Imran Khan

In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful

There are certain events in the destiny of a nation which turn out to be a defining moments.  I believe the massacre at Newtown Ct. is one of them.  It is a defining moment not only because of the ghastly nature of the crime but also its causes.  The current narrative starting from the President downwards is that the widespread availability of the guns is to be blamed. On the other end of the spectrum the NRA is making the strange proposal of making every school teacher be armed. Under normal circumstances it would have been darkly amusing. Sure guns have something to do with it, but they are manifestation of the root cause. Lance Armstrong’s inspirational book titled ‘It’s Not About the Bike’ looks beyond what is obvious and takes the reader deeper into what really matters. What happened in Newtown can happen in any town in the USA, because the environment has been primed by the policies formed by the US government at the end of the Vietnam war. The image of children running away in the My Lai massacre changed the opinion of Americans against the Vietnam war.  It eroded the blind trust that Americans had put in their governments and things have never been quite the same.  The bitter lesson learned by the policy makers from this experience was to end the draft and not to allow journalists into the battlefield or document the returning body bags. This freed them from having to send their kids to the battlefields and to control the narrative of the events for American consumption. Anyone who stood in the way was either dehumanized or branded as unpatriotic.  The net result has been the steady growth of callouses of lack of empathy and compassion in the collective and individual behaviors.

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