Do the killings at Sandy Hook school indicate a systemic problem, or are they the work of an individual with mental health problems? I think both are equally true, which means the U.S. needs much better mental health services and more effective control on assault weapons—but I don’t think that will be enough to overcome the deeply-entrenched culture of violence in the U.S.
Unless a soldier or marine gets caught in a flagrant, public violation, violence and killing are accepted and glorified by the military. Time and time again, the military has misrepresented the facts or told outright lies to cover up atrocities. If a few children are killed, that’s just more ‘collateral damage’.
Our drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen have killed not only hundreds or thousands of innocent adult civilians, but hundreds of children as well. When Obama recently asked ‘Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?’ He was, I suppose, referring to the need for better gun control—but he overlooked the direct parallel to children being killed by the drone attacks. Are those mostly-Muslim children worth less than those in Connecticut?
Are the random acts of an unstable individual more reprehensible than the calculated, premeditated slaughter of people by remote control?
Some suggested reading:
- Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? by Glenn Greenwald in The Guardian.
- A Culture That Condones the Killing Of Children and Teaches Children To Kill, by Lucinda Marshall on Common Dreams
- The Suffering of an American Drone Operator, by Nicola Abé in Der Spiegel
- The Connecticut Murders, Barack Obama, Drones, and Hypocrisy, by Mukasa Afrika Ma’at
- On Connecticut Killings!, by Jim Albertini of Malu ‘Aina Center for non-violent education and action