I became aware of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Twitter prior to the mainstream media reporting on the story. Once the media began reporting, I watched a nightmarish scenario unfold. At this moment, three are dead, including an eight-year-old boy and one hundred and seventy six people are injured. This took place on U.S. soil. It is personal. Even U.S. citizens that never follow news or world events are devastated. They know every detail the media has to offer at this point. The country is in mourning.
What is troubling me is that we as a nation are not to the point where we consider ourselves as members of a global community. We don't collectively pay attention, unless it occurs in our backyard. I wish the average citizen had deep concerns when violent acts took place in other countries. I wish U.S. citizens at least knew what was occurring daily around the world and when they heard about it, they didn't regard it as some abstract event in some far off land. I wish they would take it personally when any child, woman or man is killed by a bomb, a gun, or a stone anywhere in this world. I wish mainstream media and Congress put as much focus publically on what is going on in the world as they do on Jay-Z and Beyonce traveling to Cuba.
Here is a list of just a few of the violent acts that have taken place from March 12th to April 15th, 2013. This is unacceptable. It is barbaric. We as a Global Community should be able to find solutions to reduce the violence.
March 12th- Israeli forces shot and killed a 22 year old Palestinian activist in clash
March 19th- Bombs killed 60 in Iraq on anniversary of Iraq invasion
March 22nd- Violence in Myanmar between Buddhists and Muslims leaves 20 dead
March 29th- 3 injured in Sri Lanka when Buddhist extremists attacked a Muslim owned business
March 29th- 18 Shiites killed by car bombs in Iraq
March 29th- Pakistan, 12 killed and 35 injured in suicide bombing
March 30th- More than 40 killed in Nigerian violence
April 1st- 8 killed in Syrian rebels v. regime, children among dead, missile struck Palestine killing many, a least140 total killed Easter Sunday, 56 civilians, and civilians flee cities
April 1st- 19 die in Nigerian violence
April 5th- 14 militants killed in Pakistan
April 6th- 11 killed by gunmen in Nigerian violence in the village of Midlu
April 7th- Pakistan, 10 militants killed, 5 injured in clashes
April 7th- One dead in a violent clash in Egypt between the Christian minority and Islamists that lasted four hours
April 7th- Afghanistan, 10 children (ages 1-12) and a woman killed by airstrikes, US State Department officer and 5 others killed by suicide bombers
April 7th- 7 Americans killed in Afghanistan suicide bombing
April 7th- 12 policemen killed by gunmen in Nigerian violence
April 9th- 1 dead, dozens injured in Bangladesh clash
April 10th- 14 killed in clashes with Mexican police
April 11th- 4 policemen killed by gunmen in Nigerian violence
April 14th - 20 were killed by militants at a court complex and a car bomb, among the dead two human rights lawyers.
April 14th- 7 were killed in the Central African Republic due to civil unrest
April 15th- Darfur region of Sudan was said to be too violent for humanitarian aid to enter.
April 15th- As elections approach in Iraq, 37 killed, 140 injured
April 15th- Syria regime sends airstrikes on the towns of Yabrud, Douma, Harasta, Sbeineh, and eastern Damascus
April 15th- 6 found dead, one decapitated in Cancun, Mexico
April 15th- Boston Marathon bombing, 3 killed, 100+ injured
This is by no means a complete list of violent attacks around the world in the time frame I chose. To be honest, I got tired Googling. I could cite serious incidences of mass violence around the world for hours, and quite possibly for entire day or more during which time new incidences would occur. Looking at this list, you may think that this type of thing is typically happening outside the U.S. Not so fast. Sixteen mass shootings occurred in the U.S. in 2012:
February 22, 2012- 5 killed in health spa in Norcross, Georgia
February 26, 2012- Multiple gunmen killed one persona and injured 20 in Jackson, Tennessee
February 27, 2012- 3 students at Chardon High School in Ohio were killed by classmate
March 8, 2012- 2 killed and 7 wounded at a psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, by a gunman with two semiautomatic handguns
March 31, 2012- A gunman killed 2 and injured 12 at a North Miami, Florida, funeral home
April 2, 2012- A 43-year-old former student at Oikos University in Oakland, California, killed 7 “execution-style,” 3 more were injured.
April 6, 2012- 2 men killed 3 black men and injured 2 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in a racially motivated attack.
May 29, 2012- 5 were killed when a man in Seattle, Washington, opened fire on a coffee shop and then killed self.
July 9, 2012- 3 killed at soccer tournament, including a 16 year old soccer player in Wilmington, Delaware
July 20, 2012-12 are killed, 58 wounded when James Holmes entered a movie theater with a semi-automatic at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises
August 5, 2012- 7 killed at Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, including the gunman
August 14, 2012- 3 killed at Texas A&M University, one of the dead was a police officer.
September 27, 2012- 5 killed, 3 injured in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by former co- worker, one of the dead was shooter
October 21, 2012- 4 killed, 4 injured at a spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin, one of the dead was the shooter who took his own life
December 11, 2012- 2 killed, plus the shooter who too his own life at a mall in Portland,Oregon
December 14, 2012- 26 killed at Newtown, Connecticut school, 20 were children
Reading this, one may attempt to argue that these incidents were perpetrated by a select few, unstable individuals. Again, not true. There have been more than 3,300 gun deaths in the U.S. since Newtown, a four month time frame.
According to an article from atlanticcities.com dated January, 22, 2013: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/...
• If it were a country, New Orleans (with a rate 62.1 gun murders per 100,000 people) would rank second in the world.
• Detroit's gun homicide rate (35.9) is just a bit less than El Salvador (39.9).
• Baltimore's rate (29.7) is not too far off that of Guatemala (34.8).
• Gun murder in Newark (25.4) and Miami (23.7) is comparable to Colombia (27.1).
• Washington D.C. (19) has a higher rate of gun homicide than Brazil (18.1).
• Atlanta's rate (17.2) is about the same as South Africa (17).
• Cleveland (17.4) has a higher rate than the Dominican Republic (16.3).
• Gun murder in Buffalo (16.5) is similar to Panama (16.2).
• Houston's rate (12.9) is slightly higher than Ecuador's (12.7).
• Gun homicide in Chicago (11.6) is similar to Guyana (11.5).
• Phoenix's rate (10.6) is slightly higher than Mexico (10).
• Los Angeles (9.2) is comparable to the Philippines (8.9).
• Boston rate (6.2) is higher than Nicaragua (5.9).
• New York, where gun murders have declined to just four per 100,000, is still higher than Argentina (3).
• Even the cities with the lowest homicide rates by American standards, like San Jose and Austin, compare to Albania and Cambodia respectively.
So, what's the point of delineating the global violence problem? I believe we need to face it. We need to discuss and address it in the U.S. and as a Global Community. We need leadership and efforts put in by everyone. We need a common goal of a more peaceful world. We must know what is going on in the world. We need the evening news and twenty-four-hour news cycle to report the WORLD NEWS. We need to care about Syrian children as we do our own. Every person killed around the world is someone's mother, sister, daughter, son, father, brother. No one's loss of a family member is any less painful that another's. We need to feel the loss and pain of those suffering violence around the world, not just when it is within our own borders. The violent atmosphere around the world will touch everyone's life at some point in time. It will seep through every border. This is the 21st century. We can do better, but it is going to take time, effort, and awareness on everyone's part. We cannot allow children to grow up in commonplace and accepted violence. This should not be labeled as an idealistic or naive point-of-view. The world of ours will never be perfect, but WE CAN AND MUST DO BETTER.
I am not trying to diminish in any way what happened at the Boston Marathon, yesterday. It is beyond comprehension that anyone would do such a thing. It is heartbreaking and devastating. I am just suggesting that we must stand together as a World Community against these acts that occur everywhere, every time they occur.