Reader's view: Our society’s values contribute to gun deaths
Lost amid much of the commentary published concerning the killings of police officers in Dallas was the background of the shooter that revealed much of what is wrong about our nation. Micah Johnson was a man trained by the U.S. Army to be a kille...
Lost amid much of the commentary published concerning the killings of police officers in Dallas was the background of the shooter that revealed much of what is wrong about our nation. Micah Johnson was a man trained by the U.S. Army to be a killer. He was released from service after negotiations that kept him from a less-than-honorable discharge. He was recognized by his military superiors as an undesirable soldier (with charges of sexual assault on his record). His assigned military attorney noted that the Army “didn’t like him … that was very clear from talking to his commander,” as the New York Times reported on July 9.
He was turned loose, despite his troubled past, with no help for his disturbed mental state, into a society replete with guns, which he availed himself to freely and legally.
How much, we need to ask ourselves, was Johnson responsible for these killings? And how much are our laws, our militarism and our elected officials responsible? If the United States is “the land of the free and the home of the brave,” does this mean we are free to shoot one another: white police shooting young blacks, unbalanced blacks shooting white police, husbands and boyfriends shooting wives and girlfriends, so many people shooting so many other people - and so freely? Not bravely, certainly, but cowardly.
The New York Times quoted the police chief of Milwaukee on July 8: “We’re the most heavily armed violent society in the history of Western civilization.”
Who is responsible for that?