The anniversary of the National Guard murders at Kent State University brings some strong emotions to mind. Anti-war protests were not just there in Ohio, they were all across the country and in some cases the world. 42 years ago today the conflict between the young people facing that war and the government that sponsored it came to a head and instead of honoring the right to free speech and public assembly to state their positions, young people were goaded and harassed until they responded in a violent way, a non lethal but violent way.
Our government has always denied that the troops were given an order to fire. Maybe, if the protesters were armed with M-16 rifles I could see that opening up on a crowd of students armed with some rocks might have been justified. Having served myself I can't imagine a situation where I would have taken it upon myself to shoot at civilians without an order.
Those men were likely told to fire by a confused and frightened weekend warrior that swallowed the Hard Hat line. The conservative element that held the government at the time used division and, at least in my opinion, assasination to gain control of a nation that had begun to lean away from blinf adherance to policy and were demanding changes in every area from civil rights to wars.
We face a cowed populace today, swaddled in debt and the desire to live without service or even consideration for their fellow citizens. We have thrown away our right to be free people too. We let horrors like the Patriot act and wars of aggression come to pass without much of a whimper. Why?
We let our childrens future be mortgaged so a few may live as kings in what was intended to be a classless society. We demonize the words that rallied the colonists to fight the most powerful nation on earth to defeat and we claim that it is in their name.
Words my friends are the tool that built the nation. Comonsense and careful thought have vanished from our lives and we ignore the traps that those who would prefer a quiet, thrifty working class to a nation of equals with no preference being given to power or privilege.
So try to think about this, the 4 students cut down by machine guns bought and paid for by you and I makes us guilty of being killers by proxy, no matter what we felt or did at the time. That the people who took those weapons and killed Americans with every right to be where they were and do what they were doing are the same folks who want you to think that they have your best interests in mind as they seek to regain full control of the government.
This may be the last chance that we get to rend their hands from the reins and restore our freedoms and our rights. Don't let those four kids die in vain.