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Why? Why?
by Thanos Kalamidas
2012-12-15 10:53:43
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1 child dying every 4 seconds
14 children dying every minute
A 2011 Libya conflict-scale death toll every day
A 2010 Haiti earthquake occurring every 10 days
A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring every 11 days
An Iraq-scale death toll every 19–46 days
Just under 7.6 million children dying every year
Some 92 million children dying between 2000 and 2010

20 children were killed yesterday in a shooting attack at a primary school in the US state of Connecticut.


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Emanuel Paparella2012-12-15 12:29:18
Timely question! It brings us right back to Dostoyevsky’s famous question on the mystery evil in the world as expressed by one of the brothers in The Brothers Karamozov: why do innocent children have to suffer? It is a good idea indeed, Thanos, to place what happened yesterday in the larger context which ultimately turns out to be an issue on justice within a theological context.

In any case, in an attempt to answer the question on the mystery, let us count the ways; we can at least do that. Innocent children have to suffer because adults, and especially their leaders, allow distributive injustice to persist in the world. A whole school was terrorized yesterday by a mentally deranged individual out to kill his mother with the very same registered weapons she had in the house and 20 beautiful innocent children died because, intimidated by the American Rifle Association’s powerful lobby in Washington, our feckless leaders in congress refuse to even have a debate on gun control in a country awash in guns wherein any mentally deranged individual can easily obtain an assault weapon, dress in black as if he were a hero of a commando seal team and create mayhem.

There are so many shootings at this point that it is hard to keep count. But there is one thing that remains consistent every time there is a shooting: crocodile sentimental tears are shed after the tragedy has taken place and after half of the police force of a state is sent to the scene of the crime but it is always a purely reactive operation; absolutely nothing is being done after the fact to prevent in a pro-active preventive mode any future occurrence. We idolize our guns too much to do that. They have now been transformed into a symbol of our freedom. We have de facto created a society where violent means are often the preferred manly solution to violence and mental sickness. One of the children interviewed yesterday observed how many police officers were at the school and then he added this telling statement “they all had machine guns.” The child had put his finger on something that the adults have still to figure out, namely the fact that rather than have a rational debate on gun controls which examines the sad ratio between the victims in other countries with gun control laws and the US as being seven to one, we prefer to mindlessly fight fire with fire, that is to say violence with violence. Out of the mouth of children we shall hear the truth and the truth shall make us free. But for the moment we prefer to turn a deaf ear.

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