Before Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took the stage at the White House, these four children filed onto the stage escorted by their parents. These children were there to bare witness to the President’s speech, his signing of the official proposals and to also be honored for their own words on the subject.
Obama opened his gun control speech saying:
“It’s been over the month since the tragedy in Newtown, we have heard from so many and none have affected us more than the families of those gorgeous children and their teachers and guardians who were lost, so we are grateful to you for taking the time to be here and we are recognizing their memories in part by doing everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“We also heard from some unexpected people. In particular, I started to getting a lot of letters from kids. Four of them are here today, Grant Fritz, Julia Stokes, Hinna Zeejah, Taejah Goode. They are pretty representative of the messages that I got. These are some pretty smart letters from some pretty smart young people.”
He first quoted Hinna, a third grader who wrote, “I feel terrible for the parents who lost their children. I love my country, I want everybody to be happy and safe.”
Eight-year-old Grant wrote, “I think there should be some changes, we should learn from what happened at Sandy Hook. I feel really bad.” He added, “there should be some changes in the law with guns. It’s a free country, but I recommend there needs be [sic] a limit with guns. Please don’t let people own machine guns or other powerful guns like that. I think there should be a good reason to get a gun. There should be a limit about [sic] how many guns a person can own.”
The oldest of the bunch, 11-year-old Julia, wrote, “I’m not scared for my safety, I’m scared for others. I have four brothers and sisters and I know I would not be able to bare the thought of losing any of them. ” She added in her letter that, “My opinion is it should be very hard for people to buy guns…I beg you to work very hard to make guns not allowed, not just for me, but for the whole United States.”
And Taejah Goode wrote, “I am very sad about the children who lost their lives in Conn. So I thought I would write to you to STOP gun violence. Thank you, Mr. President.”
After he finished quoting the letters, Obama shared his reaction:
“These are our kids. This is what they are thinking about. So what we should be thinking about is about how to care for them, to shield them from harm. Give them the tools they need to grow up, and do everything they are capable of doing, not just to pursue their own dreams but to help build this country. This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change.”
Do you think having children joining him on stage, and making our children be central to the argument for gun law changes will be effective?
For a great breakdown of the proposal check out Monica Bielanko’s piece on the topic right here.
Photo Source: Facebook/Barack Obama