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On The Killing of Children and Others, Domestic and Foreign -- An Analysis

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Many Americans are dismayed, as they surely should be, by the domestic massacres of their children. These are the deaths closest to home and the ones they are forced to face up to due to media attention. They are also confused about what to do because, for so many, guns and freedom are synonymous. All the other instances of violence: the nightly murders in poor districts of cities and towns across the nation, the piled-up bodies of adults and children in places like Vietnam and Iraq, are largely hidden from the citizenry. And certainly the consequences for the average citizen of Iran of the U.S. government acting out in a powerful way, will be kept remote enough so as to avoid all empathy.  

Whether Americans are paying attention or not, their government, their elected officials, continue to make sure that the U.S. remains out and about across the globe, projecting the nation's power via guns and sanctions, and thereby helping to lower the world's burgeoning population in the most negative of all possible ways.  

The politicians who initiate these murderous policies may hardly know, in any fully analyzed way, why they do so. But they know it feels culturally comfortable to persist. They have their superficial ideological conviction that there must be an evil enemy to fight and, in juxtaposition to that enemy, they are always the good guys. Many also have the simplistic notion that gun ownership is as vital to the individual citizen's freedom as military power is to the nation's liberty. Just as the individual American believes he owns that semi-automatic rifle to protect home and hearth, so his national leaders cherish (and over-fund) the national arsenal. They have power and they will use it. They believe, probably sincerely, that they are still on the frontier protecting their homestead from the uncivilized. 

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Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign
Policy Inc.: Privatizing America's National Interest
; America's
Palestine: Popular and Offical Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli
; and Islamic Fundamentalism. His academic work is focused on the history of American foreign relations with the Middle East. He also teaches courses in the history of science and modern European intellectual history.

His blog To The Point Analyses now has its own Facebook page. Along with the analyses, the Facebook page will also have reviews, pictures, and other analogous material.

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