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Who is Watching the Children?
9/11/2013 1:01:40 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Every parent should adopt the following excerpt for their children from the Children’s Defense Fund Mission Statement that will “ensure every child a head start, a fair start, a safe start and a moral start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.”

It’s important that children have a fair and safe start in life. When this does not happen, parents do a disservice to their children.

Children from a poor background often fall victim to neglect and poor parenting. I remember getting off from work late some years ago. It was 9:30 PM as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot. A little boy who did not look a day over nine walked up to me and asked for money.

I asked him his age and why he was out so late alone. He said he was nine years old and hungry. I had hit the nail on the head.

He may or may not have been telling the truth but where were his parents? Even if the father was not in the picture, where was his mother?

Mothers provide for and protect their children.

They don’t allow them to roam the street at odd hours of the night. How many times have we watched birds fly out of their nests to find food for their babies?

They feed their babies and provide for them until they can fly on their own and provide for themselves. Are we any less than the birds? Why are we so careless with our babies?

Who was watching and caring for eight months old Ryleigh McClary? According to news reports, her three year old brother found a gun in the house that he used to shoot her. The investigation revealed that drugs were in the home and the gun belonged to the mother, Pryor.

How could this happen?

Who is watching the children?

How would a three year old even know how to pull the trigger? If he is responsible, then we need to seriously educate our children about the dangers of guns.

Other prevention measures are (1) stop allowing your children to watch so much shoot ‘em up on television; (2) do not buy toy guns for your children; (3) stop buying violent video games; and (4) lock your guns up in a safe place. If the three year shot his sister, he is a victim as well.

As he grows into the reality that he is responsible for shooting his sister, he is going to have a lot to deal with. Will there be counseling provided for him because he is also a baby?

While locally and nationally elected officials continue to ponder gun control, crimes committed with guns continue to soar.

If elected officials cannot agree on stricter gun control laws maybe they can agree on stricter law enforcement and laws against parents who contribute to their babies being shot and or killed due to neglect.

There is just no justification for accidental shootings by children. Children should never come into contact with guns that are left within their reach.

As responsible parents, we need to call for more gun control and accountability particularly when it involves children. Children cannot be held accountable for the actions of their parents. Guns should never be lying around where children can have access to them, NEVER.

My prayers go out to Ryleigh and her little brother.

It is time to make parents responsible for the safety and well-being of their children.

Y’all elected officials with me?

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