Loss Of Innocence
Debates over the freedom to keep arms is rife in the US. While many say with so many of our children dying at the hands of trigger happy individuals, arms should not be so easily accessible. Contrarily as the pro-gun lobby advocates, the founding fathers of the US had incorporated this right specifically to keep a tyrant government if it ever became such, at bay.
Much has been discussed about the frequency of these incidents. Curiously one aspect has not been highlighted as much as it should have been. The swaggering image these youngsters have of themselves, as big brother US who knows best how to lick in shape (read shoot in shape) countries who do not know what is good for themselves.
We grew up seeing the US decide that Vietnam needed some ‘help’ in putting its house in order. Then came Iraq and Afghanistan. Losing US soldiers in battle became an issue. The body bags issue was dealt with, by using drones and target missiles , so ‘boots on’ soldiers would be spared. The loss of US lives was tackled. However unpopularity of the US because of these ventures and the strengthening of militant groups in retaliation became another problem. During what is now called the Arab Spring, the US kept a low profile, did not give direct support and generally managed to get things done without that ‘class monitor’ attitude. NATO took over then , in Libya and France more aggressively, in Mali. The Benghazi attack and the Algerian hostage casualties, happened.
The US and NATO worry about, their own soldier casualties and the unpopularity produced leading to attacks on soft targets. Curiously the most important fallout has been missed. Just as the powerful big brother US knows what is good for these countries, so does big brother school kid powered with a gun know what is best for the less powerful ( read without gun) around it. And he executes his task with the same ‘tough conditions need tough decisions’ attitude. This is the main casualty of war , bigger than the deaths of soldiers, and the rebound popularity of the Al Qaeda. This casual acceptance of the expediency of human life, this loss of innocence. Where each empowered child thinks he knows what is best for those who do not know what is good for themselves.
In a CNN interview I was shocked to hear of a fifteen year old, who , entrusted with a gun to protect his family from external threat, massacred this same family, he was supposed to defend.
This is the urgent issue which needs to be addressed. The holocaust happened because normal people who wouldn’t normally have hurt a fly, lost their sensitivity, in the name of ethnic cleansing, This sensitivity, this compassion, which uplifts the human race higher, much higher than animals, must be preserved. The guardians of the world who are quick to execute others and shrug off ‘collateral deaths’ need to know that this feeling may be reflected in their children with respect to their own brethren.
CNN Interview Piers Morgan