Response to President Barack Obama
December 14, 2013
In his weekly radio address on December 14, 2013 President Obama speaks of the terrible tragedy of Newtown and the sadness we feel over this and other school shootings. He says too we must have a sense of resolve—that these tragedies must end, and to end them, we must change.
One change that is seldom or never talked about by President Obama nor most of the media is about how in our nation when we are threatened by violence or violence is perpetrated against us, we respond to the perpetrator with more violence.
Unfortunately we as a nation prepare for war not for peace. We don’t have a Department for Peace! Preparing for war, our soldiers are taught to kill and then sent out to other nations to kill their people. It destroys our soldiers too. When they come home, so many of them show signs of stress and mental illness and are damaged in so many other ways. In addition, our government, actually our president, each day sends out unmanned drone planes to fly to other countries to drop bombs which all too often “accidently” fall on civilians at family parties. Lots of stories about wedding parties being so disrupted! Families destroyed.
At home our laws allow us to send more people to prison than any other nation in the world besides one or two. Prisoners who rebel or complain can be further punished by isolating them in solitary confinement. How many people think about what solitary confinement is or what is does to one who is confined? Policies are now being used in schools to punish children in the same way…by isolation. I suggest that our policies and collective practices need more attention (and change) than just urging us to be nicer to one another. We must move to see the destruction of our policies and realize how destructive they are when our own young people in stress open fire with guns too easily bought in our schools and communities. We need to analyze how that culture of violence in which we live negatively impacts us as persons and leads to thinking that violence will stop the pain.