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Prensa Libre, Guatemala

Facing This Slaughter in the US

Translated By Karen Posada

16 December 2012

Edited by Heather Martin

Guatemala - Prensa Libre - Original Article (Spanish)

The emotion and tears shed on Friday by U.S. President Barack Obama when he addressed the nation in reference to the new and appalling irrational massacre that occurred in that country were justified. It reached a magnitude of unimaginable evil, with a total of 27 victims, 20 innocent children between the ages of 4 and 10 — elementary school students — and teachers at that establishment.

The terror and indignation that the whole world felt in the face of this new evidence of violence will force American society and its authorities to meditate seriously about the evident need to put limits on the astonishing ease of acquiring firearms of any kind and, especially, those that have the power to become massacre-making machines in a matter of seconds.

Further proof that the moment to act against profligacy in the sale of weapons is here is the fact that the killer used weapons acquired legally by his mother — a teacher at the school who was also killed by the perpetrator — then went to the school to massacre children who were taught by her.* This is the most disturbing element because while criminal violence with guns is unfortunately common in the world, criminals and murderers often acquire them illegally, while in the U.S. powerful lobby organizations of the arms industry veto any kind of control.

American society is the only one in which irrational killings of people are common, committed by individuals who shoot at will in universities, schools, malls and streets, who usually commit suicide on the spot or die shot by elite snipers of the police force. Of course there are criminal terrorist attacks elsewhere, but these are different from the irrational violence spoken of today, which deals with ideological or religious fanatics or a combination of both. In the U.S. it is pure irrationality.

Twenty children and four teachers have been added to the list of victims of massacres. This last one also happened just two weeks before Christmas. U.S. flags are at half-mast across the whole country, but that does not cease to be purely symbolic if it does not begin the fight to face this misunderstood freedom to bear arms, which is in the Constitution of that country. It is not about prohibiting that right, but about thinking how to not have it benefit criminals and mentally unbalanced people.

It is a difficult subject. It will provoke debates and divide the population between those that support controls and those that do not. But the reality is inescapable: Something must be done when, due to permissive arms purchasing policies, elementary schools where children attend classes frequently become the sites of massacres and confirm how far human evil can reach.

*Editor’s note: This editorial was most likely written before it was revealed that Adam Lanza’s mother did not in fact work at the school.



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