‘I will shoot a terrorist when I grow up’

‘I will shoot a terrorist when I grow up’

Just a few days ago, the 11-year-old son of an acquaintance was explaining what he would like to be when he grows up: “I want to kill terrorists when I grow up.” His last words were about the nightclub Reina massacre: “I would have wanted to shoot that terrorist. I wish I were there, I wish I had a gun and had shot him.” 

“A person should not kill another person,” I told him. He responded: “Even if he is a terrorist?” 

“Yes,” I told him, “Even if he is a terrorist because it is the courts that should judge him. You cannot go out in the streets and shoot people according to your comprehension of justice and expect justice.” 

While I was saying this to him, I was still in the shock of learning this strange future dream of a small child. I was horrified. 

A child, while he was defining the person he wanted to be in the future was using the verb “kill” in a sentence. He was yearning to grow up so that he could enter the environment of violence that he found so attractive. When we were children, we wanted to be doctors, teachers or architects, etc. Also there was a trend to be an astronaut. 

To grow up and want to kill somebody – even if he were a murderer – was not among our options. 
Have times changed or have we found ourselves ensconced in too much violence? 

On CNN Türk earlier in the week, a small girl spoke into the microphone after she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up: “When I grow up, I will change the constitution and bring back capital punishment.” 

Yes, a girl is asked about her future dreams and she answers with something related to the death penalty. 
Apparently, the violence in the language of politics, in parliament and on the street is now poisoning the children of the country. What could a child understand from a coup d’état, the death penalty and terrorists? Why would this violence adorn the dreams of a child for the future? 

While people in parliament are at each other’s throats, while the news bulletins on television resemble a thriller movie, while mock coup plays are staged in schools, while politics has become such a big part of children’s lives, what else would children dream of? 

Don’t make me laugh by saying they want to become scientists and make inventions to save humanity.
One of the witnesses at the Russian ambassador’s assassination, “the man on the right,” had said,
remember: “Why do bad things happen while good things should be happening? Why do they do this? Why do they turn life into hell instead of living in love and peace?” That man looked over 50, but right now, the children of this country are regarding life in simpler terms.  

Isn’t it a pity? Who has any right to snatch their innocence from them? 

Instead, a child in a country could be asking, “While there is beauty, why are bad things happening?” While only innocence is expected from a child, it is a huge problem if they are instead dreaming of becoming a SAT commando or reintroducing the death penalty. 

It may not be possible to totally prevent the violence we are exposed to, but stop those men who have opted to rule this country from maiming each other in front of cameras so that they do not spread violence. 
Children are watching; let’s not do that.