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So disgusted

I went to the barber because my hair was getting too long. There were two people ahead of me, so I waited.

And older man walked in. I thought he looked like a nice person. He had an 8 a.m. appointment. Even though I’d been there twenty minutes and it was 7:53 a.m., I was Ok with him going ahead of me.

Guys were talking about hunting, routine conversation this time of year. Someone talked about the kill box, which gave me a hint of what was to come.

The man who had just entered was still standing, and he chimed in:

“You know, we ought to set up automated machine guns at the southern border. Just kill them as they try to come over. Sure you might lose a few deer and horses in the process, but that’s Ok. Other countries do it.”

A few people chuckled. I was so disgusted I wanted to throw up. I got up and told the barber I would get my hair cut another day. He said he understood. I walked out.

I am not a proponent of open borders. I believe a country has a right to control its immigration. But I also believe a country has a duty to be humane. There are thousands of solutions more humane than setting up automated machine guns to kill people.

I think back to the Greatest Generation, the people who fought against Nazis who laughed and made jokes about murder. At the end of WWII, many asked how a civilized people like the Germans could have done such horrible things. Hannah Arendt described “the banality of evil,” the ordinary thoughtlessness and “inability … to think from the standpoint of somebody else” that led the most ordinary people to commit evil while remaining detached. In Germany’s case, moral bankruptcy led to catastrophe.

The Greatest Generation made enormous sacrifices and treated people with generosity and humanity. The Greatest Generation is now mostly gone, and with it, I fear, the values they held that once made Americans a beloved people around the world.

GEOFFREY S. KNAUTH

Williamsport

Submitted by Virtual Newsroom

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