Letter: Children are aware

Farm Forum

Perk Washenberger believes that President Barack Obama acted inappropriately in presenting his moderate proposals for gun control surrounded by young children (column, Jan. 25). According to Washenberger, Obama “destroy(ed) what should be the innocence of childhood by using very young kids as political tools to explain such profoundly disturbing subjects” as mass shootings.

Surely growing up in a society where massacres of school children occur with some regularity is more damaging to a “blissful childhood” than a president working to ensure that children don’t have to fear being gunned down at school (or anywhere else). Children are aware of “such profoundly disturbing subjects” because America’s laws and culture make the threat of mass murder a reality.

As for Washenberger’s concern for the use of children as “political tools,” I agree: preventing gun violence against children should not be a political issue. Unfortunately, it is, because only Democrats are willing to take the political risks to stand up to a powerful gun lobby and a paranoid segment of the population that responds to the tragic reality of American’s epidemic of gun violence with the disturbing fantasy of needing guns to protect themselves from some imagined tyranny.

Anthony Cantor

Toronto, Ontario, Canada