Gun violence is out of control in the United States. I am angry. I am lost. I am hurt. Many Americans out there feel the same way I do. There are also many American individuals who decide to funnel their emotions into problematic fears and scapegoating. Here is where the negativity arises.
It is terrifying to know that so much misinformation is spread around during these events. We always try to hide the reality of the matter. At the end of the day people are still dying, and people still lay dead. It is not always rooted in mental illness, which already has enough of a stigma. People are attempting, planning, and committing mass shootings. These actions derived from hatred, fear, and misinformation about several different minority groups as well as groups that are oppressed.
There are cases where people kill others because they enjoy that kind of thing; I prefer to categorize such individuals mentally unstable. However, we cannot overlook the fact that people will kill people simply because they don’t like them and or agree with their way of life. This is not okay. It is also unacceptable to equate such actions to other problematic ways of thought. Racial tension, anti-trans/anti-queer ideals, homophobia, and Islamophobia are all real things. Things that should be taken seriously. Things that are problematic. Things that are costing people their lives.
The individuals committing these crimes are Americans, true to the red, white, and blue. Not foreigners, and they are terrorists.
Communities are scared. A community is more than a few individuals. All age groups are effected. Guns are too accessible. The general public is not educated enough about their usage for them to have such easy accessibility. Gun carriers don’t own just one, they own many. And for that reason, I am filled with anger and fear. I am enraged by all the things we would consider commonplace, that I now feel uncomfortable doing, because of the gun violence that has occurred at such places.
I fear school campuses, movie theaters, night clubs, concerts, and ethnic/cultural celebrations. I fear walking down the street. I fear for myself and others who just want to be who they are. But most of all, I fear for my country’s future.