|When have you last
seen a Beast of Terror teaching a child to kill? Perhaps
you did and didn't notice? What about the child the parent
was screaming at in the stroller? Or the one the mother
grabbed and cut through his or her heart with a statement such as:
"Mind me or else!," and then twisted the child's arm or shook it
violently? What about he parent who didn't care who
his or her children hung out with? Are you sure you
haven't seen a Beast of Terror teaching a child to kill?
22, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 466
The Beast of Terror Teaches Children How To Kill For Fun
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
|GROUND ZERO, New York City, Dec. 22--The
prosecutors in the Washington D.C. sniper shooting case are having
trouble killing the Beast of Terror who taught a child how to kill.
In their vainglorious attempt to impart the death penalty to Svengali
Sniper John Muhammad, they're running into a legal snag that could
cost them them their taste of blood. It seems the "father" Beast
of Terror didn't pull the trigger. Evidence points to his
Child of Terror, Muhammad's teenager "stepson," as the guy who pulled
the trigger and killed for killing's sake.
Virginia law allows the death
penalty under conventional law if evidence points that the killer
squeezed the trigger--if he or she was the main force behind the death
of a victim. However, the new anti-terrorism
law--not yet tested under appeal--allows for the death penalty for the
mastermind behind the death of Terrorism victims.
In a rush to judgment,
prosecutors took the case against John Muhammad, 41,and Lee Malvo,
17,to the Virginia jurisdiction on the grounds they could secure the
death penalty. In Maryland, the death penalty is not an option
under traditional law.
after a hearing in Fairfax, Virginia on Dec.
The move was to
place John Muhammad's, the older man's
head in the noose. Forensic evidence suggests the
24-year-senior to the young Lee Malvo taught him how to fire the
weapon with such deadly accuracy that the teenager was the shooter and
Muhammad drove the car.
The 1990 blue Chevy Caprice used in
the slayings was fitted with a special shooting dock in the trunk
designed for Malvo who is 5 feet 5 inches tall. Hard evidence
from the crime scenes points to the 17-year-old as the shooter.
It includes hair linked by DNA to Malvo, conversations with Fairfax
police detectives, fingerprints near where a shot was fired outside
Benjamin Tasker Middle School, and saliva found on a grape stem near
where Conrad E. Johnson, a bus driver, was killed in Aspen Hill, Md.,
on Oct 22.
The older Muhammad who is 6-1, would
barely fit in the makeshift shooting dock in the trunk. Also,
video tape recovered from a security camera near Home Depot in Falls
Church, Va. indicates John Muhammad was driving not shooting.
Also, witnesses in Seattle,
Washington confirm that Muhammad was teaching teenage Malvo how to
shoot up to a year before the sniper rampage, perhaps honing his
skills to be the "trigger man" while Muhammad managed the escape
What makes these frustrating facts
poignant is the rush we have as a society to "kill" the cause of
Terror. It is similar to the CIA's recent Predator attack
on a suspected al-Qaeda leader in Yemen in which five men in a car on
a lonely stretch of desert were blown into oblivion as part of a
murder sanction granted from the White House to "kill" Terrorism.
Breath confronting Saddam Hussein
Our fiery Dragon's Breath upon Saddam
Hussein, and our hunger to blow him to oblivion and all his Republican
Guards, is yet another example. Plus, the ongoing
hunt to kill Osama bin Laden and the "hit list" of seven top al-Qaeda
leaders who have earmarked for death without trial, are further examples
America's use of death as a means to cleanse the blood of Nine Eleven.
The sniper case proves one
point--the blood of the fathers are visited upon the children.
Another way of saying it is
that the Beast of Terror likes to teach its children to kill.
Killing to stop killing is
Our efforts to find a way to
"kill" John Mohammad have led us to the cul de sac of Terrorism's
great paradox--that Terrorism breeds Terrorism. No matter
how righteous we might be in our intentions to get an "eye for an
eye," the eye we are seeking to pluck in the sniper case will come
from a teenager, trained to kill by his defacto "father," a criminal
Svengali who trained his protégé's trigger finger to do the killing
for him, and thus, may avoid the death penalty in Virginia should the
new anti-terrorism "mastermind law" fail to meet Constitutional
scrutiny. Standard Virginia law requires the death
penalty for the one who pulled the trigger, not the one who taught the
person to pull it.
Daily, though, in lesser
degrees of violence, children are being trained to "kill" by their
parents--the John Muhammad's of Terrorism. These are the
parents who buy their children guns to play with, or toys of "mass
destruction" which teach a child how to "kill the enemy."
While on the surface such toys and games may seem harmless enough, and
considered "macho" by some parents, a child may be learning
how to be a Lee Malvo. He or she is learning how to "kill for
fun," and is being tacitly rewarded by the parent, grandparent or
guardian for "destroying life" with weapons--even if they are G.I.
Killing is killing.
A five-year-old boy playing "army" in
the living room of a home and blowing up people right and left with
bullets and bombs is engraining in his or her malleable, innocent
soul, the affirmation of the "right to kill." This training
feeds his Beast of Terror and awakens in the child the primal instinct
to inflict casual slaughter on anyone who opposes him.
Swords and toy guns, and other "weapons of
mass destruction" promulgate the same deadly attitude that led Lee
Malvo to fall under the Beast of Terror's shadow, and seek the
approval of his mentor, John Muhammad, who taught the boy how to shoot
to kill, and, to justify such killing as retaliation against crimes of
Children seek to gain the approval of their
parents. Every child begs to be loved and appreciated, and all
will follow the path they believe will bring them respect in their
parents' or guardians' eyes. Being loved is the prime
motivation of any child, and if killing even toys is a quick route to
that destination, then a child seeking approval will become a Saddam
Recently, a cartoon in The New Yorker
struck me with its cold reality. It illustrated parents walking
into a child's room littered with toy soldiers and toy weapons.
The figures of violence and destruction littered the child's room.
Standing at the doorway as the child played "kill the bad guys" the
parents stated: "Okay, Saddam, we need a list of all your
weapons of mass destruction."
I found nothing humorous in the cartoon, and hope
the author was being sardonic. Yet, the cartoon symbolizes
the Complacency of parents in feeding their Children's Beast of
Terror, and in promoting the child to become a "stone cold killer."
I became one. As a child I
played with guns and knives and was encouraged to learn to "kill."
My thirst for destruction to maximize my "manhood" led me to join the
Marine Corps and learn how to be a professional killer, and then
deposited me in Vietnam where I could kill almost anything that moved
with impunity under the "free fire zone" concept. My
travels through death led me to witness torture and murder of other
human beings with same nonplus attitude I had about swatting a
mosquito or smashing a rat with the heel of my jungle boot.
Only after the smoke was cleared and the stench of burning human flesh
from the villages we torched began to haunt me did I realize I was
teaching my Child of Vigilance how to become a Beast of Terror--and I
did it all to seek the approval of society, to become a "man among
men," not unlike the Terrorists who smashed their plane into the World
Trade Center seeking a "greater glorification" of themselves.
Warrior fights to kill
Just the other evening while working on my
computer I flicked on the television and one of the Star Trek
generation television shows was being broadcast on a rerun channel.
In this show, the Klingon warrior had been crippled by an alien
attack, and while he might recover a majority of his ability to move
about, he would be physically maimed the rest of his life.
In true Klingon fashion, he called for his best friend, the commander
of the Star Ship Enterprise, to give him the honor of a warrior's
death. The Klingon wanted to die with honor rather than live a
life as cripple. If he couldn't fight to kill, if he
couldn't serve his Klingon's higher purpose, then he was of no value.
The commander agreed reluctantly to
the ceremony, but demanded the Klingon use his own son as the source
of the ceremony. The Klingon's son was half human and half
Klingon--and his father asked him to bring him a "suicide" knife so he
could end his life and die with "honor." The son refused.
In a subplot, one of the doctors aboard had an experimental system of
treatment she employed to save the Klingon's life--as well as his ability
to move freely and kill with oiled ease. Thus, the world was
Star Trek shows are full of
moral messages. The one here was clear--"Will you teach your
child to be a killer?"
I think a great deal about our
society. I think about children being trained to become
Terrorists, killers, at such early ages by their parents who either
purchase them weapons of mass destruction, or, who allow their
precious little ones to receive gifts such as guns and swords or
violence-based toys and computer games from others.
Then there are there all the
video games that employ the "kill the bad guy" theme to win one level
after another. The video games feed the child's
Beast of Terror, making it want to consume as much death and
destruction as possible during its more formative years.
Parent playing non-violent videogames
Then there is the news
media, perhaps the ultimate source of Terror Feeding. Headlines
scream Terror to the child in both paper and audio video formats.
A child hears the radio, sees the television, and can often read the
simple words blaring out at 72 or 144 point type on news stands.
The majority of the news is all about human ugliness, human violence,
human destruction. Unedited, unmanaged, unexplained, the
ozone of ugly news seeps into the child's pores, an elixir for the
Beast of Terror within, intoxicating the Beast's sense of lust and
power to put the child's finger on the trigger of the Beast's sniper rifle.
Now take the living
room of the home. Here, the child witnesses the behavior
of the parents. He or she sees how a mother speaks to a father,
or a father to a mother, in tones either of love or hate, or kindness
or embitterment, of violence or vigilance.
Children sponge up the
conversations of the parents, listening to how they talk about others.
If their tongues are sharp and slice other human beings to shreds,
then children learn to demean others as their parents did, and to use
their tongues as carving knives to slice at the core of
other human beings' race, color, creed, political convictions--all
trying to, as Lee Malvo--win the respect and admiration of their
I've always been
impressed with adage that comes from an ancient Asian saying:
"If you want to know what a child will be like when he or she grows
up, follow him or her home."
A family that lives under the
roof of constant Emotional or Physical Terrorism, a home in constant
cross-fire where words and flesh fly with anger and range, where
victimization seems to be the order of the day, or where Fear
Intimidation and Complacency seem to grow as rabidly as fungus in a
damp forest, will surely breed a Child of Terror rather than a Child
One can almost be assured that
Lee Malvo came from such a home, just as John Muhammad did, or Saddam
Hussein, or Osama bin Laden, or Trent Lott, or Martha Stewart, or
Donald Rumsfeld or even George Bush.
I came from one of those homes.
Inside me is a Beast of Terror so frightening I have often thought of
putting a gun to my head to kill it, fearful it might escape my
control one day and injure those I love the most. It has
taken me years and years to try and manage that Beast, to try and
uncover and identify the Beast so that I know when he awakens, and can
feel his reptilian belly slithering across my soul, awakening to the
demons of the world whose sirens scream for his presence.
I am also aware the Beast of Terror rests
inside my two grandson's souls, and my granddaughter's, and that only
through Vigilant training and respect for the Beast Within can I
provide leadership to teach my genetic offspring to manage and control
the Beasts Within.
My grandchildren do not have guns or
weapons to play with. They have Rescue Heroes. They
use the same energy another child might to learn to save not take
lives. When they slip and play "killing games" they are
instructed there are other games to play. The other night when I
was watching the kids, age 6 and 4, and their cousin, 3, and they were
playing Peter Pan trying to "kill" Captain Hook, I suggested they use
the word "erase" rather than "kill," and they did.
It was a small alteration of a
brutal reality, but one appropriate for their ages. As a
Sentinel of Vigilance I know they know deep in their primal souls how
to kill, to maim, to murder. All of us do. Our roots
as human beings rest in the most violent of animal instincts, for the
most meek mother, the most intimidated, weakest human can turn into a
raging banshee of Terror in the blink of an eye if the right set of
circumstances are present--such as someone threatening her child or
home. We bottle up the horror of our Beast, but we
cannot rid ourselves of it. Sometimes it works to our
benefit--especially to protect our children from harm.
trained to kill
My vision of Terror-Management is not
Pollyannaish. I am the very first to admit the
bloodthirstiness of human beings, for I have seen what a weapon put in
a young man's hands can do to turn him into an instant killer.
I have walked with young men in the jungles who came from nice, quiet
peaceful homes but when given a gun and license to kill, turn into
Beasts of Terror who froth at the mouth to kill.
Killing comes easy. Vigilance to not kill takes effort.
The case with Lee Malvo is symptomatic not
just of a young boy seeking approval of an older man--a father
image--but also of a greater illness in our society.
That illness is that Terrorism against Terrorism nullifies Terrorism.
Translated, it means if you kill one of me, then
I kill ten of you, and because I am bigger and stronger, and can kill
more of you than you can kill of me, I should win. Peace should
be declared. That's the signal our children are getting from the
White House over Iraq. Kill Hussein! Kill Hussein!
We have all accepted and sanctioned the
assassination of Terrorists when we didn't rise up in revolt over the
murders in Yemen by the CIA that hit the front pages. Why should
we blink an eye over targeting Hussein? Why should we tell our
children our country is on the wrong track, and that killing others
without a clear and present danger we all agree to and accept as part
of the protection of our children's children's children when we can
sit back in our armchairs and say: "That's outside my reach.
Nobody will listen to me, so I'll just go along with everyone else on
this issue and hope the war is over quickly."
How horrible such a thought is.
How ugly a message to our children to
sit back and do nothing, or worse, to agree without question the
actions of our government.
In Lee Malvo's case, a mini-version
of the Saddam Hussein issue, we are running into snags.
The guy we wanted to hang--the pseudo
parent--is now getting off Scot free, at least from being the trigger
man. He's escaped prime liability and responsibility, kid
of like Osama ducking into a cave and hiding while his henchmen get
blown to bits.
I've long been an advocate that any
time a child is charged or convicted of a crime, that parallel
indictments should automatically be issued to his or her parents, for
the child is nothing more than the radiance of the parents, despite
all their refusals to accept responsibility for their child's
Lee Malvo and John Muhammad's mothers
and fathers should also be on trial.
So should Osama bin Laden's and
Hussein's mother father.
And Donald Rumsfeld and George
Bush's. And Martha Stewart's.
To stop Terrorism at the roots, we
must stop Parental Complacency. We must stop trying to chop off
the Head of Terrorism and look down beneath the soil to the roots of
Somewhere, back in the development of
the child, parents endorsed Terroristic behavior. They
allowed their children to become gods, let them elect violence over
It's time for that to stop.
It's time for all parents to become
Parents of Vigilance, and to replace Fear with Courage, Conviction in
the place of Intimidation, and Right Actions where Complacency once
If not, there will be many more Lee
Malvo's running around.
Dec. 21--A Good Day To Visit A Graveyard
- 2004, VigilanceVoice.com, All rights reserved - a