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Osama bin Laden's Death: How Visual Proof Might Affect Our Kids

By John Cave Osborne |

How might gruesome images of Osama bin Laden affect our children?

As news spread that Osama bin Laden was dead, a million things raced through my mind. The first was relief. Don’t get me wrong. I agree with Danielle when she wrote that this situation is far more complex than “we won, you lost,” and that even the death of a ruthless terrorist isn’t something which should be crassly celebrated like a Super Bowl championship. Still, I hoped and prayed this day would come. So to that end, I was relieved that it finally did.

Quickly, however, my mind turned to the inevitable retaliation which is bound to occur. Like Sunny, I wonder if bin Laden’s death will make the world safer for our children. I can see how it may. But I can also see how it may not.

But eventually, my mind turned to my kids, especially my 9-year-old. How would I explain all of this to her? And, perhaps more importantly, would she be subjected to gruesome photos provided to the media as a means of confirming bin Laden’s death?

To me, the matter of explaining all of this to my daughter is less daunting. She was, quite literally, one month old when 9-11 went down. So, in a way, this whole thing is beneficial in that it will give my wife and me a good chance to have a in-depth conversation with her about it. I plan on telling her about my memories from that fateful day. I’ll also tell her the stories I’ve heard from my friends who lived in the city at the time. And, of course, I’ll tell her about the personal friend I lost, all as I emphasize that bin Laden was the ultimate reason for them all.

I believe in good. And I also believe in evil. And while few things are ever black and white, I believe that at least this much is: Osama bin Laden was evil. That’s why our current president, as well as the one before him, ordered him to be killed. And I’m extremely comfortable expressing all of those thoughts to her. So I’m not scared of explaining bin Laden’s death at all.

What I do fear are the images which may be released to prove that bin Laden is dead. As the Obama administration mulls over whether or not to do just that, I mull over how such images might affect my daughter.

I remember all of the footage that went around the internet when Saddam Hussein was executed. But that was quite a few years ago and my daughter was much younger, so I wasn’t concerned about her seeing it. But this time, I know that whatever might be released is something which she would definitely see. Would these images cause her harm?

My ultimate answer is no—they would not. For I’m confident that Obama’s administration would handle such a situation with delicacy.

But also, should images of bin Laden’s body be released, my daughter would see first hand that sometimes, if not most of the time, bad guys get what they deserve.

No. The only way these images might harm her would be if my wife and I weren’t there to help explain them to her. The way I see it, moments such as these are the exact ones when we should be talking to our kids.

Image: YouTube

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About John Cave Osborne


John Cave Osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as Babble, TLC, YahooShine, and the Huffington Post. John went from carefree bachelor to father of four in just 13 months after marrying a single mom, then quickly conceived triplets. Since then, they have added one more to the mix, a little boy they named Grand Finale. Read bio and latest posts → Read John's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “Osama bin Laden's Death: How Visual Proof Might Affect Our Kids

  1. Danish Apple says:

    holy crap this is puke worthy. If you want to make America a safer place for your children, maybe develop some cognisance of the negative consequences of American foreign policy since the second world war. Get out of that bubble you and the rest of that nation live in and acknowledge that you live on a planet with 6 billion other people, the majority of whom are living in abject poverty: and you wonder why they turn to fundamentalism? Warmongering as a means of securing the resources of sovereign territory can lead to only one thing. America’s foreign policy resulted in 9/11, explain that to your daughter first.

  2. thenickhis says:

    You forget that there are many other ways to post this visual proof besides the TV. I’m certainly hoping you don’t let your daughter wander around the internet enough to find a picture of Osama’s body on a news article that forewarns about the graphic pictures.

  3. Rana Ahtisham says:

    We r not against Usama and America we r against terrorism thats it no body wants people die. America should show the dead body of Usama every one is blaming Pakistan we r muslims not terrorist please if u have the proof that usama is living in Pakistan then show the people. America also wants attack in Pakistan just like Afghanistan and Iraq.

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