The (Way Too Many) Kids Whose Lives Have Been Upended by Gun Violence

The (Way Too Many) Kids Whose Lives Have Been Upended by Gun Violence

CHILDREN UNDER FIRE An American Crisis At the National School Safety Conference in an Orlando hotel in 2018, the Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox surveyed the wares of “entrepreneurs, corporations and charlatans” peddling various inventions designed to mitigate the deadly effects of school shootings. School security is now a nearly $3 billion market and the vendors offered, among other things, “bleeding control bags,” bullet-resistant white boards, pepper ball guns, counterterrorist marksmen (“for the price of a Netflix subscription”) and bulletproof classroom doors that, it was claimed, could identify a weapon, photograph a shooter and notify the police, at $4,000 dollars a pop. When the head of an Indiana school district choked at the $500,000 price tag for a door security and weapons detection system, the company’s owner told the man: “Go down to Parkland, Florida, and tell 17 people 500,000 is expensive. That’s $29,000 a kid. … Every person would pay $29,000 a kid to have their kid alive.” Just a few months before his 1968 assassination, Robert F. Kennedy reflected on the nation’s values system to an audience in Kansas. “Our gross national product, now, is over $800 billion a year,” he said. It “counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children. Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. … It can tell us everything about […]

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