The senseless shooting in Newtown, Conn., headlined in the media worldwide, has justifiably horrified us all. We read of the efforts to deal with this tragedy through hotlines, prayers, memorials, and trauma counseling to survivors, relatives and loved ones. There is an immediacy that resonates with all of us for the 28 people, mostly children, who have had their lives and futures starkly cut short.
Some people wonder whether a series of such incidents could ever cumulatively impact on the burning issue of gun control. Yet, incidents as devastating and tragic as this are occurring frequently even now in remote countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan unheralded in the Western press. The victims are very often innocent bystanders or targets of mistaken “intelligence.” Wedding parties, school outings, other social gatherings and even activities of daily living have been trashed casually by drone attacks, with no outpouring of concern for the emotional and physical trauma of survivors or loved ones.
Does no one here recognize the similarity of our tragic shooting sprees to the devastation wrought to innocent people during the drone attacks we launch in our undeclared “wars” in countries where the people don’t resemble us? Are those anguished humans any less deserving of our compassion? If we ever debate gun control in the wake of the current tragedy we must also confront drone warfare, which violates all domestic and international laws relating to waging wars.