Published on January 4th, 20131
Guns are not the problem
From Israel Hayom (Israel), Princella D. Smith, a freelance contributor to Israel Hayom and a graduate student at the Lauder School of Government opines about the recent tragedy in Connecticut.
Still fresh on Americans’ minds is the horrible massacre in Colorado earlier this year in which 12 people were killed and 59 were injured by a lone gunman who opened fire in a movie theater. Now, during America’s prime holiday season, we are stopped in our tracks by the news of yet another seemingly random mass killing of the innocent. The location? Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. This time, the 27 victims include 20 children — eight boys and 12 girls.
For many Americans, hearing reports of such violence is so surreal that there is an immediate attempt to humanize the event. We want to know the name of the killer, understand his or her family background, and try to figure out exactly what drove him to such a monstrous act.
While this is understandable, I will break with my fellow American writers by refusing to cite the name of the killer in the Connecticut shooting. I do not feel the need to provide him with that platform and possibly encourage other potential madmen or women to replicate his actions.
I do, however, understand the need to put a human face on this monster.
The Connecticut incident has spurred remembrance of prior mass killings in America. In 2012 alone, there have been 16 mass shootings in America leaving over 80 people dead.
Unlike Israelis, Americans are not used to hearing of random acts of violence against innocent people. It still shakes us to our core. The United States is such a large country that the violence we do hear about may occur in a city or state far removed from us, whereas in Israel, every terrorist attack seems to take place in one’s own backyard. Americans also tend to think that as long as they stay away from particular neighborhoods, like the mean streets of Compton or the South Side of Chicago, they don’t really have to worry about getting shot. Also, in these instances, a motive can usually be traced, such as drugs, gang violence, or domestic disputes gone wrong.
Source: Israel Hayom. Read full article. (link)