SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 9, 2013

Letter: What of those killed with our weapons?


The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Rightfully, the president eulogizes the slain children of Sandy Hook. But what of the scores of Afghan and Pakistani “collateral damage” slaughtered weekly by U.S. drone strikes? What of the Palestinians recently maimed by Israeli bombs and bullets supplied by U.S. largesse, to say nothing of nameless urban youths expert at loading a firearm magazine long before learning to read a printed one?

Horrified mindsets find no utility in reflective contemplation. Americans are stricken with, as Gore Vidal once put it, “historical amnesia.” Post-9/11 political expediency sought to maneuver an American public under the dark spell of great emotional duress. Hysteria’s absurd logic dictated sacrifice of inalienable rights for the otherwise law-abiding. Clearly, too many are willing to trade liberty for the safety of government security.

Morally strong societies do not generally entertain such careless solipsism. How can a Nobel prize recipient condemn one insane act of domestic violence yet condone other comparable acts committed in the name of “U.S. foreign policy” abroad? In a truly global community, senseless deaths of children everywhere are all abominable. Curtailing personal liberties will not make our society any less prone to violent incidents, but it will surely make it less democratic and, tragically, less free.

Steve C. Perkins

Danvers