America in 2019: Land of Assault Rifles and White Terrorists
I try not to pay attention to the news. But I don’t have a choice, nowadays.
As an anxiety-prone individual, I am not as numbed to the scenes of violence, even fictional violence, as most of the “I watch crime documentaries 24/7” crowd (AKA my parents).
It brings to mind a visceral memory: sitting at the kitchen table on my laptop, browsing Reddit and trying to get my mind off of the black hole that was my life at that moment.
My parents, self-confessed true-crime junkies, sat on the couch, fascinated as the narrator told tales of multiple rapes and murders. They ate their snacks, poised on the edge as the story unfolded before their eyes.
As an assault victim myself, it was too much.
No matter how I tried to drown it out, the narrator’s words started a whirling mechanism in my head that brought to mind my own traumatic memories.
It’s like that for pretty much every single story on the news: it sends me into a tailspin.
The Endless Cycle of Thoughts and Prayers
When the shooting happened at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, I was on vacation at my boyfriend’s grandma’s house.
I didn’t want to ruin the peaceful air of our vacation, as to them it was just another shooting, but this one was literally down the street from my house. If my stepmom had lived in a different spot, my little sister would’ve attended that school, and who knows what might’ve happened to her.
It broke me.
I followed the stories of those brave and opinionated kids, my heart soaring whenever they spoke the truth and told the adults who doubted them to STFU.
But it killed me inside.
And it happened again. And again.
And now, today, news of 2 mass shootings in less than 24 hours. El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
I want to ignore it, be numb to it, not care. There are so many other issues, like climate change and American’s lack of healthcare, but this is the one that hurts the most. That hits home. Watching mothers crying on the news, families torn apart, and the names of these disgusting men plastered across the screen.
Always the white terrorists brought in alive. Always. Sometimes the cops even get them cheeseburgers before they go to jail.
For YEARS, we have been calling for gun control. Children have died, young adults who are just having a fun night out with their friends have died, heroes who have saved others have died. It’s not fair and it’s not right.
A New and Terrifying World
I’m so sick of being anxious, every single time I go out in public. I love to go to music festivals and concerts, but every event I attend is now marred by the fear in the back of my mind, “Someone is going to shoot this place up.”
I’ve even read stories of those unfortunate people who have survived one mass shooting only to pass away in yet another one, such as Telemachus Orfanos. It’s not only heart-wrenching and logic-defying, it is a sad example of the America we live in today.
I do not know how we will continue.
I don’t believe that stronger gun control is possible, after years of mass shooting after mass shooting and nothing being done.
Bullet-proof backpacks are now being sold, along with bills being passed to arm teachers in rural areas.
This is disgraceful. Instead of doing something about the problem, we are just adapting to this new world, where mass shootings are as common as any other crime.
I’m always reminded of this comic, every time this happens. This is the future coming for us. This is where we are headed.
I don’t feel safe. I haven’t in a long time.
I don’t know if I ever will again.
This is America the disgraceful in 2019: land of the racist and home of the cowards in office who do nothing.