Star Parker

I sat in my nail shop as the news came in about the London bombings. Aside from my own immediate reaction of disgust, it was interesting to watch the reactions of the Vietnamese immigrants who run the place.

Those who have first-hand experience with any kind of violence, particularly mindless violence, understand this stuff. These Vietnamese ladies recalled sadly how their home country was torn apart by political violence. It was clear that they love the oasis of freedom that they have found in the United States and expressed their glee at the news that President Bush committed to visit Vietnam next year.

You just need to look around at the crazy quilt of humanity that makes up the United States to know how false the assertion is that is often heard that some people are culturally or genetically incapable of living in freedom. We hear this often today regarding those of Islam. But look around the United States and you will find millions of Arabs and other adherents of Islam that are thriving in our free country.

Freedom is not an issue of culture, religion, race, or genetics. Freedom is an issue of maturity.

Although a lot of effort is being made trying to understand how the mind of the terrorist works, I think there are elements that are elementary to understand for anyone who knows anything about parenting. Becoming a responsible, civilized, and free adult human being does not happen naturally but requires careful supervision and education.

Children come into this world as natural egotists. They see everything in terms of themselves. In the very early years, when a child is totally dependent, this makes sense.

However, the process of growing up, of maturing into adulthood, requires developing awareness of and empathy for others. It requires becoming aware that there is a line where I end and you begin and learning to respect that line. Some children have a harder time learning about that line of demarcation than others and a physical reminder becomes necessary in the learning process.

Today's terrorists are children and they are wreaking havoc on the global stage. They come from dysfunctional families _ countries that are not free _ and therefore have not received the fundamental education about laws, empathy, and the complexities of the world that are necessary to live as an adult. Terrorists are children running around the world with adult financing and grown up weapons.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.