We’ve already been told by the State Department that one of the primary factors driving men to join ISIS is the “lack of opportunity for jobs.” We’re not sure what progress President Obama has made on that front, but rest assured that the first lady is tacking a similar link on the domestic front between a lack of equal access to sports and a rise in gun crime.

Michelle Obama, alongside her brother, sportscaster Michael Wilbon, took the message of her “Let’s Play” initiative to the Aspen Institute’s Play Summit Tuesday morning, where she managed to work guns into the discussion of “physical literacy.”

The Washington Examiner reports on her remarks on crime and its link to play at the summit:

“Why are we confused about why crime rates are going up? It’s not a complicated set of scenarios, unless people don’t really understand just what a wasteland so many kids are living in in terms of activity.”

“We can’t be surprised with what kids do with idle time. And that’s sort of one of the things — when we look at crime rates and all that sort of stuff, it’s like, these are a bunch of bored kids that are unsupervised who don’t know how to play. If we start there — and then we give them a gun. And then you’ve got such a lethal combination,” added the first lady.

… and then we give them a gun? Who’s we? Has anyone spotted Eric Holder on a playground recently?

It shouldn’t be surprising at this point to learn that play inequality, like income inequality, needs to be added to the government’s list of inequities to address. “Let’s remember, in a lot of urban settings, those opportunities, recess and gym, don’t exist anymore for kids,” said Mrs. Obama. And we thought America had gotten much better under this administration.

Other panelists agreed that there’s an unequal distribution of sports resources as well as athletic ability.

It’s agreed, then, that play can be as simple as chasing each other around …

… but there’s also an urgent need to design cities around children and families.

Finally, remember that “inclusion is not just a philosophy” but a fundamental transformation.


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