Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Is America Adam Lanza?

by SANFORD KELSON

One woman said after the shooting of 20 young children in Newtown, Connecticut: “I am Adam Lanza’s mother.” She is the mother of a boy who she believes is not so different from the shooter and she lives in fear.

I ponder whether America, in a metaphorical sense is, to a large degree, Adam Lanza?

Lanza, dressed in military clothing,  killed 20 elementary school children. When Clinton was president, his secretary of state, Madeline Albright, a representative of the American people, was questioned by Lesley Stahl on 60 minutes about the effect of US inspired sanctions on Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima.  And, you know, is the price worth it?” Secretary of State Albright calmly responded: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

As the representative of the American people President Obama, not unlike his immediate predecessor in office, George W. Bush, has been waging horrendous wars in which hundreds of thousands have been killed, mostly civilians, including, of course,  children.  Alas, many of these children were the same age as those killed in Newtown. And President Obama claims he has the right to assassinate anybody he decides anywhere in the world and he has been very busy doing just that with drones and other sophisticated methods. The killing is routine.

Our culture is one that glorifies violence. Examples making up this culture are so prominent that I need not even provide any to make the point.

I had hope when I heard Obama over the radio, in his speech at Newtown, say in part

I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine.

So, today, I read the whole speech carefully but, alas, he was only speaking about American children. So, I guess he will not use the power of his office in efforts to prevent more tragedies like the killing of 500,000 Iraqi children. I am sure the parents of those dead children continue to grieve just like we all do for the 20 killed in Connecticut. Are non-American children any less valuable than American children? Is it moral, or even possible, to have a heart so cold that we can kill children with reckless abandon overseas but at the same time protect children here?

There is a lesson, I believe, in what Martin Luther King said on April 4, 1967 when he publicly spoke out for the first time against the Vietnam War:

… we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing oriented” society to a “person oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

And I will add to King’s triplets that are incapable of being prevented without a revolution in values: alienation and dysfunction on a national scale.

The woman who said she was Adam Lanza’s mother is in fear. So should we all.

But, if we choose to come together as a people and work for a revolution of values we can defeat the violence and dissipate our fears. Many Americans have been engaged in working for this revolution. Many more are required. Let not the deaths of the 500,000 Iraqi or the 20 in Connecticut be in vain. Let’s honor those teachers and first responders who instinctively stepped into harm’s way to protect the children in their schools by acting now and not when faced with a shooter when it may be too late. Let’s engage in our schools, churches, prisons, work places and unions. If we the people lead, our elected representatives will surely follow.  They always have when enough people united and demanded that they do so.

Sanford Kelson is a lawyer in Pennsylvania.

Sanford Kelson is an attorney in Pennsylvania.

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 30, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
Thinking Dangerously in the Age of Normalized Ignorance
Stanley L. Cohen
Israel and Academic Freedom: a Closed Book
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate? 
Andrew Levine
A Putrid Election: the Horserace as Farce
Mike Whitney
The Biggest Heist in Human History
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Sick Blue Line
Rob Urie
The Twilight of the Leisure Class
Vijay Prashad
In a Hall of Mirrors: Fear and Dislike at the Polls
Alexander Cockburn
The Man Who Built Clinton World
John Wight
Who Will Save Us From America?
Pepe Escobar
Afghanistan; It’s the Heroin, Stupid
W. T. Whitney
When Women’s Lives Don’t Matter
Howard Lisnoff
What was Missing From The Nation’s Interview with Bernie Sanders
Julian Vigo
“Ooops, I Did It Again”: How the BBC Funnels Stories for Financial Gain
Jeremy Brecher
Dakota Access Pipeline and the Future of American Labor
Binoy Kampmark
Pictures Left Incomplete: MH17 and the Joint Investigation Team
Andrew Kahn
Nader Gave Us Bush? Hillary Could Give Us Trump
Steve Horn
Obama Weakens Endangered Species Act
Dave Lindorff
US Propaganda Campaign to Demonize Russia in Full Gear over One-Sided Dutch/Aussie Report on Flight 17 Downing
John W. Whitehead
Uncomfortable Truths You Won’t Hear From the Presidential Candidates
Ramzy Baroud
Shimon Peres: Israel’s Nuclear Man
Brandon Jordan
The Battle for Mercosur
Murray Dobbin
A Globalization Wake-Up Call
Jesse Ventura
Corrupted Science: the DEA and Marijuana
Richard W. Behan
Installing a President by Force: Hillary Clinton and Our Moribund Democracy
Andrew Stewart
The Democratic Plot to Privatize Social Security
Daniel Borgstrom
On the Streets of Oakland, Expressing Solidarity with Charlotte
Marjorie Cohn
President Obama: ‘Patron’ of the Israeli Occupation
Norman Pollack
The “Self-Hating” Jew: A Critique
David Rosen
The Living Body & the Ecological Crisis
Joseph Natoli
Thoughtcrimes and Stupidspeak: Our Assault Against Words
Ron Jacobs
A Cycle of Death Underscored by Greed and a Lust for Power
Uri Avnery
Abu Mazen’s Balance Sheet
Kim Nicolini
Long Drive Home
Louisa Willcox
Tribes Make History with Signing of Grizzly Bear Treaty
Art Martin
The Matrix Around the Next Bend: Facebook, Augmented Reality and the Podification of the Populace
Andre Vltchek
Failures of the Western Left
Ishmael Reed
Millennialism or Extinctionism?
Frances Madeson
Why It’s Time to Create a Cabinet-Level Dept. of Native Affairs
Laura Finley
Presidential Debate Recommendations
José Negroni
Mass Firings on Broadway Lead Singers to Push Back
Leticia Cortez
Entering the Historical Dissonance Surrounding Desafinados
Robert J. Burrowes
Gandhi: ‘My Life is My Message’
Charles R. Larson
Queen Lear? Deborah Levy’s “Hot Milk”
David Yearsley
Bring on the Nibelungen: If Wagner Scored the Debates
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]