The gun control debate reopened with President Obama's signing of 23 executive actions he claims will protect our children from gun violence. Yet his discussion is still about guns, not about children or violence.
It is true a lot of children are victims of gun violence. Overwhelmingly, these youngsters are minority residents of the inner city, frequently the victims of gang members. These are children who have been failed by their family, their school, their church and their mayor (who, it turns out, is a Democrat if they live in one of the top 10 gun violence cities).
A quick reading of the 23 executive actions signed turn up many that read like "tell the Secretary of _ to do his job." Or numbers 2, 16 and 17, which suggest doctors should divulge patient information to law enforcement.
Number 7 calls for the development of a federal "safe and responsible gun ownership campaign," duplication of a long-time NRA program that cost American taxpayers nothing. Many states have required NRA hunter safety education courses for years - I took one when I bought my first license 55 years ago.
Increased background checks, renewal of the expired assault weapons ban and limiting magazine capacity were mentioned in the President's speech as steps that would "shield our children from violence."
Nothing proposed today by Mr. Obama will change anything in Chicago, where more than 500 people were shot last year. If Congress passes laws President Obama has called for, the pressure on inner city youth to give up illegal guns will not increase at all, yet my neighbors and I will lose another bit of our gun freedom.
Also missing in today's list of executive actions was any mention of violence in movies, television or video games. Any TV program list or movie marquee contains a long menu of violence. The visual carnage available to youngsters is mind-numbingly repetitious: beating, shooting, blood and car chases. Every year the explosions get larger and the gore more graphic, yet the President's proposed changes ignore it.
We have witnessed the birthing with great fanfare of proposals with little new and nothing to change the violence as it exists today. Inner city youth will still be killed by the hundreds using illegal guns. Enforcement will continue to be spotty and inconsistent.
When President Obama said of our children today that "we should be thinking about our responsibility to shield them from harm" I could not help but note that virtually everything he called for was addressed at guns and gun owners, not children or violence. I certainly hope Vice President Joe Biden has something else to show for his efforts this past month, because the package we were handed today showed no creativity or originality. We've heard it before and it does not shield the kids who are most at risk.