We Can Stop the Slaughter of Children

Thursday, 20 December 2012 14:54 By William John Cox, SpeakOut | Op-Ed
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All Americans, not just the president, weep at the image of 20 little children gunned down as they hid in their classrooms in Newtown, Conn.  What can be done to avoid such slaughter in the future.

The federal government, including the President, Congress and Supreme Court are effectively intimidated and immobilized by the right-to-bear arms lobby, and state legislatures are powerless to enact effective laws to regulate the ownership of firearms.

Nonetheless, across the nation, in thousands of cities and towns, people are asking if there is anything they can do locally to prevent such tragedies.

There is an effective and inexpensive answer:  Simply reduce the number of guns in circulation, while respecting Second Amendment rights, discourage gun violence, and honor the memory of those whose lives have been destroyed by guns.

Imagine a memorial to gun violence in front of every city hall and court house in the country constructed of guns that have been legally seized by local law enforcement and the courts and that have been voluntarily surrendered by members of the community.

Over the years, guns taken out of circulation are welded to the unique neighborhood sculptures and the names of local victims are inscribed on the memorials.

As rust, rather than blood, runs down the sculptures and stains the ground, the horror of gun violence will fade from our collective consciousness and become a footnote in our nation's history.

We can learn to live without guns, as we come to accept that what makes us human is our ability to live at peace with one another, not our ability to murder little children by pointing a gun and mindlessly pulling the trigger.

We must do something, otherwise we all share the blame whenever the innocent are slaughtered by guns.

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William John Cox

William John Cox is a retired prosecutor and public interest lawyer, author and political activist. His efforts to promote a peaceful political evolution can be found at, his writings are collected and he can be contacted at

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