The final GOP Debate of 2015 was Tuesday 12/15 on CNN. In light of the terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the main focus of this debate was on national security, and not on children and family issues. The only mention of Every Child Matters’ key issues came from Ohio Governor John Kasich during his opening statement:
“When we think about our country and the big issues we face in this country: creating jobs, making sure people can keep their jobs, the need for rising wages, whether our children when they graduate from college can find a job, protecting the homeland, destroying ISIS, rebuilding defense, these are all the things that we need to focus on but we’ll never get there divided. We’ll never get there if Republicans and Democrats just fight with one another. Frankly, we are Republicans and they’re Democrats, but before all of that we’re Americans. I believe we need to unify in so many ways to rebuild our country, to strengthen our country, to rebuild our defense, and for America to secure its place in the world for us, for our children, and for the next generation.”
Other than this, the focus stayed on “foreign policy and terrorism” but was accompanied by the typical debate fare of name calling and personal attacks. This debate came just days after the three-year anniversary of the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 6 adults and 20 children dead. It was also the same day that 1,087 Los Angeles public schools were closed after receiving an email threat; a threat that was also sent to the New York City School Superintendent. This threat kept 640,000 students out of school and cost the district close to 29 million dollars. With both of these events fresh in our minds, it’s important to remember children’s safety is also a national security concern. Kids deserve to be talked about, to be protected, and to be safe. As of December 2nd there have been 353 mass shootings (more than 4 people shot in one event, as defined by the Mass Shooting Tracker) in the United States in 2015. Since Sandy Hook, an American child has died from gun violence every other day. That’s 555 children under age 12 killed in those three years. So why aren’t we talking about it at these events? Why aren’t we acting like it’s a matter of national security? These are kids. They are our future. Why aren’t we doing more?
The Democratic Debate is this Saturday, 12/19, at 8pm on ABC (available to live stream at ABCNews.com). We will be live tweeting (@ECMNH) from Manchester, NH in hopes to hear the candidates’ responses to these issues.