There is so much talk about the children who were murdered in Newtown Connecticut these days. It only seems fitting that I should write about it on my blog. After all, I also have strong feelings about children AND gun control.
It amazes me that so many Americans are outraged about these 20 kids, but have little to no compassion for children in other parts of the world. I tend to believe that once again people are consumed by the idea of American exceptionalism. So consumed, that it's caused many to become blinded to the issues that face the rest of the world.
According to UNICEF http://www.unicef.org/mdg/childmortality.html, over 29,000 kids die daily throughout the world. In part they say;
"More than 70 per cent of almost 11 million child deaths every year are
attributable to six causes: diarrhoea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia,
preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth.
These deaths occur mainly in the developing world. An Ethiopian child is 30
times more likely to die by his or her fifth birthday than a child in Western
Europe. Among deaths in children, South-central Asia has the highest number of
neonatal deaths, while sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates. Two-thirds of
deaths occur in just 10 countries.
And the majority are preventable. Some of the deaths occur from illnesses
like measles, malaria or tetanus. Others result indirectly from marginalization,
conflict and HIV/AIDS. Malnutrition and the lack of safe water and sanitation
contribute to half of all these children’s deaths.
But disease isn’t inevitable, nor do children with these diseases need to
It's not clear how many children die from fire arms, but I'm certain that number is high too. With that information before someone, how could they possibly see what happened last week as a major tragedy? Is it because these children were mainly white Americans from upperclass neighborhoods, while the children who die from what UNICEF has identified are from mostly 3rd world countries?