The original “Children’s Crusade” seems to have taken place in the early part of the 13th Century when well-intended but ill-advised European Christians attempted to regain The Holy Land from Muslim rule by sending children to peacefully initiate conversion. Most ended up being sold into slavery.
A next instance of encountering the phrase happened when my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut, used it as a 1969 subtitle in his most influential and popular semi-autobiographical work, “Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death.” I believe Vonnegut’s point was that it’s youth who often pay most for sins of the old.
Perhaps not this time?
Happy Easter Week.
“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19; 13-14
I was magnificently stunned by the awesome participation generated by our young in their “March for Our Lives” dramatically manifest with over a half-million attending at The National Mall in wintry Washington and even many more at almost a thousand sites around the world.
The kids are alright. Dialed in. They get it.
I love how Trump frump Sarah Huckleberry Sanders kicks off virtually every response to White House reporters with the word, “Look”. It’s something Sean Hannity started a few years ago with “Look” functionally positioned by tone and temperament to mean, “Listen, Stupid!”
But, look -- my use of the word intended to “please reflect upon the following with fairness:”
The right to privately bear arms separate from a regulated militia was only affirmed once by the Supreme Court. This was just a decade ago in “District of Columbia vs. Heller” -- 2008 -- and by only a single vote (5-4.) Even then, Justice Anton Scalia wrote in his majority opinion that, “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The minority position presented by Justice John Paul Stevens states, “The Court would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made a choice to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian uses of weapons.... I could not possibly conclude that the Framers made such a choice."
So much for the “Sacred Constitution Right to Bear Arms.” There’s no such thing, unless all majority opinions automatically carry divine sanction and heavenly endorsement.
In 1994, then-President Bill Clinton signed a federal ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. The law specifically banned certain semi-automatic weapons, including the AR-15, as well as rifles that could accept detachable magazines. That ban lapsed in 2004, when Congress did not reauthorize it. Several serious attempts to do so in the wake of subsequent massacres have been block by Congressional Republicans led by the NRA.
According to a recent Harvard/Northeastern University Study, 3% of the American population own over 50% of our civilian guns. 7.7 million own between 8 and 140 guns.
I am not for confiscating anything from anyone at this point, but let’s heed the voices of our future.
Every good law should increase freedom. In this instance, let’s balance individual freedom to own, display and detonate weapons of war against a collective freedom to not get killed by such, particularly if you have most of your life still ahead of you.