Continuing with our global coverage of the reaction to Newtown, we have four fresh translations on the subject from China’s 022 China, Sweden’s Svenska Dagbladet, Guatemala’s Prensa Libre, and Brazil’s Estadao.
On the same day Alan Lanza went on a rampage with an assault rifle in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and six adults, half a world away, in China’s Henan Province, a deranged man entered an elementary school and attacked children with a knife, injuring 22. In an article headlined From Chenping to Newtown: ‘Don’t Let Children Go to School in Fear from China’s state-controlled 022 China, columnist Li Guohui argues that at every level, “friends, relatives, communities and societies’ have failed to properly care for the mentally ill,” which he suggests is the root cause of such attacks:
On November 14, dozens of innocent children experienced a murderous tragedy – an unforgivable and heinous crime!. Whether or not the assailant in China, Min Ying-jun, suffered some kind of neurotic episode, why would he go to an elementary school to attack children with a knife? What was Adam Lanza’s motive for killing his mother – and why after killing her, did he take four types of firearms to her elementary school and do such violence?
Looking around the globe, the number of mental patients with personality disorders has gradually risen, and their friends, relatives, communities and societies have failed at every level to provide the proper care and concern. If a “fuse” is unexpectedly lit, a “bomb” will explode. At that moment, these apparently meek lambs may turn into mighty butchers. Therefore, in order to create a more harmonious social environment, there must be stepped-up intervention with mentally ill people. Earlier mechanisms for prevention are a matter of great urgency.
Sweden’s Svenska Dagbladet published an editorial headlined In Wake of Newtown, Swedes Must Reconsider School Openness, warning readers that similar shootings could well happen there, and that despite the value Swedes put on openness, keeping the nation’s children safe is an even higher value:
“It is past time to for America to tighten gun controls, as research shows that more weapons lead to more murders. … Of course, Swedes do not decide on American legislation, and neither do the Swedish people elect U.S. presidents. Yet there are reasons for Swedes to turn the spotlight on our home turf. … In Sweden, an open and accessible society are highly valued, and that includes our schools. Should we reconsider this assessment? … The answer may be a painful one.”
For Guatemala’s Prensa Libre, in an article headlined Cowboys and U.S. Gun Culture: Reaffirming Heroism and War, columnist Carolina Vasquez Araya, while acknowledging the nobility and historic roots of the right to bear arms in the U.S., writes that in both the U.S. and Guatemala, no agreement on the proper regulation of firearms will be possible until ‘people come first, and every human life is protected as demanded by ethics and the Constitution.’
While the U.S. arms industry is an important source of income for the country, the protection of the lives of its citizens is a fundamental obligation and should prevail. … The regulatory framework in the U.S. allows any citizen to own guns, with the exception of convicts and the mentally ill. It is a way of culturally reaffirming the concept of heroism, personified by cowboys and soldiers in their use of high-powered weapons – in which warmongering is almost an expression of the highest patriotism.
And for Brazil’s Estadao, columnist Lucia Guimaraes is fed up with the ‘post-massacre ritual’ now recurring after Friday’s shooting in Connecticut. In a column headlined Obama Must Follow Victoria Soto: Only Action, Not Tears, Saves Lives, Guimaraes writes that hypocritical American leaders should take their cue from a person who actually did something to save children’s lives: Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto, killed protecting her first graders on Friday:
Today, the post-massacre ritual is repeating itself: politicians speak of God and family, and lower flags to half-staff. Platitudes are regurgitated during countless interviews. Psychologists and sociologists are invited to examine the assassin’s profile – almost always a lone White man. … But no one has the courage of Victoria Soto, the teacher who died protecting her students. The same politicians who want to protect children from gay marriage are opposed to prohibiting private ownership of automatic weapons.
READ MORE GLOBAL REACTION TO THE NEWTOWN TRAGEDY, AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.