For the last time, think of the children

Andrew Atkins

I’ll be honest: Sometimes, writing about what President Trump does, says or tweets feels a little too easy. Low-hanging fruit and all that, right?

“You know, I really believe — you don’t know until you test it — but I really believe I’d run in there, even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Jen Kirby quotes the president for Vox.

President Trump, of course, was talking about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. A 19-year-old man who entered the school shot and killed 17 people. Three of those people were older than 18. One was 18, three were 17, one was 16, two were 15 and seven were 14.

All of them were robbed of their lives.

And, of course, President Trump came along with something detestable to say.

First of all, as Jugal Patel reports for the New York Times, over 400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings since Sandy Hook. 138 of those people died, and sixteen of those shootings were considered mass shootings.

President Trump, you’re right. Nobody knows what they’d do in a crisis like Parkland until it happens. But do I believe the same man using his Twitter account to lambast each and every person who has ever hurt his feelings would have ever run into an active shooting site?

Absolutely not.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders stepped in to defend her boss, saying that he may have meant that he would have stepped in as a leader if he was there. But then, why did he say he would have actively rushed into the situation unarmed? Thanks, anyway, I guess.

But no, President Trump, you could have done something before this. You and every other politician could have.

Except none of you did, did you?

And people are dying. They’re dying every single day. Our parents, our uncles, our siblings, our children, our friends. As popular as the aphorism “fight fire with fire” is, we have to fight fire with water, because that’s how fires work.

To his credit, President Trump is working to regulate bump stocks. Too little, too late. Considering semi-automatic weapons can still fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, banning bump stocks doesn’t really do much to solve the gun-violence problem.

I’ll admit, I waffle back and forth between gun control and banning guns. I grew up around firearms, and my stepdad got me a gun for my 18th and 21st birthday.

Some say that the moment nobody did anything about Sandy Hook is the moment the nation decided it was OK for children to die. I don’t know if I believe in that. I don’t know if I believe in giving up hope.

But I do know that if we decide to prohibit guns in the U.S., I’d do it gladly.

If not for me and mine, then for you and yours.

And please, for the last time, think of the children.

Andrew Atkins is a columnist. Contact him at [email protected].