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제21회 청람문학상 영문 에세이 가작 - 최진영, 'Tragic Reality'

기사승인 2017.11.27  

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- Wrongly Boomed Magazine Booms Magazines

One ordinary autumn day, precisely September 26th this year, one soldier who has just backed up building camp field was shot from the bullet of what everybody denies. Army investigation authorities said it happened because of a ricochet that was happened to be irregularly splattered. Unlike most of other firearm accidents, this incident does not have anyone to assume the responsibility in that the origin of the bullet is unknown. Newspapers and magazines then have kept interrogated to find out the truth of suspicious situations, which made the army investigation authorities to modify the official statement – the cause was not a ricochet but a stray bullet. It means that one unknown soldier shot mistakenly while training, killed the innocent fellow, and shifts the blame. This accident stupefied a number of netizens as well as military authorities and government.

The lesson from this accident is obvious: We shall not make this tragic accident ever again. But how? To carry out the lesson, we have to analyze the fundamental causes why this came to happen and suggest the countermeasures to prevent the tragedy. Viewing from wide scope, the major problems are the iniquity of inner work processing and the indolence of military safety awareness.

One big deal is that military is narrow, closed society and its attributes make the army executives to try maintaining their exclusive privileges and keep committing corruption. When a sudden incident occurs, the executives try hard to conceal the truth and pretend like everything is alright. While this continues, layers of illegality piled up one by one to create a huge mountain of misdeed. Not a mountain actually, it is a volcano that is impending to erupt soon and devastate the whole society. Stacking illegal activities can make military discipline collapse. To prevent this, and needless to say the future accidents, military inner work processing must be fair and transparent. Impartial processing will bring well functioning service of military system.

Another big deal is that the lack of safety awareness underestimating how risky and dangerous firearms are. This misunderstanding not only demonstrates that military’s intangible training is slack but logically proves the reason why negligent accidents are frequent in corps these days. Upon watching the news, a lot of people wondered why commissioned officers had no regard of caring untrained soldiers to be careful when using firearms. According to the news, the preparation must be done in advance thoroughly, which were actually did not, and structures for safe as a fallback plan are necessary, which were not there either. Trainers and trainees seemed to be certain that accident would never happen. In fact, this slackness is the major cause triggering most of, even other accidents. Government should consider this and make a measure to save risky lives from unexpectedly dangerous situations.

Accidents happened inside the closed society, including army, nowadays occur very frequently. No matter what that subcommunity is – for example, households, schools, armies, companies, councils, or governments – negligent accidents are always happen. Firearm accidents are especially critical in that this can deprive random people of lives and properties. The victim could be one but also could be hundreds and thousands. Stray bullet from rifle can kill one soldier while granite, if dropped mistakenly, can kill a great deal of people. So we have to stop this. But we cannot stop this only by our efforts. There needs some powerful media. City councils and government should help, and of course some civic communities. Let’s discuss what measures they should make from now on.

First authority is the press. The first paragraph of this paper showed newspapers and magazines are obsessed with the issue and try hard to figure out what the truth is. This mechanism is the main function of the press, originated from a right to know. When this mechanism practices, always a big irony happens: It is good thing newspapers and magazines to be boomed with regard to the well functioning of the press, guaranteeing citizen’s right, whereas it is actually unpleasant thing with regard to disprove how the whole society is unhealthy. Somehow this irony is very natural thing. That’s why the press should keep trying and trying to reveal the truths. Unless the press is implicated in the issue, it will give us a sincere help.

Second authority is the government. The government has the authority to handle and control the problem inside their system, including the Ministry of Defence. Of course the government should guarantee the best service to the nationals. If an accident that killed many random citizens, the government should firstly assume the responsibility and apologize to all of the nationals. Let’s take an example of Seweol Shipwreck Accident. The unexpected shipwreck occurred carrying many high school students but absurdly, national rescue team’s rescuing process was very clumsy, which made hundreds of casualties. Then, the government should apologize and legislate an emergency measure. It can refer to specialists as advisors. It can hear the opinions of netizens, comparing them with specialistic ideas, officializing the final resolution. Firearm accidents can be recovered in the same way. One solution would be to dispel corruption. The government can reinforce the regulation to readily control the army executives. Another solution would be to make soldiers and military workers be aware of safety consciousness. Safety education should be necessarily provided. In addition, soldiers should learn not only how to prevent accidents but also pretend the emergency situation to learn how to control and finalize it. Giving incentives would be great too. If a soldier set a good example as a model, the government can award him and praise as an honor.

Last authority is the civic communities. The authority of press and government is not what we can handle directly. But civic right is ours. As the constitution says all national rights come from citizens. If the press and government do not work their best, we should move. It was last December to show our power that is still valid, thus demanding the reformation of military safety rules and closed society can be convinced. No more firearm accidents are what we want. Nobody hopes their son, boyfriend, husband or female soldiers to be died from sudden accidents. So we should aware of these accidents and keep demanding until the problem seems to be progressed.

Now, we know how serious the problem is. That single death ultimately means a hundred of people dying. We can’t bear no longer if the problem remains as it is. So let's get over it together. And don’t forget the irony: wrongly boomed magazine booms magazine. Try to read daily news and analyze what is going on in this society. Make your own opinion and share it to your family and friends. The articles in the magazines must be shrink if only these efforts are done. Sooner or later, happy society with no tragedy will be the reality.

한국교원대신문 knuepress@daum.net

<저작권자 © 한국교원대신문 무단전재 및 재배포금지>
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