My tour of duty as an infantry-combat veteran in North Korea ended in 1951. I then laid down my M-1 rifle and have never fired another round. I left the terrorism of war that does not differentiate between combatants, women, or children. But, living in a country that has a gun-related murder rate that is 20 times greater than the average of all other countries in the developed world, the murder of innocent children has followed me home to Connecticut. The above data is courtesy of The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
A week ago, I read an ABC News/Washington Post poll indicating that 52 percent of respondents thought that the Newtown, CT, massacre of 20 precious children reflected broader problems in American society. 43 percent thought that events like this are isolated acts.
In America, we have about 270 million privately owned guns--about 9 guns for every 10 people. Yemen, the second place country, has 5 guns for every 10 people. It's not surprising that USA civilians lead the developed world in the killing of children. Our policy-makers in Washington are also good at killing children. In between the two wars on the people of Iraq, inhumane American led sanctions led to serious malnutrition, and to the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi children age five and under. This is according to an extensive mortality study conducted by the the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF). In war and in peace, the children in our trouble world are not given a free pass. Catholic popes have often spoken out against sanctions because they harm the poorest and most vulnerable, especially the small children.
Not surprisingly, politicians and the media are now trying to spin Sandy Hook. We now have been flooded by thousands of heroes, real and not so real, to make the massacre more palatable. The real cause of the many serious mass-murder episodes in America is being ignored in favor of easy proposals, and solutions that do not address the worst problems. Patting Americans on the back is much easier than speaking the truth.
From birth in America, children are given war toys and fed a diet of violence through their TVs. Racist and violent games reward those who kill the most is common place. When children get to graded school they can progress to more complex video games that again rewards the best killers. In high-school, military recruiters picture service in war as a glorious experience. Yet, there is nothing glorious about wars. While the many war-profiteers will prosper, those who serve on the front-line will pay the price. I see that every time I go to the VA hospital in Newington. Importantly, the excessive glorification of violence in our media plant seeds in malleable young minds that can trigger new acts of violence. On the daily TV news, if it bleeds, it leads.
To stop the killing of our children, we must stop the glorifying of violence in our media and in our politics. Those who own TV stations possess especially strong brain-altering tools. On a daily basis our MSM feeds us negative spin on Iran, Syria, Egypt, Venezuela, North Korea, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, etc. A paranoid world is created that feeds our militarism, our racism, and hatred for our beautiful world. The peddling of racism works. Bigotry is widespread as can be seen on many blogs where writers can unanimously spew out genocidal tripe--this is the norm following any news story relating to Muslims
If we are to protect all of our children, we must stop the demonizing of other races and religions. Were we not all created in "the image of God?" Our country's esteemed constitution states as evident that, "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Are these words outdated? Are the words of our TV talking-heads and those of our politicians now more credible?
Hence, it will make too little difference in the protection of the precious life of our beautiful children, wether we have more or fewer gun related legislations. The solution is mostly dependent on: 1. stopping the glorification of violence in our media, 2. stopping the demonizing of fellow human beings, and 3. stopping our militarization--with the resultant cost-savings being used for much needed infrastructure repairs, better schools and medical care, and a lessened tax burden future for all of our children and grandchildren.