The morning after the Florida school shooting, I watched as my daughter showed my grandchildren how to protect themselves from a shooter by using their backpacks and books. Let that image sink in.

If you looked at the faces of the children who survived the Parkland shooting and the faces of the parents whose children were gunned down, you saw pain that was nearly palpable, even through a TV screen.

This is not a political issue. Children of both Democrats and Republicans are being murdered. Is fear of losing funding from the National Rifle Association more important to our representatives than protecting their constituents?

If you drive a car, you take a test, carry a license with your picture on it, register and inspect the vehicle every year, and you need to be mentally and physically capable of driving. If you leave your keys in the car and someone steals it, you are responsible. We take our shoes off and go through metal detectors because of one shoe bomb. Even the amount of liquid we take on a plane is limited. We rarely question these restrictions because we know they protect us.

Yet the NRA and the politicians they fund balk at any law proposed to protect our children from gun violence. We don’t require background checks of everyone, proof of mental stability or even that you aren’t on the terror watch list. Any private citizen can sell or give a gun to another without a trace, no gun safety or gun use training required. There are no regulations on how many rounds a gun can fire or how large an arsenal you own. In many states, you are free to carry a gun with you in public.

We’re only asking for common-sense laws that may spare your child or grandchild. Laws won’t protect everyone, but they’re bound to work better than backpacks and books.

Anita Bailey


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