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Our country’s cruel indifference to violence against children takes many forms

Children in the United States today live in a country where their lives, well-being and future are of little concern to many of the adults with the power and responsibility to protect them.

So many politicians in our country show cruel indifference to many other forces that hurt children, including poverty and the climate crisis. Their actions show how little they care about the world they are leaving to future generations or about protecting children from harm.

Those in power are doing practically nothing to slash air pollution that damages kids’ lungs and threatens to leave them and future generations with a ruined planet. The Supreme Court appears poised to take away abortion rights, but once children are born, too many elected leaders seem to have no interest in their welfare.

Most painful of all, some politicians have worked to allow virtually unfettered access to guns, giving just about anyone the ability to kill our children at school, church or synagogue, at the supermarket, the mall, or at home.

Many adults were still kids when a dozen students and a teacher were killed by gunfire at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999. At the time, a mass shooting at school seemed unthinkable. Now this kind of tragedy is a staple of American life, an endless cycle of horror, grief and recurrence.

A decade ago, a gunman killed 26 people at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. But the adults in Congress, who promised to take action, did nothing to prevent it from happening again. And it did, this time at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Once again, too many leaders’ response to another massacre has been tragically insufficient: to offer prayers and condolences. To call for safety drills. To blame mental illness. But they won’t even talk about limiting the guns that keep taking our children’s lives.

Parents should be able to tell their children that they will be safe and believe that there is a limit to the amount of violence that U.S. leaders will tolerate. But we can’t. And that’s the most helpless feeling of all.

The Day editorial board meets regularly with political, business and community leaders and convenes weekly to formulate editorial viewpoints. It is composed of President and Publisher Tim Dwyer, Managing Editor Izaskun E. Larrañeta, staff writer Erica Moser and retired deputy managing editor Lisa McGinley. However, only the publisher and editorial page editor are responsible for developing the editorial opinions. The board operates independently from the Day newsroom.

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