The Sandy Hook Elementary shooting that took place in Newtown, Connecticut, is going to affect the loved ones of the victims for years to come and this is something that should not be ignored.
Although most of us do not know the victims or their families, the news reports each and every detail of the event, and our hearts and thoughts go out to those who are suffering.
Yet, something about this seems entirely hypocritical; we as Americans largely ignore when our own government, in countries around the world, murders innocent children but when an American child dies, our media and our nation can focus on nothing else.
Meanwhile, U.S. drones are killing children and terrorizing families abroad. Earlier this year, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that 176 children have been murdered in Pakistan alone. And along with drone attacks, an average of 4.8 children are killed per day in Afghanistan where earlier this year, a U.S. sergeant is reported to have killed 9 children. Will these murders be deemed worthy of our thoughts and prayers, or even our news headlines?
These deaths abroad are tragic too. These deaths will also affect the loved ones of victims for years to come and their lives are no less-worthy of thoughts, prayers and government (or civilian) action.
Some will disagree with me and say that we should care about the deaths of children in the U.S. to a greater extent than the deaths of those abroad, because children living here are part of our nation. But most of us don't know the loved ones of the deceased in Connecticut any better than we know deceased in other countries. With all men (and children) created equal, we as Americans should care when any child is killed, not just the ones who happen to be born in a certain geographical region called the United States.
Here, we worry that our children might be afraid to go to school because there is now a 1 in 67,140 chance that their elementary school might be attacked. But we cause that same fear when we allow our government to fire missiles at schools abroad. Sadaullah Khan, a 15-year old boy who lost both legs in a drone strike says, "I used to go to school … I thought I would become a doctor. After the drone strikes, I stopped going to school."
Here in the U.S., parents worry that they might have to attend the funeral of their own child. But our government strikes fear into the hearts of parents abroad when it kills their children during funerals. When we worry about the safety of our children, we forget that it is our drone strikes, our money and our democratically-elected government that cause the same fear in select countries around the world.
And yet, Americans are going to spend thousands of hours supporting or protesting various gun laws to "save the children," here at home. But in reality, Americans could save many more children if they protested our own government's killing of hundreds of children abroad. But Americans won't spend their time this way, even if it would save more children's lives. It seems that Americans should care when any child is murdered, not just when American ones are.