HAVANA TIMES — Veronica won’t be able to smile, eat ice cream or go to the movies with her parents and friends. A murderous bullet snatched away her future this past Friday when a 24-year-old — armed with two rifles and a couple of pistols — committed wholesale slaughter in Greater Denver (Colorado).
James Holmes opened fire in a theater that was premiering the last film in the Batman series: The Dark Knight Rises. He indiscriminately killed 12 people and injured 58 other spectators.
The incident adds to the long (and apparently unstoppable) list of tragic events that impact US society from time to time. The Waco killings (1993), Columbine (1999) and now the shootings in Aurora are all aspects of the same problem.
These are macabre expressions of a society where the cult of violence — both institutional and individual — is tinged with religious and conservative colors while blending in with a sacrosanct respect for “freedom.”
This is a country where the powerful lobbyists of the National Rifle Association veto any attempt to regulate the firearms market, and where with just as much passion the Tea Party for months attacked the moderate health care reform program proposed by President Obama.
This is the domestic thrashing of an imperial logic whose ultra-capitalist credentials are well known by those of us in Latin America and the Caribbean.
I am aware of this logic from living in Mexico, where I’ve become familiar with (and suffer) the everyday the effects of the uncontrolled trafficking of arms coming from the north. These fuel the wave of violence that convulses our neighborhoods.
This was also shown to me a few weeks ago through the tragic death of the son of some friends; nothing seems more absurd than the death of a child.
Then too, I’m sure that I oppose such logic because I grew up on an island where — though tension and poverty are growing — gun violence is not a part of daily life. People there are opposed to such activities thanks to education and the strict regulation of gun ownership.
What makes me I shudder today, every time I turn on the news, is seeing the smile of Veronica Moser-Sullivan and knowing how her life was cut short. I’m equally shaken from being convinced that such tragedies will be repeated, with the pain lingering well beyond the momentary indignation of world public sentiment.
After all, in a vibrant society like the US, they have succeeded in planting the snake eggs of fanaticism, extreme individualism and the cult of violence.
These elements threaten the vital legacy (the liberal and progressive one) of that nation’s founders and its citizens, because what’s clear is their conservative utopia – one based on the defense of a market without a republic and the racist and provincial privatization of the “common” good.