Political Ironist: The Least Protected

October 30, 2016 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

From his photograph, Jacob Hall appeared to be a happy little boy.  He was the six-year-old who died last month in South Carolina after being shot on his school’s playground by an angry teenager who killed his father and wounded two others.  According to his mother, he intended to make a difference in this world.

“He was going to show people how we were brought to this world to love each other, not to hate,” she said.

The death of a child, random or intentional, is incomprehensible and inconsolable.  But it was a gun that killed this little boy who was doing what most little boys do at his age – play innocently while believing that danger, much less death, was not anywhere near him. As egregious the act was and shocked we are at the loss of this little boy, it would be easy to assuage our grief by railing at how a 14-year-old gets his hands on a gun.

That’s a tired question bringing only effete answers. Mostly, it is a defense mechanism to titrate the grief and horror of Jacob’s death. We now are resigned to the fact that rage and the easy access of guns intersect frequently in our culture.  We have allowed our acceptance of this dangerous equation to serve as the unforgiving price we pay to indulge our collective fear that we need to protect ourselves with unlimited and unchecked access to firearms.

From what?

Statistics show that if you aren’t engaged in some sort of criminal enterprise, and don’t live in a violent domestic situation, your odds are about one in 150,000 that you will be killed by a firearm. Therefore, if the reason for easy access to guns is to protect ourselves (the argument of 2nd amendment advocates) from what essentially is a myth, then the accessibility of guns do nothing more than allow an emotionally unbalanced person to do harm. Ironically, it is sometimes the innocents like Jacob Hall, who depend on us to protect them, that suffer.

Gun ownership is a right and should remain that way for anyone who is responsible and of clear judgment. And it also is our responsibility that an innocent child like Jacob Hall no longer be the unintended victim of our irrational fears, but instead be protected by the courage of our convictions to do what is right. The wish of Jacob – to make a difference – should be his legacy.

Written by Mike Bernos

Mike Bernos is an award-winning journalist, having written for among others, ABC News, Gannett News, USA Today, Florida Trend and Christian Science Monitor. He is the author of three books and a songwriter whose works appear on Pandora, Sirius XM, and Spotify. He lives in Riverside.