America has a problem with calling their citizens terrorists.
While the tragedy in Las Vegas has prompted me to write this article, there is exactly one reason why I feel the need to write these words: history. In the past decade, there have been many mass shootings in the United States. Some have been because of mental illness and other happened because of hate, but in the past few years, I have noticed something. America has a problem with calling U.S. citizens terrorists.
If you were to look up articles about the Las Vegas shooter, you would find some about his motives, how shocked his family was, and conspiracy theories. There are some articles, however, that describe him as a retired gambler and that he liked country music. I have not yet seen an article that calls him a terrorist.
The Las Vegas shooter was a domestic terrorist.
There is not a picture you can look up of a terrorist and if someone looks like that, you arrest them. It is not that easy. Terrorism comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be white, black, brown, purple, green; it does not matter. If someone is attacking our country and the people in it, they are a terrorist. End of story.
Terrorism doesn't just come from other countries. There are homegrown terrorists right here in America and for some reason, people don't like to acknowledge that. Someone doesn't have to have brown skin to be considered a threat to this country. Many people don't believe that such hate can come from one of our own, but believe it.
The Orlando nightclub shooter, white supremacists who harm people of color, James Earl Ray (the man who shot Martin Luther King Jr.), and the shooter at the D.C. Navy yard were all domestic terrorists. None of these individuals were/ are "very fine people" or "retired grandfathers". They are terrorists and America needs to learn that.
Now, I am not going to claim I have the answer to fix terrorism or hate but not making excuses for people who perpetrate violence is a step in the right direction. There are always going to be people that dislike America and people that spread hate and violence. Sometimes, there will be no way to stop them. The United States is not a utopia.
There are bad people in the world, but it is up to the good people to help spread love, understanding, and acceptance. Love one another and stand up to people who want to harm others, whether that be physically, mentally, or verbally. "Be the change you wish to see in the world" -Mahatma Gandhi.