Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, was a nonviolent, direct-action enabler of social justice whom I was privileged to know. In New York City she organized the first civil-disobedience protest against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, and I was there protesting.
Carrying on the late activist’s unflinching spirit is the Los Angeles Catholic Worker, which publishes the Catholic Agitator. The publication’s February 2013 edition featured a thought-provoking article titled “Guns and Drones,” in which author Theo Kayser took a stand I have not seen in all the coverage of a gunman’s rampage at Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School.
He framed his argument with a report, which I have cited elsewhere, from the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Its records disclose “at least 176 children killed in drone strikes carried out in Pakistan, with another 27 to 35 killed in Yemen, and hundreds more adult civilian casualties.”
Turning to the murdered children in Connecticut, Kayser noted that “a new emphasis has been placed on gun control and background checks in this country.” So “perhaps we would be forced into a serious debate as to the morality and legality of this country’s military practices if photos of every person killed by a Hellfire missile were broadcast for a week in the national media after their death.”
And dig this, one and all: “Maybe,” Kayser continued, “we could begin to feel the same sense of outrage at the deaths of Pakistani children if, as with the children in Newtown, we were told about their favorite sports teams or their artistic prowess. And maybe we would demand an end to their killing if we were so reminded of their full humanity.