Opinion

Boko Haram Attacks School and Kidnaps Girls: A Much-Needed Perspective on Guns and Sexual Violence

“We can acknowledge the need for improvement and change here in America while keeping a perspective on the problems and challenges facing the rest of the world…”

In a headline that invokes a sense of déjà vu and time warp, the Nigerian government confirmed that 110 girls were kidnapped early this month.  This recalled the kidnapping of over 200 girls back in 2014 that inspired a (useless) Twitter campaign. The government was slow to admit it, because the attack suggests they are not winning the war against the group like they say and that their efforts to protect schools since 2014 have failed.

Western politicians are so concerned with a multitude of their own problems that this attack barely made the paper, let alone spurred international outrage and demand for action.  The late confirmation of the event and the lack of knowledge by the American press, politicians, and public suggest that they are missing a sense of proportion in their perpetual outrage machine.

Currently, American domestic policy is beset with issues of sexism and school violence. The “me too” was a hashtag that actually changed minds and outed serial predators such as Harvey Weinstein. Now the movement has changed into a witch hunt atmosphere where there is little due process for the accused and no sense of proportion in the accusations. In other words, people can have careers ruined for being a hugger, or for having some flirting from 20 years ago be misconstrued as unwanted. We should be vigilant in how women are treated, but we also can’t give into hysteria.

The kidnapping of little girls in Nigeria should be a much-needed reality check about the real threats that women face around the world. Instead of worrying about Hollywood elites that might have been the subject of a piggish pass on them, we might remember the child brides and rape victims of Boko Haram.

“Some formerly-missing Nigerian schoolgirls rescued after Boko Haram attack.” (Credit: Facebook/DAILY NATION)

Moreover, the kidnapping of these girls takes place at school.  Children being attacked anywhere is horrific. But this should again provide the American public with a sense of proportion, as 17 killed in Florida is a fraction of the school children who are not only killed in Nigeria, but forced into sexual slavery or into being child soldiers. The terrorists are not a single disturbed child that the FBI failed to investigate.  But they are hardened psychopaths with truly huge arsenals of weapons that they use to assault and kidnap children.

The debate on the relative availability of the AR-15 seems rather myopic considering the black market and unsecured weapons across the world that fuel truly deadly rampages.

The debate on the relative availability of the AR-15 seems rather myopic considering the black market and unsecured weapons across the world that fuel truly deadly rampages. Perhaps CNN and sanctimonious liberals could use the survivors they turned into child soldiers against the NRA and Republicans, and instead try to stop the international trafficking of weapons, drugs, and children that fuels so much violence around the world.

“I have never been to school before. I was living on an island in the Lake Chad when Boko Haram attacked our village. Now I have the opportunity to go to school and I wish I could take a plane to discover the world.“ –Zara, 15, an internally displaced girl in Chad. (Credit: Facebook/UNICEF)

Any tragedy of violence or sexual assault is awful. Yet we can acknowledge the need for improvement and change here in America while keeping a perspective on the problems and challenges facing the rest of the world. With that perspective, we can better discuss policy solutions with less moral recrimination, and perhaps we can shift the debate from gun control talking points to taking real action that will help abused girls around the world.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Morgan Deane

Morgan Deane is a former U.S. Marine Corps infantry rifleman. Deane also served in the National Guard as an Intelligence Analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming book Decisive Battles in Chinese history, as well as Bleached Bones and Wicked Serpents: Ancient Warfare in the Book of Mormon.

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