From the Archive: As the United States wrestles with the latest gun massacre – this time aimed at Connecticut kindergarteners – the real question is the character of American adults, many of whom punish gun-control advocates at the polls. Is America a nation of wildebeest, as Robert Parry asked after an earlier massacre.
By Robert Parry (Slightly edited from original publication on July 22, 2012)
Whenever some deranged gunman, armed with an assault rifle or some other highly lethal weapon, slaughters young Americans – at a college or a high school or a mall or a movie theater (or now a grade school) – I think of those documentaries showing Wildebeest on their migrations through crocodile-infested rivers.
In their frightened eyes, you can see that the herd knows that each crocodile will pick off an individual Wildebeest, flip it in the air, break its back and then drag it away to be devoured. But the herd still crashes through the river presumably with the understanding that most of them will survive. The Wildebeest may even be emotionally numbed to the fate of the unlucky ones.
In a way, that is what Americans have become. As we send our children off to school or off to a party or off to the movies, we know instinctively that some of them may well die at the hands of some troubled person who has obtained a powerful weapon and has decided to avenge some imagined slight by murdering strangers.
Sometimes, the dead are in large numbers (like at the Aurora, Colorado, multi-plex theater in July 2012 or in Newtown, Connecticut, on Friday), but usually it’s just one or two at a time. We just hope that it’s not our kids. ............(more)