    Chad in Houston, Tx

  4. Children's Ministry Magazine
    Chris Yount Jones on

    Chad,
    Thank you for your encouraging words. I was actually considering not blogging any more since I'm so inconsistent. Your words, though, encouraged me to keep it up. Thanks!

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