Some may be wondering how to explain the killing of Osama Bin Laden to their children.  Below are sample questions and answers which may prove helpful.

Dad, what do you mean we “got” Osama?

We finally found him.

Where was he?

In a house in Pakistan.

Is that near Los Angeles?

Very far away.  Don’t worry.

What did we do with him?  Is he in jail?


Didn’t he fly planes into buildings?

He told other people to fly planes into buildings.

It seems like he should go to jail.

He doesn’t have to go to jail because he’s dead.  We shot him.

With a gun?

Maybe more than one gun.

Are we allowed to do that?  Shoot someone?

If the person is bad enough, yes.

Like Hitler?

Exactly!  You are so smart.

Or Mrs. Barnes?

No, not —

Or Evan, at school.

No, no, no.  This is only for rare circumstances, people who are really bad.  Big-time bad.  Not people at school.

Were other people with him when we shot him?

A few.

Did they get shot, too?


Did they die?


So we were allowed to kill them, too?

That’s more of a gray area.  But yes.  They had guns.  They were shooting at us.

Because we were shooting at them.


We started it.

The idea here is, if you hang out with somebody who is bad enough, then you are taking your chances.  It’s kind of a like a High Voltage area.  Have you ever seen those signs?

Are people happy Osama died?

Most Americans are very happy.

Is the rest of the world happy?

The rest of the world is never happy. 

Now that we did this to Osama, is somebody going to do this to Obama?

We hope not.

But they might try?

Someone can always try anything.

Were Obama and Osama related?

Not as family, no.

They’re totally different?

Their names are similar.  And I guess you could say that they were both CEOs, in a way, of big organizations.  But they were very different.


Osama was very rich, for one thing.

And they lived in different houses?


Is Obama’s house safer than Osama’s house was?

Actually, Osama’s house was well fortified.  The outer walls were 18-feet high.

Are the walls that high at the White House?


Should we make the walls 18-feet high at the White House?

Or higher, yes.  Might be a good idea.

Dad, are you happy that Osama was killed?

Happy, but also sad.  Killing him solves some problems, but creates other ones.

Do I still have to do my homework?

The killing of Bin Laden has no effect on you homework.

Will there still be National Hockey League playoffs this year?


So the Capitals are still down 2-0 in their series against Tampa?

Unfortunately, yes.  There’s no connection between these two things.  Another way of looking at it is, yesterday was a bad day for BOTH the Capitals and Bin Laden.

Does Osama have to go to court now?

No.  Osama is dead.

You’re not going to represent him?

He’s dead.  He’s at the bottom of the ocean.

Would you represent him if he — wait, what?

He’s dead.

No, the part about the ocean.

Oh, that.  We gave him a sea burial.

How can you bury somebody in water?

Well, I didn’t mean bury bury.  A sea burial just means …

We dumped his dead body in the ocean?

We were following Muslim religious custom for the disposal of bodies.

Muslim people dump their dead people at sea?

Not really.

But you just said …

The U.S. asked various countries whether they would bury the body in their country.  People said no.

Everyone said no?


We asked every single country in the world?

Probably not every last one.  We probably didn’t ask, say, Tanzania.

Tanzania might have wanted him?


But we did ask a lot of countries, right?

I’m not really sure about that part, to tell you the truth.

We asked a few?


What happens when a dead person gets dumped into the sea?

They sink?  Or float maybe?  To tell you the truth, I’m not sure.  I think they sink first, then float later.  But it may be the other way around.

Were there sharks where they dumped him?

I don’t know.

What if he got bit by a shark?

It wouldn’t hurt him.   He was already dead.  This is the main thing I’m trying to explain.  Osama is dead.

So it would be okay if he got eaten by sharks?

That would be the least of his problems, if you think about it.

Dad, the whole thing is pretty weird.

There are some strange aspects, yes.

Can I go play Wii now?



About kittroyer

Kit Troyer lives in Los Angeles.
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  1. bradchisholm says:

    Kit you made my stomach hurt with this one — but in a good way 😉

  2. John Isbell says:

    As always, funny, poignant and insightful… Good stuff “Wheels”!

  3. Elaine Thomas says:

    This cracked me up, Kit. Thanks for the laugh! xo elaine

  4. Ginny says:

    Maybe more than one gun.

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