Terrorists I get but this…
I woke up this morning to read the horrific headlines about the shooting at the elementary school in Connecticut. Here’s what I can’t rap my head around. It isn’t guns or the availability of guns that is an issue, though many people mistakenly want to blame the means rather than addressing the underlying problem. I mean, we’ve got guns and access to guns here in far more abundance than in the U.S. Board any bus and you’ll see at least a few high powered weapons being toted by our young soldiers, not for protection of the bus or as any form of security, but simply because they have to tote their weapons along even if just taking the bus to the mall, or home, or wherever else they may be traveling. If you live in one of our border communities, chances are you have a concealed-carry and if you don’t, you are just plain stupid.
I understand terrorists insomuch as anyone can understand them. They have an us and them philosophy. Their minds have been sickened and manipulated to such as extent that they can view killing innocent civilians of those on ‘the other side’ as some sort of military victory, a high five for their side. Albeit with horror, I can grasp the concept of a terrorist targeting families, babies, school-children because they know that that is what hurts their enemy a thousand times worse than targeting soldiers and military installations.
What I cannot understand, what I cannot even begin to grasp, are those who target children, families, simply random people, within their own society. Despite the ready access to weapons here, it is not something our society experiences. If you hear of a lunatic on a gun rampage here, you can be 99.9% sure that it is a terrorist and not a civilian gone round the bend. It just doesn’t happen here.
I grew up in the U.S. but I still don’t understand the intra-societal violence that is so prevalent there or why it is so prevalent. I live in what folks in the U.S. would designate, not inappropriately, as a war-zone and yet I still feel safer on a day to day basis than I did living in the U.S. In point of fact, I am safer here in this war-zone.
By the time I was 18, and growing up in a “nice” middle-class, average neighbourhood, I’d had 5 classmates murdered — some by strangers, some by neighbours, one by a family member. I’d been beaten to a bloody pulp in a kidnapping attempt that, had it gone off as the kidnappers intended would have ended in my rape and murder — that had been the fate of the 12 year old they were suspected of abducting a few blocks away only days before. They were never caught and I don’t doubt that they’ve racked up more victims. My little brother had been held at gunpoint and robbed. The police found the burned out remains of the car of my brother’s close friend but they’ve never found Candy’s body. She’s still “missing” more than twenty years on. We’d had a wanna-be serial killer trying to get into our house and the house of our neighbours. He was a neighbour.
It isn’t guns or access to guns that causes these “senseless” crimes. It is something deeper, something that has eaten away at the core of a society and continues to go unaddressed. In the U.S. the enemy within is as great as the enemy without.
I live in a war-zone but I know who my enemies are and they are not my neighbours.