By Charley Bowman, Interim Director, Western New York Peace Center, Inc.
As yet, no one seems to know what caused Adam Lanza to do what he did with
his mother's M-16 style rifle, a rifle used by our troops in Afghanistan
and elsewhere, and available to Americans without question. Some say it's
harder to adopt a pet than get an M-16. At least we protect the tiny
little baby kittens.
The availability of such guns will likely become more difficult in the
near future, as it should. But what are the driving forces for committing
Why would Adam Lanza do this?
Let us count the many ways the US promotes its War on the World's
1) When we commit an act of war on others, we say to Adam Lanza that
violence is the best way of righting a wrong.
2) When we supported UN sanctions against Iraq between 1991 and 1995,
570,000 Iraqi children died -- more children than died in Hiroshima atomic
bombing, we say to Adam Lanza that violence against children is the best
3) When our political leaders say the deaths of 570,000 Iraqi children
"...is worth it", as did Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in May
1996, we say to Adam Lanza that violence is best.
4) We have killed 176 children in Pakistan, and up to 3 children in
Somalia with our drones. We again say to Adam Lanza that children are
5) When we hold 20 children (ages 13 to 18 at time of imprisonment) in
Guantanamo Bay prison without charge for 10 years, we say to Adam Lanza
that children have no rights.
6) When we create policies that prevent 60 million Americans from
obtaining health insurance and that lack of health insurance results in
3,000 American deaths every 24 days, we say to Adam Lanza that profits are
more important than the lives of children and parents (the numbers aren't
yet in for Obamacare)
7) When Secretary of State Hilary Clinton jokes about the killing of
Muammar Gaddafi, we say to Adam Lanza that violence is the best way of
righting a wrong. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlz3-OzcExI)
8) When President Obama decides every Tuesday what names go on the list of
people to be executed by drone (NYT May 29, 2012), we say to Adam Lanza
that killing is the best way to solve your problems.
9) When Army Lt. Col. Marion Carrington of 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute
Infantry Regiment (in Afghanistan) says about our use of drones...“It kind
of opens our aperture. In addition to looking for military-age males, it’s
looking for children with potential hostile intent.”, we say to Adam Lanza
that violence against children is OK. (Tom McNamara, Counterpunch, Dec.
10) When President Obama jokes about using drones to protect his daughters
from the Jonas Brothers, Obama says to Adam Lanza that violence is OK.
11) When each week, 11,000 individuals living in the Southern Tier of
Western NY visit pantries and shelters to receive food, we say to Adam
Lanza that money is better spent killing people than supporting Americans
12) When 12,482 households with children in Buffalo NY receive food
assistance each week, we say to Adam Lanza that money is better spent
killing people than supporting Americans at home.
13) When President George Bush II said on Sept 20, 2001 "Every nation, in
every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you
are with the terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues
to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a
hostile regime. " He said to Adam Lanza that violence works best.
14) When we use ROTC to recruit children in colleges and universities, we
say to those children and Adam Lanza, that violence is a really good way
of settling arguments.
15) When Section 2340 of the Federal Code says "in order to constitute
torture, an act must be specifically intended to inflict sever physical or
mental pain", we say to Adam Lanza that torturing people is OK as long as
you didn't intend to do so. (Torture and Impunity, by Alfred McCoy, p.
These are the messages Adam Lanza received, the messages we all receive.
Why are we able to cope with this onslaught of government sponsored
violence, and not Adam?
RIP children and adults of Newtown CT...and Adam.