Saturday, December 22, 2012
The Red Bomb
Imagine you are a young girl, about 11 years old out one sunny carefree summer’s day riding your bicycle. Imagine that you and your family just moved to a housing complex available to the families of military personell and your Dad is in the Navy, so this housing complex with it’s look alike buildings and it’s neatly paved streets all laid out in a neat grid-like pattern is near an Air Force base. Imagine you hear a sound like thunder approaching with a strange added whistling noise. You look up to see where the clouds are for the oncoming storm because last time you noticed the sky was bright blue, absent of clouds. What you see instead of clouds is a low flying black jet, approaching with a speed so fast it leaves you breathless and as you hold your breath and notice that it is flying so low that it almost touches the trees and you can see markings painted on the slanted back wings and as it gets closer to you and the noise becomes deafening, you see what you have imagined a bomb looks like, painted bright red in contrast to the black of the plane. Your mind goes into overdrive! You are wondering through your paralyzing fear “Is that a bomb? And am I going to die right here right now?” You feel the hot tears streaming down your face and you think, “But why? Why is this flying monster with the red bomb going to kill me?” Just as quickly as the “bomber” approached and shook your reality to bits, its gone. Disappearing into a bright blue sky with no clouds. Leaving you shaking, and gripping onto the handle bars of your bicycle unable to put one foot in front of the other to run to the imagined safety of your home, where you know your Mother is cooking in the kitchen and your brothers are glued to the tv, watching cartoons on this peaceful, Saturday, Summer’s day unaware of what you have just experienced. What’s there now in your mind and heart is a fear and an insecurity that you will never be able to erase from your memory. You are only 11 years old and you were not hurt, you were not blown to bits by a bomb drop and you have no answers to your questions of why. Why do we wage war, why do we think we are safer with these killing machines flying in our skies? That young girl was me and I never felt safer at all in this country of ours from that moment on. I realized at only 11 years old for the first time that my government had the means then to wipe even me off the face of the earth. I never feared another country coming in to destroy Americans any more than I began to fear my own government!
The insecure feelings of being in that position, vulnerable to a plane or a drone targeting you is tremendous. I am filled with empathy for the people that our Predator Drones target and bomb. I am filled with horror and fear for the people and the children especially of Palestine who were just almost wiped out by the bombing of the Israeli government. Not to mention the many who have endured this in our wars past.
Also just as horrific are the mass killings we are experiencing in this country and maybe will continue to experience if we don’t do something about the ease with which to purchase weapons that kill. People who say guns don’t kill, have little idea of what they are saying in my humble opinion. If that pilot in that jet airplane had pulled a switch and had dropped a bomb on my head he would have been killing me WITH a bomb. People kill people WITH guns in their hands! They kill people WITH knives and axes and other lethal weapons.
I think now is the time to start “beating our swords into plowshares” It’s a statement that conjures up pictures of great peace and a lack of aggression. Instead of being afraid and being of the mind set that you have to protect ourselves from some imagined or real enemy, we need to start more pooling of the energy of loving each other, accepting each other, helping each other and stop the fighting over who’s right it is to bear arms and who’s right it isn’t!
I don’t’ want my Grandchildren or anyone’s children for that matter to have to live in a world where at any moment they can be vaporized just because they might be standing out in the street in their neighborhood riding a bike, or sitting in a classroom with their friends, or walking down to the village market, thinking all is right with the world and then all of a sudden in the blink of an eye, have to realize that it’s not.