Response to President Obama’s address to nation on 12-14-13

obama, radio address, netwon, connecticut, gun violence

Response to  President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
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.

Kathleen Kanet

About networkforpeace

Network for Peace through Dialogue (formerly the Center of International Learning) was begun in 1985 by sociologists, theologians, and educators from Germany, the Philippines and the United States united by their world view and wanting to participate in transformative change. The Center was to provide ongoing learning, analysis and collaboration between people of the Northern and Southern hemispheres. There were two specific goals: to promote democratic processes and to work toward de-militarization. Thus since 1985 The Network for Peace through Dialogue has been dedicated to connecting grassroots communities, both local and global in order to identify and research common issues and solutions in the areas of making peace and promoting just action. Our objective is to provide a platform so that communities and societies can expand understanding and discuss their differences within a dynamic environment to help resolve conflicts and cooperate more fully. In all our programs we do so by analyzing, facilitating, and fostering dialogue, identifying solutions and sharing information.
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