Letter submitted to Raleigh News & Observer by Vicki Ryder
Just one month ago, 20 of our precious and innocent children were killed in Newtown, Conn., by bullets allegedly fired from a military-style assault rifle. Understandably, there followed a swift call for stepped-up gun control to keep these weapons off our streets.
In Yemen and in Pakistan, countries with which we are not at war, almost 200 precious and innocent children have been killed by U.S. drone strikes in recent years. Why have we not responded with an equally swift demand for stepped-up drone control to keep these weapons from our skies?
According to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, the total cost of each drone is $175 million of our tax dollars.
Missing from that figure is the human cost… and the political cost, as well. Pakistan’s foreign minister asserted recently that the leading cause of anti-Americanism in her country, and across much of the Muslim world, is the U.S. tactic of drone attacks, which continue to kill and maim thousands of innocents every year.
It’s time to call for gun control on the Pentagon, and for a re-direction of those $175 million spent for each drone to mental health services and other human needs that would keep us far safer here at home.