With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says.
Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.
Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.
“Did we just kill a kid?” he asked the man sitting next to him.
“Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” the pilot replied.
“Was that a kid?” they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.
Then, someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. “No. That was a dog,” the person wrote.
They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?
When Min Yingjun went on the rampage at an elementary school in the Henan province village of Chengping on Friday morning, his attack would surely have been just as deadly as Adam Lanza’s killing spree in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., had Yingjun been carrying similar weapons. But however murderous someone’s intent, a knife simply can’t inflict as much harm as a gun.
The right to bear arms sounds like a libertarian form of self expression. It’s like saying, I can’t exercise my birthright as an America unless I can own a gun; that an America which curtails this freedom will no longer be a land of the free.
But is this really why so many Americans own guns? On the contrary, American gun ownership is not an expression of freedom; it shows just how much fear permeates this society.
Americans own guns to protect themselves from other Americans and even at its circular extreme in order to protect their right to own guns.
But don’t children have an even more important right: to be able to go to school without getting shot?