Lewis Diuguid

On the eve of the Sandy Hook tragedy, guns still more protected than children

The tragically sad, one-year anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is Saturday.

Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children’s Defense Fund, explains well on this Friday the 13th the ongoing horror of the inaction of Congress and most state lawmakers to address mental health needs and to do anything to end gun violence in the United States. People should be outraged that we do more to protect guns than children.

“The only thing more morally and politically obscene than the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that took place one year ago is our complicity in the nation’s destructive culture of gun violence that kills or injures a child or teen every 30 minutes,” Edelman said. “Every 30 minutes.

“We must all follow the example of the Newtown families and channel our shock and grief into action. The Newtown families are standing up and turning their pain into a mission for common-sense gun safety laws and improvements in mental health services to keep preventable tragic events like Sandy Hook and the daily toll of child gun deaths from happening again.

“We must all act with urgency and persistence to protect children, not guns. Sandy Hook was no fluke.

“The number of children and teens killed by guns in 2010 was nearly five times the number of U.S. soldiers killed in action that year in Iraq and Afghanistan. The tragic relentless taking of life by gun violence will continue if Congress and state legislators remain silent and do not act to end this public health crisis.

“It is time for every parent, grandparent, and faith and community leader to stand up to Congress and say, ‘Enough — protect children, not guns now!’”

The time is now.