America the brave. America the free. These terms are ironically true in the most wrong of ways. In light of this week's recent events, I’ve come to terms with the idea that “America is a Gun."
I recently read a poem by Brian Bilston, titled “America is a Gun." This poem, although short, was terribly bittersweet. The raw honesty that came with this poem was shocking, as it referred to countries by how the world sees them. Australia is a kangaroo. England is a cup of tea. Scotland is a highland fling. Every single country noted in this poem had a positive connotation to it except for, you guessed it, America.
America is a gun. These simple words ring truth, sadness and hypocrisy. We’re supposed to be the land of the brave, the land of truth, new beginnings, freedom. Yet the land I see now is full of people scared to go to cinemas, nightclubs and concerts because they are afraid. Of each other.
How can these places, which are meant to cause happiness, incite fear instead? I’ve come to fear walking in dark cinemas, looking around for suspicious people I think can be potentially dangerous. I’ve come to fear lit-up streets at night, for fear that a bomber and gunman would come prancing in to wipe the smiles off of all the passerby's faces. I’ve come to fear going to concerts, for fear that someone will destroy the very band, person and singer whom I’ve loved since I was little.
This problem is also exacerbated due to the media. The media, with its self-proclaimed “We will give you the truth!” has brainwashed the minds of the masses who watch it. Hashtags have become terrifying, useless and worthless. Yes, sending thoughts and prayers are fantastic and kind; however, using these tags in the name of "Trump," "Kill all Muslims" and "LGBTs should disappear" is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Instead of labeling every Middle Eastern person as “ISIS," label ISIS as radical Islamists. Instead of talking about how all Muslims are horrible people, show the mass amounts donating blood to the Orlando victims. Show protesting against Trump supporters. Show those who are trying their best to change the world. The media has twisted our ideals, morals and everything we as America have tried to live up to.
America, change your gun laws. America, change this. America, change that. We have been asking for change for decades, but instead our calls for enactment have turned into silly hashtags that 13-year-olds fight on Twitter about.
No action is a sin of omission, and by all means, America is the king of laissez-faire.
Do something. Or else we’ll forever be a Gun.
“It’s not a gun control problem; it’s a cultural control problem." — Bob Barr