Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bushmasters and Drone Masters

My heart and soul commiserate with the parents and families of those whose lives have become so tragically entangled in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. As a result of the events of last Friday -- as well as in conjunction with other school shooting tragedies over the past several years -- many people in the United States want to place a ban on assault weapons.

Indeed, many citizens are outraged about, and deeply troubled by, the intrusion of so much mass violence into American society. Yet, nearly ten times as many innocent children have been massacred by U.S. drones along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border than perished in Newtown on Friday ... but barely a whisper is being heard about any of this among American citizens.

If people want to ban assault weapons, then, all the more power to them, but the logic of their argument should extend to the role that drones play in killing equally innocent children in other countries. Or, is it only the lives of American children that matter? If so, then there is considerable hypocrisy and bigotry in the arguments which call for the cessation of senseless deaths with respect to innocent American children, while turning a blind eye, ear, mind, heart, and soul to the senseless deaths of children in far away places through a weapon -- i.e., American drones -- which is far more destructive than a Bushmaster assault weapon.

There are places along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border, as well as elsewhere, which have drones flying over them 24/7. Those people do not know who will be bombed or when, and the result has been a reign of terror which is deeply affecting the psychological well-being of innocent citizens and leading to, among other things, not only widespread cases of severe post traumatic syndrome disorder among those people who must live under the sense of doom that those constant drone flights inflict upon the inhabitants of those regions, but, as well, constitutes a focal issue which is leading to the generation of a great deal of resentment against the United States ... what is happening in those regions is comparable to an armed gunman stalking the halls of the elementary schools of America 24/7 without any of the students, teachers, or parents knowing if today is going to be the next tragic incident.

To put a truly pathological seal upon all of the foregoing, the people in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border areas have reported that on numerous occasions, they have been subject to what is known as a 'double tap.' More specifically, this means that after a drone strikes a village, the drone comes again a short while later to bomb the village a second time just as first responders have arrived to assist with the injured and traumatized. As a result, many people have become unwilling to go to the assistance of the injured because of the double tap policy involved with some drone strikes ... this is comparable to someone attacking the first responders who came to assist the students and teachers at Sandy Hook -- something which would be morally abhorrent and completely uncivilized if this were to happen here and, therefore, something which is both morally abhorrent and completely uncivilized when it happens elsewhere.