It is a real shame that school children are not guns.

If school children were guns, Conservatives would treat them with kid gloves.

They would be ever so careful with their words so as not to cause offense to those who love them. They would exercise the rarest of restraint to avoid angering them; couching their words in every moment, being the closest thing to decent they ever are. They would suddenly find compassion for them.

If school children were guns, Republican politicians would passionately protect them.

They would go to bat for them and plead for them and legislate every possible way to make their existence easier. They would bend every rule of law to ensure their survival in the name of safety. They would forever lobby for their innocence and extol their virtue and steamroll any efforts to hinder them.

If school children were guns, white Evangelicals would warmly embrace them.

They would justify their worth using the Bible, they would demand respect for them from their pulpits. Celebrity evangelists would leverage their social media platforms and their local congregations to prove how much Jesus approves of them. Migrants would feel loved around the people of Jesus and welcomed in their gatherings if they were handguns.

If school children were guns, FoxNews would never stop celebrating them.

Their endless parade of pundits and would-be experts would come and heap effusive praise upon them; they would relentlessly attack the brazen celebrities who dared speak out against them, they would tell those who questioned the harm they were doing—that they were fighting the wrong battles. They would create fake news to convince their faithful.

If school children were guns, they would be sheltered everywhere MAGAs are.

An army of rabid conservative Twitter warriors would descend to come to their defense, shouting down with great passion any suggestion that they were a danger. They would advocate for them, flaunt their allegiance to them, adorn their bumpers with their images, and speak their admiration loudly for them.

If school children were guns, they would be adored by professed patriots.

The flag-wavers would demand they be treated with dignity, they would protest in the streets that their inalienable rights be honored, they would remind us all that those who served and died for this country—died for them. They would gather for rallies and walk with them down city streets and they would openly profess their love for them. Migrants would be fully welcomed in the MAGA story if they were handguns.

If school children were guns, they would be shown reverence by pro-life Evangelicals.

They would be made to feel treasured. They would be adored by the people of Jesus. They would never have to be in fear or be marginalized or feel threatened—because those in the highest levels of Church and Government would demand they never did.

Unfortunately, school children are not guns they are only flesh and blood, beautiful, sentient, never to be repeated human beings who are seeking rest and peace and safety—and so these things are all still a long way off for them here.

They will need to wait to be advocated for by Republican Governors. They will need to wait to be lobbied for by Conservative specials interest groups. They will need to wait to have their worth legislated by pro-lifers.

They will need to wait for megachurch pastors to risk losing their congregations over them. They need to wait for the good ol’ boys and the Bible thumpers to openly support them. They will need to wait to be given the simple dignity and respect that now eludes them.

It is a real shame school children are not handguns. More White Conservative American Christians would probably give a damn about them right now.

John Pavlovitz

Jае C.Hоng

The original version of this Op Ed was published on

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