Is America Still The Brave?
Politics and Activism

Is America Still The Brave?

It's hard to be brave when horrible violence is everywhere you turn.

Andrew Robbins

Every day it seems I am delivered heart-dropping news, whether it be the death of a rising musician, a mass shooting, or a rape on campus. I understand there are bad people in the world, but it seems like evil is consuming our population.

We were taught “America the Brave” in elementary school, but now I feel as though our new motto should be “Fear America.” Because truly, it is impossible to not live in fear and to be brave when there have been over 133 shootings in 2016 alone.

Maybe since I am only a young adult, I was too innocent to recognize the evil in the world up until now. But should that be the case, I am sad. I am not sure how much more bad news I can withstand before I completely lose my faith in humanity.

A few years ago, after the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, I was terrified. I remember crying and walking around school in fear of who might barge in. As a country, we mourned together. We hoped for a solution to the gun dilemma, but three and a half years later we are at a standstill.

Over the past 2 weeks, news about rape, and malicious gun violence filled my timeline. When I used to watch the news, I would feel sad for victims of a crime, but I never feared for myself. But now, when I receive a news alert about the latest rape or shooting, I do fear. I think we all live in fear because the heinous violence that’s been occurring hits very close to home, and could easily happen to any one of us.

The woman who was viciously raped by Brock Turner was an innocent, vibrant young woman, just like myself. Up until that haunted night when Turner turned her life upside down, she probably never expected something of that nature to ever happen to her. But the scary part is: it did. The even scarier part of her situation is that she isn’t getting the justice she deserves.

Recently, rising musician Christina Grimmie was shot after her concert. There were many people in attendance, all but one being innocent fans. The concert was supposed to be an exciting and fun night for her fans, but it ended in horror.

This past December 36 people in San Bernardino woke up one morning and drove to work. For 14 of those people, that was their last drive to work ever because of 2 reckless shooters. I drive to work everyday. My parents drive to work everyday. My brother drives to work everyday. We all go places everyday. It probably never occurred to these 36 people to be afraid to go to work. But now, being afraid to go anywhere is the norm because you never know what could happen.

I must admit I started writing this article before the Orlando shooting. I read it aloud to my mom and was in tears thinking about what the next horrible situation might be.

The next day, when I woke up, my mom said to me, “Grace, I have some horrible news. There’s been a mass shooting in Orlando, at least 20 people are dead.”

My heart fell out of my chest. I watched the news all morning in shock. So many questions, and not enough answers. Who could kill 50 people without even flinching?

I don’t know how our country will dodge the next bullet. I don’t know how lawmakers are supposed to determine what will save our country from the next massacre. I don’t know if I’m safe anywhere, anymore.

But what I do know is that human behavior has taken a turn for the worst. I feel as though there’s no regard for human life anymore. People are being killed as if it’s a simple task like picking an apple from a tree. Women and men are being raped and violated as if their livelihood won't be destroyed. When a person is offended by the actions of others, he chooses to kill rather than ignore. Women are taught how to not get raped, rather than men being taught not to rape.

Do people not understand human life is a gift? Being alive is a fragile state and the human race is destroying each other.

I want to know when enough will finally be enough. I want to go to a concert without feeling the anxiety of a shooter lingering in the stands. I want to go out with my friends at school without the fear of being raped…and then even worse being blamed for it due to my clothing or state of mind. I want to know that when my brother goes to the bar with his friends, he will get home safe. I want to know that someday when I have kids, they will feel safe in this world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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