Is This The New Normal?

By Josh Cameron  |  Our Voice Contributor

I, Joshua Cameron, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

That is a line I spoke when I joined the Army back in 1999. I had no idea that the events of September 11th were going to happen. Nor did I know that I would be serving in the Army and being deployed only 8 days after. This challenge has defined me as a person in many ways.

I deployed to a war zone, as a combat medic, with the 86th Combat Support Hospital out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky; the home of the Screaming Eagles (think Band of Brothers). I drove all around the countryside to do recon for MEDCAPS, where we, Task-force Med Falcon, would go out and give free medical aid to local nationals ravaged by war. People who likely still wake up every morning and count their blessings they are alive.

I got to witness the fallout of absolute barbarism; war! Those who would wage it, strip the humanity and culture of those they wage it against. They steal from them their civil liberties and ultimately their freedom. Those who call for war, terrorists and those who would inflict terror on others are intellectual cowards and disgusting human beings.

War is something no one should have to deal with, and yet often we are the very purveyors of war and terror. In 2018, we have averaged roughly one school shooting per week here in America. Do you know what the difference is between me serving at war and children, at school, being murdered in cold blood from war coming to them?

I volunteered for it, they didn’t.

So why is it that something I volunteered for, people show me great dignity and respect for the PTSD I have endured in my time in the military? The children at Stoneman-Douglas High School didn’t volunteer for combat on Valentine’s day, 2018. It came to them. I bet even now they wake up in a cold sweat from hearing the screams of their dying friends when there is nothing they can do about it. So why can’t we show them the same dignity shown any other person who has seen combat? Why do they deserve less respect for their mental scars than veterans?

Did you know, here in Utah, the Utah Gun Exchange chases the national March For Our Lives around the country in an armored Hum-v with a machine gun on top? Have we not already seen machine guns cause unimaginable grief in Nevada? These children are still dealing with their PTSD and disgusting human beings chase them around with a mounted automatic cannon, active or not, inciting even further terror to victims of war.

Why do we allow this? I told the Utah Gun Exchange and the NRA that to do this is tantamount to finding out I’m an Iraq War vet, and you then proceed to chase me around with an ISIS flag. There is no difference. Both are protected forms of speech. Both make you a disgusting wretch for doing them. And for what? To sell guns? The Utah Gun Exchange is trying to turn a profit off the murder of our children? Is this who we want to be as a people?

Did you know the vast majority of gun owners believe in sensible gun legislation? So why do we let the craziest, most depraved and amoral among us drive the conversation? Is this the value statement we want to give to our next generation? That we want to drive the market off their deaths? That if they are victims of war, at least we can turn a profit off of it? Is this the new normal? Is this who we want to be as a people?

Is this the person you want looking back at you in the mirror?

Demand action from your legislators. Do not relent. The lives of our children are literally on the line! The time to act is now.

About the author: Served in the U.S. Army from 1999-2003
Served in the Balkans and Middle East
Spokesperson for Our Voice USA a 501c3 org

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