FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

All the Little Children of the World

by MISSY BEATTIE

By the time you read this, I could be dead.

By the time I submit this, you could be dead.

Because I could decide to go to a mall.  Or you could.

And you—you might be targeted at, well, Target.  Or in a Walmart parking lot.

Your child and/or mine could be at a mall, in a parking lot, at his or her school, gunned up and down.  At any place, any time.

Could be America’s next murderer.

If only God were not absent from classrooms. Because surely God could have prevented that shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, or at any school.

But then why not say, “God should prevent mental illness?”

In fact, why doesn’t God stop a speeding bullet?  Make a gun misfire?  Cause a shooter to trip and blow out his/her own brains, instead of murdering children, others?

And why don’t we examine all issues, in addition to mental illness, gun control, and godlessness, to understand the scope of the problem?  And insist that those we employ as “representatives” or “leaders,” factor in Empire, endless war, torture, droning, the use of weapons of mass destruction, the deaths of the faceless who live so far away.  Although this militarism is a mental illness.

Barack Obama cried, paused, and cried some more—for U.S. children, vowing to do better.  For U.S. children.

Shouldn’t we demand that Congressmen and women and the president scrutinize societal, political, and economic violence that impacts all children throughout the world?

And glorifying war?  The “sacrifice for country,” the “dying to protect our freedoms,” “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here,” and the obscenity of decorating uniforms of servicemen and women with murder medals.

When are we going to be accountable for the deaths in our names?  Not just the deaths of U.S children, but all who die in the line of U.S-foreign-and-domestic-policy fire.

But, oh, he cried.  God bless him, he cried. That could have been one of Obama’s daughters. In fact, Trayvon Martin could have been his son.  Or have you forgotten Trayvon, because there have been so many murder spectacles recently?  In the last few weeks. And Trayvon, well, that story is, oh, so February of 2012.  He shouldn’t have been in that neighborhood, anyway.

Or God should have been in that neighborhood.  Or maybe God was in that neighborhood.

Because people who assume power think they’re God. Right?

Be careful out there, doing whatever.  And be full of caring. When you hug your child or say, “I love you,” be mindful that this may be the last time you see him or her alive.  Or the last time he or she sees you breathing.

Be mindful, too, of all children.  Everywhere.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore.  Email: missybeat@gmail.com

 

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

April 24, 2017
Mike Whitney
Is Mad Dog Planning to Invade East Syria?    
John Steppling
Puritan Jackals
Robert Hunziker
America’s Tale of Two Cities, Redux
David Jaffe
The Republican Party and the ‘Lunatic Right’
John Davis
No Tomorrow or Fashion-Forward
Patrick Cockburn
Treating Mental Health Patients as Criminals
Jack Dresser
An Accelerating Palestine Rights Movement Faces Uncertain Direction
George Wuerthner
Diet for a Warming Planet
Lawrence Wittner
Why Is There So Little Popular Protest Against Today’s Threats of Nuclear War?
Colin Todhunter
From Earth Day to the Monsanto Tribunal, Capitalism on Trial
Paul Bentley
Teacher’s Out in Front
Franklin Lamb
A Post-Christian Middle East With or Without ISIS?
Kevin Martin
We Just Paid our Taxes — are They Making the U.S. and the World Safer?
Erik Mears
Education Reformers Lowered Teachers’ Salaries, While Promising to Raise Them
Binoy Kampmark
Fleeing the Ratpac: James Packer, Gambling and Hollywood
Weekend Edition
April 21, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Diana Johnstone
The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty
Paul Street
Donald Trump: Ruling Class President
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Dude, Where’s My War?
Andrew Levine
If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em
Paul Atwood
Why Does North Korea Want Nukes?
Robert Hunziker
Trump and Global Warming Destroy Rivers
Vijay Prashad
Turkey, After the Referendum
Binoy Kampmark
Trump, the DOJ and Julian Assange
CJ Hopkins
The President Formerly Known as Hitler
Steve Reyna
Replacing Lady Liberty: Trump and the American Way
Lucy Steigerwald
Stop Suggesting Mandatory National Service as a Fix for America’s Problems
Robert Fisk
It is Not Just Assad Who is “Responsible” for the Rise of ISIS
John Laforge
“Strike Two” Against Canadian Radioactive Waste Dumpsite Proposal
Norman Solomon
The Democratic Party’s Anti-Bernie Elites Have a Huge Stake in Blaming Russia
Andrew Stewart
Can We Finally Get Over Bernie Sanders?
Susan Babbitt
Don’t Raise Liberalism From the Dead (If It is Dead, Which It’s Not)
Uri Avnery
Palestine’s Nelson Mandela
Fred Nagel
It’s “Deep State” Time Again
John Feffer
The Hunger President
Stephen Cooper
Nothing is Fair About Alabama’s “Fair Justice Act”
Jack Swallow
Why Science Should Be Political
Chuck Collins
Congrats, Graduates! Here’s Your Diploma and Debt
Aidan O'Brien
While God Blesses America, Prometheus Protects Syria, Russia and North Korea 
Patrick Hiller
Get Real About Preventing War
David Rosen
Fiction, Fake News and Trump’s Sexual Politics
Evan Jones
Macron of France: Chauncey Gardiner for President!
David Macaray
Adventures in Labor Contract Language
Ron Jacobs
The Music Never Stopped
Kim Scipes
Black Subjugation in America
Sean Stinson
MOAB: More Obama and Bush
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail