W.D. Ehrhart: I really thought—or at least hoped—that the slaughter of six teachers along with twenty 6- and 7-year olds in Newtown, Connecticut, would finally have left most Americans horrified, disgusted, and sickened enough to force their cowardly state and federal elected representatives to put a stop to this slaughter.
W.D. Ehrhart: While there are all sorts of anecdotes bandied about, demonstrating how “a good guy with a gun” is the antidote to “a bad guy with a gun,” the overwhelming evidence makes it clear that being in possession of a firearm results in injury or death to that person far more often than not.
W.D. Ehrhart: Currently, the US military maintains 800 bases in 70 countries worldwide with US forces stationed in another 60 countries. What are we doing in all these places? Most Americans do not know, and do not care.
W.D. Ehrhart: The day after the Florida bill was signed, I woke up to discover that the National Rifle Association has filed a federal lawsuit blocking this new law because, says the NRA, it violates the 2nd Amendment by punishing law-abiding citizens for the actions of a few deranged whackos.
WD Ehrhart: When we play the national anthem before sporting events as a sign of “respect,” I wonder just exactly what it is that I’m being asked to respectful?
WD Ehrhart: In May 1970, after the killings at Kent State, I joined the antiwar movement, but I did not spit on myself or call myself “baby killer.” Moreover, I never saw anyone else around me abusing soldiers or veterans.
W.D. Ehrhart: I cannot begin to detail here all that happened over the course of my thirteen months in Vietnam or the path those experiences set me on, but suffice it to say that I finally had to confront the reality that what my parents’ generation had taught me about who and what my country was—was bullshit.
W. D. Ehrhart: The one lesson that no one in power in Washington seems to have learned is that no amount of military might can achieve goals that are unrealistic and incompatible with the beliefs, desires, and cultures of those at the other end of the rifle barrels and Hellfire missiles, and thus unachievable.
W.D. Ehrhart: We seem to remain, as a people, as gullible as ever, once again stampeded into winless war by leaders so besotted by the hammer of American military might that they persist in seeing every problem in the world as a nail.
W. D. Ehrhart: As I watch events unfolding in Iraq over the last weeks, I find myself wondering if Iraq War veterans are feeling the way I felt in March and April of 1975 when the fiction that was South Vietnam collapsed like a house of cards.