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Juventud Rebelde, Cuba

A Society Is Fired on at Close Range


By Dr. C. Julio César Hernández Perera

What for us is unheard of — the death, in just one blow, of many innocents — seems to be an expected tragedy in a sick society where the majority of inhabitants support the right to use firearms to “protect oneself,” even in public locations.

Translated By Sara Hunter

2 January 2013

Edited by Mary Young


Cuba - Juventud Rebelde - Original Article (Spanish)

The mass murder at a primary school in Connecticut made headlines Dec. 14, 2012. The news described a 24-year-old man who entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, dressed in military clothing — including body armor — and with a finger on the trigger of two firearms.

After firing more than a hundred bullets he had killed 20 children. And with that the shooting received the grim qualification of being the biggest tragedy to have occurred in an American school.

We were distant spectators of a succession of events that have recently been repeated with suspicious frequency in U.S. educational establishments. These latter have ultimately been transformed into battlefields, or rather, scenes of massacres where the lifeless bodies of many learners and teachers have been left lying.

In addition to schools and universities, other public settings have been converted into targets of firearms. According to official reports, around two million Americans are the victims of violence in their workplaces. This reality is of one of the many consequences of the “barbaric culture” engendered within the country. There, homicide is a frequent cause of death — generally accomplished with pistols or rifles.

Hospitals reveal some of the highest rates of violence in the workplace, an aspect that is rarely talked about in the media.

It is no coincidence that an article published in the American magazine Annals of Emergency Medicine in December of 2012, in which they analyzed statistics about firearm violence, revealed the increasingly frequent occurrence of violence in American hospitals from 2010 through 2011.

Despite the limitations of this type of study, where it is impossible to collect information on all the incidents, the results report shocking figures: 154 shootings in 148 hospitals and 235 people affected, with a high rate of mortality (around 70 percent of cases).

To get a more accurate picture of the problem, it is worth noting that approximately three percent of American hospitals have experienced at least one shootout with victims. The frequency of these misfortunes is slightly higher than in educational institutions, and the principal victims are patients, nurses and doctors.

What for us is unheard of — the death, in just one blow, of many innocents — seems to be an expected tragedy in a sick society where the majority of inhabitants support the right to use firearms to “protect oneself,” even in public locations.

We are talking about a country where military expenses can reach more than a trillion dollars (including indirect and hidden costs). A country where video games, movies, television and other media show, in an abusive way, countless programs dominated by content that includes homicides, kidnappings, fights, shootings, robberies, nudity, erotic demonstrations and torture, among others. Together, all are generating violence.

It is a world that looks bleak and painful in comparison to the peace and care for human rights that that seem natural in our country — or the one we would like to have. We have struggled very much so that our children will not be hostages to terror. It is a reality that may not be noticed often but clearly comes to light when, sadly, we read headlines such as that of the primary school in Connecticut.



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