12 June 2007

For American children, every year is 9/11

As we are incessantly reminded, on September 11th, 2002, Islamic extremists flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon, killing up to 3.000 people. As a result, President Bush declared a war on terror.

What we are rarely reminded of is that that many children are killed by firearms in the United States every year, about two-thirds of them homicides. That's not once in all of history, but each and every year. Yet, curiously, the U.S. administration has not declared a war on guns. On terror, yes, and of course on drugs, but not on guns, even though American children are 16 times more likely to be killed by firearms than children in 25 other industrialized nations averaged together.

If George W. Bush's first concern was the security of the American people, as he so often claims, clearly he would be waging a war on guns in his own country rather than a war on terror internationally. Indeed, not doing so seems inconsistent, even perverse, yet it is in fact perfectly consistent. Waging a war on terror is the macho thing to do, and packing guns is the macho thing to do, so a war on the former and a peace pact with the latter meshes perfectly with the mores of a macho administration.

The death of 3,000 children a year is simply collateral damage.

No comments:

Post a Comment