Sunday, January 27, 2013
Tim...I submitted this last week to the StarTrib and they chose not to print it. Thought you'd like to see it and distribute if you like. All the best, Tom
Subject: Let's Look at Ourselves!
Dear Editor....In the debate over the causes of gun violence it is amazing to me that a very major reason, the U.S. global militarism, is being totally ignored. We are currently exporting over 75% of the weapons being sold around the world and terrorist groups are using many of them. The national policy we seem to have adopted is that "might is right" and that those with the biggest and fastest-shooting weapons rule the day. Military recruiters are allowed in our schools with impunity to glorify the "warrior" and glamorize the power achieved with an assault weapon while Veterans for Peace aren't allowed to speak in many schools. It is a fact many of the killers in the mass shootings in the U.S. had mental illness left untreated. Yet more than 30% of the young men and women we have sent into combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning to our streets with severe post traumatic stress disorder and, if even diagnosed, are waiting six months for treatment. When going to war, or supplying weapons for someone else to go to war on our behalf, is the foremost option of our national policy, why are we surprised that individuals in a gun-saturated society will use guns to address their problems. And..the thought of killing civilians, or children as in the case of Sandy Hook, seems no longer to be a deterrent. After all, in our war in Iraq and Afghanistan, a war of revenge, over 90% of the casualties were civilians, many of them women and children.
This is the Breakdown of the 2013 Federal “Discretionary” Budget:
Military (Department of Defense = War, Veterans Affairs, and Nuclear Weapons Programs) 60%
Health & Human Services 7%
Other Programs 4%
Homeland Security 3.5%
Housing and Urban Dev. 3%
Energy, Labor, Treasury, Interior, EPA, Transportation (6 % total)
Military spending dwarfs all! Military wins! All vital domestic needs suffer!