Commentary: Maybe the nation will listen when our children speak

Commentary: Maybe the nation will listen when our children speak
March 22
01:00 2018

By James B. Ewers Jr.

Maybe the nation will listen when our children speak

The mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is still fresh in our minds. Seventeen lives were lost a few weeks ago and as a country, we are in mourning.

We are also depressed as these shootings have occurred time and time again with seemingly no solution in sight. Well, that is not exactly true. There are solutions that can alter these gun purchases that can be implemented.

Like me, you are wondering why we are sitting on our hands and not doing anything? I believe there are a few reasons, in my opinion.  First, you may wonder about this first reason, but that is OK if you wonder. I watch my share of horse operas (cowboy movies\shows). In the majority of them, everybody carries a pistol or a shotgun. The only character I have seen not carry a weapon is Miss Kitty on “Gunsmoke.” Everyone else packs a weapon.

Unfortunately, our history includes guns and shootings. While these shows like “Gunsmoke” and “The Roy Rogers Show” are fictional, they paint a realistic picture of what America is. For too many Americans, guns represent us.

Second, the National Rifle Association is one of the most powerful organizations and lobbying groups in America. Its tentacles stretch far and wide. It has bought and bossed enough people in power not to have to worry about falling off the mountaintop. The NRA probably gives millions of dollars to organizations and political groups in order to control the message of pro-gun support. These are times, however, that the voices of the NRA must not continue to drown out the voices of those of us who are sick of watching people be killed.

Many in the pro-gun movement always point to the Second Amendment, which gives us the right to bear arms. I know our Founding Fathers were reasonable men and they, too, would be saddened by what is happening today. People who take these hardline positions are never going to acquiesce to reason no matter how well the case is laid out.

However, the good news is that there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel. I believe there are enough citizens in the right places who are willing to come to the table and talk about gun laws and how they can be revamped. The issue, it seems to me, is that future laws ought to make it more difficult for a person to purchase a gun. It may mean stronger background checks be implemented or the age requirement be increased. It could also mean the type of weapon that a person buys may be reviewed. I do know these options along with some other alternatives ought to be put into play. One thing is for sure and that is to do nothing is not an option.

On the heels of the Florida high school shooting, thousands of students across America took to the streets on Wednesday, March 14, to say tighter gun laws need to be implemented. Enacting stronger gun laws will impact their lives. They know it and we should know it.

It is now time for our lawmakers to listen before they legislate. The time to pass legislation in support of stronger gun laws is now.

James B. Ewers  Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at

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