Since it is October and slowly approaching the presidential election date, I figured it was only fitting that my first returning article would be about why I hate election years so much. It brings up so many unsavory topics and pits the country against each other for their views. I'm not saying that I think we should ignore topics that are controversial - not at all - I'm just tired of having to pick one side or another. Why can't I see both sides? Why can I not choose to keep my views a secret because it prevents me from being at odds with those I care about the most.
Most will say "because if you don't speak up and out then you are just as bad as the other side." While that may be true, there's a closet fear that the moment you speak up as someone who sees the middle ground that the pitchforks will come out - from both sides.
However, today I will break my silence and show you why I identify as neither Democrat or Republican - why the voting system to me seems so broken. Let me break down some topics for you and show you why.
Guns: Left Side, Right Side - I'm in the middle…
Right now guns are a hot topic more than ever due to the politics surrounding them. Whether there should be more, less, no guns or all the guns everywhere. I'm honestly in the middle and here's some background on why.
I grew up in a household where my dad went hunting a lot when I was a kid. He had his hunting rifles locked in a glass case in the dining room on display. I knew as a kid not to touch, I knew they were there, and I also knew if there was ever an issue we could break the case and protect our family if anyone ever tried anything shady.
It's because of the way I grew up that I never really had an issue with guns or owning them.
On the flipside, when I was a senior in high school the guy I had been dating committed suicide with a gun and the thought of owning one terrified me for a long time. In fact, I had panic attacks and anxiety over them. I wanted to know how it was so easy for him to go out and get one, to buy a gun and end everything so quickly. I know that he never had one before, so it was recent and that terrified me.
So yes, I've seen both sides of things. However, now I am in the middle of the issue.
I do think that there needs to be stricter gun regulations for verifying mental stability for purchasing a gun. Not to say that those people don't have a right to own one and protect their home. But, I do think an evaluation to deem if you are a threat to yourself or others is needed along with the standard background check.
Now before you start to click away or argue that I can't speak for those people because I'm not one. Please let me assure you that I am. I have been diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety and depression. But I know that I am not a danger to myself or others.
With all that being said, I also think my right to bear arms is just that, a right. It is mine and you cannot take that away from me. I am the proud owner of a handgun and I can tell you it makes me feel safe. I grew up in a rough neighborhood and I still live in one. Just the other day I got a notification that a level 3 sex-offender was released from prision and moved within a mile of my home. Having my gun on me, whether it's in my car or in my home makes me feel safe because I know that if I can't scream, I can't run, I can sure as hell shoot and survive being raped, kidnapped or worse.
I've never had to use my gun and I hope I never will. That said, I can insert a magazine, rack and shoot my gun in under 30seconds. 30 seconds may be the difference between me getting to live a long life, and it being cut short. If it's up to me - I'll own a gun any day before I let the cruel world take me too young.
So yes, I am on both sides of this argument. I see both sides, and I am usually attacked by both sides because I'm not enough of one or the other. But you know what, I don't care. I believe in guns, and I believe in regulation.
However, I know that guns are not the only thing in the polling issues this year...
Abort or Not to Abort…
One that is always up for debate is Pro-life or Pro-choice. It never fails that it becomes a hot topic in debates because it's one of the few things that can sway the American people's opinion of a candidate without a down to one side or another.
Personally, I would never have an abortion because to me, it's a guilt that I couldn't live with. Not because of religious guilt or anything like that, but because how could I not give this little life a chance because mine would be altered? That's a prime example of selfishness in my head.
However, I see the other side. There are so many humans who get pregnant at a time in their life that is not ideal, whether they were using protection or not. Heck, you could get accidentally artificially inseminated! (Jane the Virgin anyone???). And every person has their own personal autonomy and the ability to make decisions for their own body.
I am not going to vote for a Pro-life human because that would mean taking away autonomy over someone's body for my own personal beliefs and that's just not okay. Pro-choice will always be my answer even if I couldn't personally make that decision.
Also, from a medical standpoint I can even prove that the "it's a baby with a heart beat" argument doesn't hold up.
At the point of conception the egg is fertilized and then implanted into a uterus. It takes 6 weeks for the first heartbeat to be detected. However, the heart beat isn't the actual heart - simply cardiac tissues that have formed the start of a cardiac muscle where the neural tube has started to close - thus allowing the muscles to contract giving the indication of a heart beat when in fact, there is not a fully formed heart yet.
A whole heart starts to fully form at about 112 days, or 16 weeks (4 months) into the pregnancy. At this point, if you were to give birth your chances of the child surviving are less than 50%. In fact, medical professionals do not consider a pregnancy viable until at least 24 weeks (6 months). Many laws now are nick-named the "heartbeat law," which would prevent someone from getting an abortion past 6 weeks, which is when most people find out they are pregnant if not just after depending on menstrual cycles.
How is it okay to force someone to continue through a 9 month process that will physically change them forever in some way and change their life forever, if there isn't even a life yet?
Now, don't take my word for it. If you want to fact check I will be including those links below.
Anyways, both of these topics are just a few of the reasons behind why I hate political seasons. My views get me hate from both sides and no-one wants to listen to the other side. Even if it won't change someone's mind they refuse to listen to another person, agree to disagree and move on. I've seen topics like these rip families apart, friendships have been severed and rivalries started. At this point my hope for the future of this country is very low. I can only hope that hearts and minds will start to open in the coming years and we can start to share opposing opinions without hating one another. We are a feared nation because of how large of an entity we are, but what do numbers matter if we are divided and unable to band together?