In 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.
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
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
Is it exploitative to use children in the media in these
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.
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.