[LETTER TO THE EDITOR]Something can be doneI’m writing in regard to Moon Chang-keuk’s June 30 column, “Policies can’t prevent rampage.” The writer depicts well the perverse nature of humans and the sometimes alarming inability to alleviate one’s outbursts of anger. Yes, this can be seen in our society, where even politicians lose their grip and fail to control their rage. But is it true that policies and restrictions made to control individuals’ explosive angst are useless? Is it also true that we, as civilized humans in the present, are just helplessly rambunctious and inclined toward destructive tendencies? I believe the answer is no, especially when considering the recent killing spree by Private Kim.
The continuous taunts and assaults by fellow soldiers infuriated him to the point where he felt murder was the only way out for the accumulated levels of hatred and anger. Is it all right to think that such outbursts of violence are just a natural part of our lives, and that the only way to confront them is to leave them be, hoping that one day they will eventually find an emotional outlet? Come on. Let’s use our heads.
By the time we allow our emotions to resolve an impending crisis, more such tragedies will occur. What if there were psychological counseling centers or maybe civic human rights watch groups in the military ― would Private Kim still have gone off to make such a grave mistake? In fact, most developed countries have these facilities in the military, but South Korea does not. It’s pretty easy to discern why such brutal occurrences take place in South Korea, not in other countries. We should promote better policies to curb any such possible rampages.
If the government had thought once of the human dignity of the soldiers by actually putting measures into place, things would have been different. The tragic story could have been more like “Saving Private Kim” than “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” Everyone, including Mr. Moon, should know that policies do matter.
by Lee Yoon-jae