How much worse is it going to get? Are we going to wait until some guy shoots up a preemie unit in a hospital before we start clamping down hard on high-power weapons, personal arsenals?
Can we finally start weaning ourselves off our steady diet of murder, mayhem and predation — consumed on TV, movies, video games, news, Internet —that glorifies violence, desensitizes people to violence, feeds our basest instincts?
Is it possible for all of us mourning those little kids, both the ones who died and those who survived, only to suffer lingering psychological trauma, to extend that empathy to the people of Pakistan, whose children and family members are being killed and traumatized by our drones? Death dealt from the sky by a foreign power is just as incomprehensible to the victims and their families as death dealt by a gunman in an elementary school.
It's all murder.
A photo has been shown of President Obama wiping away a tear upon hearing news of the school massacre. How is that he remains dry-eyed about the civilian deaths by drones in Pakistan, a country not even at war with America?
As CNN reported in late September:
Obama has already authorized 283 strikes in Pakistan, six times more than the number during President George W. Bush's eight years in office,
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent organization based at City University in London, reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 - 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 - 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 - 1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.
Based on interviews with witnesses, victims and experts, the report accuses the CIA of "double-striking" a target, moments after the initial hit, thereby killing first responders.
It also highlights harm "beyond death and physical injury," publishing accounts of psychological trauma experienced by people living in Pakistan's tribal northwest region, who it says hear drones hover 24 hours a day.
We can't necessarily stop mentally ill people from waging murder, though we can make it harder for them to gain access to weapons of mass destruction.
And we can, as a nation, stop drone murder as foreign policy, if the American people stand up and say, enough. Enough of this pain, this devastation, this senseless killing.