LETTER : Feeling for Oklahoma

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The Independent Online
From Ms Peg Walker

Sir: Shannon Turner ends her letter (22 April) almost as if she is telling America it deserved the Oklahoma bombing for what she sees as past injustices - stating that "perhaps it [America] now knows what it feels like". As we (Americans and others) watch news coverage of bodies floating down rivers in Rwanda, bombings in Bosnia, Beirut and (closer to home) Washington, can we ever really know what it "feels like" unless it is our babies, our mothers, and our countryside that are affected?

Must we have someone close to us die a needless death so we can understand what it "feels like"? Giving America "a dose of its own medicine" to prove a point sounds dangerously like condoning all those things Ms Shannon purports to despise - such as the death penalty for someone who has committed murder.

As an American I, too, was shocked and dismayed by the Oklahoma bombing. I now must accept that America is not as isolated from these types of crimes as I believed it to be. I now know 12 babies died because someone thought we should know what it feels like.

Yours sincerely,