Anti-gun protestors are missing the real target

Anti-gun protestors are missing the real target

Anti-gun protestors are missing the real target

I’m glad young people are taking to the streets to protest for justice but they need to refocus their aim at the real issue of stopping violence and not the partisan political issue of attacking the NRA. They should be protesting in neighborhoods against street gangs, not engaging in partisan politics

By Ray Hanania

Nearly half a million “young people” converged on Washington DC this week protesting guns and violence sweeping across America, especially in schools.

They had a lot of slogans, made a lot of news, and got a lot of interviews as they screamed and hollered.

Yet what their message is misdirected, an expression of anger that will go nowhere and that is being exploited by political activists to bolster one-sided partisan agendas, like Senator Dick Durbin, the Rev. Michael Pfleger and other liberal politicians across the country.

That’s too bad.

SRA Dave Orth (L) and SRA Clarence Tolliver (R), members of the 60th Security Police Squadron's Base Swat Team, Travis Air Force Base wearing black uniforms stand with M-9 pistols ready behind covering foliage. They are participating in a simulated hostage (Released to Public) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The real threat to the public is street gang violence and that’s where young protestors should focus their energies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cracking down on guns and attacking the NRA pure partisan politics. Some things must be done to tougher the process of obtaining a gun. But even if criminals can’t get guns legally, they’ll get them illegally. The real problem is that MANY people committing crimes are people who just need help. In many cases, the criminals are “young people,” too, who have been abandoned by their parents.

Protestors failed to address problems that more directly contribute to rising crime in America and that take more lives.

What about the street gangs plaguing Chicagoland neighborhoods? Tougher gun laws won’t change that. Confronting street gangs will. Street gangs are slaughtering people outside and inside schools, and yet no one addressed that in the Washington D.C. protests.

They don’t care about that issue because it involves the failure of parents to “parent” their children. Parents are failing to do their jobs and no one cares as their children become brutal, vicious street gang thugs who deal in drugs, crime and murder?

I also didn’t hear the protestors scream about the news media which plays a major role in fueling violence in this country.

“If it bleeds it leads” is the core principle of news journalism. In other words, major mainstream news media put emphasis on shock and slaughter. The more gruesome a crime the more coverage it gets. They know that the public doesn’t care about “good news.” They only care about “bad news.” When it comes to the major mainstream news media, bad news sells newspapers, but good news does not.

This is politics, which is not just about electing people to government office. Politics is also about personal advantage, personal achievement, and empowerment for the wrong reasons.

Can you imagine the message 500,000 “young people” would send by protesting in Chicago’s worst street gang crime-ridden neighborhoods and attacking the real culprits, street gangs?

Scream all you want about the NRA. It won’t do any good. They are a part of the problem, too, but they are no worse or better than those who oppose them.

I’m not an NRA member and I tougher laws on gun sales. But, the more important goal is to crack down on criminals. Stop coddling them. Stop giving them benefits. Toughen the laws. If you use a gun in a crime, you should go to jail for 20 years. If you kill someone with a gun in committing a crime, you should go to jail for life. No parole.

Prisoners should also be forced to work to earn money to pay for their food and board. If tey don’t, let them die. It’s their choice.

A lot of “leaders” will rise from the protests. Some will even run for public office and probably win. But, they won’t be any different than any of the people they are complaining about and they’ll end up doing nothing, too.

(Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist and author. Email him through his website at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Click Here to LISTEN to Hanania's live radio show on 2nd Friday every month 7 AM CST. Click here to listen to Ray's Podcasts. 

His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at

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