Americans are used to people being beheaded in history books.
For example, we know that in the Bible David cuts off the head of Goliath, and the head of John the Baptist is served up on a platter to Salome, the daughter of King Herod.
Islamic history included the beheading of Imam Hussein, the grandson of Muhammed.
European history counts dozens of beheadings from Britain alone on the orders of Richard the Third and Henry the Eighth. Mary Queen of Scots also met her end that way. France takes the prize, beheading some 40,000 (and killing countless others) during the Revolution, when their total population was 28 million.
And of course, no one can forget the fictional beheadings called for by the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.
More recently, Americans have been forced to observe the beheadings of Americans at the hands of Al Qaeda operatives. Soldiers and civilians alike have been subjected to this punishment, with many incidents being filmed and released by Al Qaeda networks.
Up until recently, however, beheading was something you read about. It was something you heard about if you were watching the CNN news-ticker. It was something you saw only if you frequented Al-Jazeera.
There have been recent rumors about drug cartels beheading people to send messages, but those beheadings have been confined to Mexico and Colombia where the cartels have power, right? Not so much. Three separate beheadings in Arizona and Oklahoma over the past year look to be the work of cartels. Cartels. Beheading people. In the United States of America. Let that sink in.
And now ask why haven't we built that fence yet?