There are so many things I want to say about the recent, and tragic events in Connecticut. Each time it has been shown on the news, or my Twitter or Facebook feed, my stomach has twisted up in knots. I have been meaning to write about how precious life is, both for my sake and others. I cannot imagine being a mother, or even a sibling or relative, who lives in Newtown, Connecticut. What these people have just gone through is unrealistic. Every time I read about deaths in the newspaper, or online, I can’t think of it as real. I can’t believe it and I try not to. But it is real. I will spare you the details of what has happened at Sandy Hook Elementary. If you are not up to speed on the happenings, please do so. It is important to know the whole story. It is also important to realize that these shootings, these massacres, have to end. How many times will we have to connect the dots, and determine how truly mentally ill a killer was? How many times will we hear, “We never thought he would turn out that way.” How many lives will be lost until we realize we have a serious problem relating to the gun laws? The President mentioned “meaningful action” will be taken, to which a reporter said that it should be immediate action. I agree. The gun laws have always been overlooked, and there have been cases where people have tried to fix the gun laws, but nothing has been done. I get it. You want protection, and you deserve that right. You want to hunt too, which I have begun to support more since my school has a lot of students to do so. Sometimes in life, the things we want the most can’t always come so easily. People want to own guns, and I think a majority want it quick and fast. They don’t want waiting periods or background checks, or perhaps even mental health tests. And who would want to go through all that trouble? I can assure you that all of the parents, relatives and friends of lives lost at Sandy Hook would go through that trouble. Although, I am sure all they really want is their 5-10 year olds back. If something is not done about the gun laws, I don’t know what will happen. How many more schools will be taken over? How many reputations of institutes ruined? How many young lives destroyed, or gone forever? It saddens me to think that government officials, or whoever is in charge of the gun laws, would rather push this under the rug, then deal with it. Think about it logically. Is it right that anyone (of the age with state identification) can purchase something that kills oh so easily? Does the drive to face a problem have to start with high schoolers and end with toddlers getting murdered? I’m not pointing the blame at one organization, one group of people. It is our nation as a whole that has failed to pay attention to this ongoing problem. I never thought of even bringing up the gun laws in a blog post. It’s as taboo as abortion, or politics. People will argue with you for the sake of arguing, and many fail to see reason in your side. I want people to have their guns, and I want people to be able to continue hunting, a pastime many enjoy. I also want my future kids to be able to go to public school without fear. I want to be able to tell them all the great stories about school, not Columbine or Virginia Tech massacres. Perhaps we need to make a test so that before you purchase a gun, you can be evaluated to see if you are “unstable.” It is easy to pretend you are “healthy.” And if someone who seemed “a little off” came into your store and wanted to purchase something as expensive as an assault rifle, would you turn them down? Many may read this and only see that I have slightly bashed the gun laws. But read between the lines. What am I really saying? Am I just some girl who thinks she can write whatever democratic piece of crap she wants? Do I even have any say in this matter? Of course I do. I have younger sisters, and I couldn’t imagine being at my college and getting a phone call from my mom saying, “Something has happened at the junior high school…” I just honestly couldn’t imagine what I would do. Just this year someone “suspicious with a gun” was walking on DelVal’s campus (turns out it was just a paintball gun). My boyfriend’s friend lived in Colorado over the summer, and when I heard about the Aurora shooting, I instantly thought of him. I knew he liked comics and video games, and I was sure he would have seen Batman. Thankfully, he was a few hours away from the town. Most importantly, when I read about how 1st graders were told to cover their eyes so they wouldn’t see blood and glass, I can’t help but feel sympathetic. What are your views? Do you think nothing should be done? Is there anything we can do? Should we leave it up to government officials, or in the hands of parents and guardians to watch over their children so they do not develop a mental illness? I want change, and now, more than ever, is the time.
After months of campaign ads, news reports, heated debates, and casual conversations, the day has come and passed: Election Day.
I know I am late on posting about the important day, but I couldn’t pass this opportunity. Better late than never, right? Ever since my Women Studies class back in high school, I was ecstatic for the day I would turn 18 and be able to vote. Learning what women went through just to place a piece of paper in a box, is something I will never grasp. But it was more than a piece of paper, it was the right to vote. It was the right that all people should have, and value every day.
But, do we have a right to vote for who we want? Recently, I have discovered the answer is no. Slandering ads will tell you “Are you better off?” or “Can you trust him?” just to get you to go a different way. Your friends will ridicule you for who you want to vote for, and your parents will be confused and say, “We raised you a (democrat or republican).”
This is the problem. People have started to judge each other off of what party they stand for, or who they want to vote for. Everybody immediately shuts down, and spews out their statistics and hard facts, and doesn’t listen to the other person. Once you start talking about politics, people get angry. Don’t tell me you haven’t experienced that. This is why a majority of people, young and old, that I talk to say, “I don’t ever talk about politics.”
We need both parties, don’t get me wrong. We cannot have a strictly Republican president, nor a strict Democrat. I’ve noticed that most of America is divided between Republicans, Democrats, and those that do not care. Those who really support a party will judge you if you say you stand for the opposite. I experienced this the other day. A guy at a coffee shop (which will not be named) would be really friendly and give me a free donut every once and a while. He had overheard a political discussion between my friend and I, and once he heard that I was a ____, he acted different. He wasn’t as nice, and I received no free donut that day (quite the disappointment). If someone’s opinion can change how you act towards them that drastically, what does that say about us? (Apparently it means that when you are a _____ you get no free donuts or casual conversation).
Isn’t that concept sad though? Since I believe in something that others may not, I have to fear ridicule or disapproval. How is this America? We are supposed to have all of these “freedoms,” but people have begun to dismiss them, or abuse them. You can’t talk about politics because someone may disagree with you, and instead of offering intelligent arguments, we yell and shout and get nasty. It needs to end.
Whoever our president is, whether it be now or the next election, we should respect. You may not agree with what he (or she) is doing, but he (or she) is still your leader. Let’s just realize one thing: Our country will never be perfect. How can it? With all the differences we have, there is always going to be someone, somewhere that is unhappy. People will blame whoever the president is, for all the bad things that may happen. High gas prices, tuition is too expensive, rent is too high, energy isn’t efficient, no health care, people are impoverished, unemployment rate, etc. We cannot keep looking at the past and say, “This president had the unemployment at ___rate, he did a great job.” There were probably other factors that contributed to him getting the job unemployment rate under 8%. There have been presidents who have paid for wars on “credit cards,” who have slashed programs, and who have watched us suffer a depression. Do we constantly bring them up and blame them for everything they have done? For the most part, no. We blame the current president, which I believe is unfair. Yes, the man in office is the leader of the entire country, but if you think you can do a better job, then by all means go enter the next election. A majority of us like to talk the talk, and overall, we would never be able to do as good of job as the men that have run.
We must remember what our country was founded on, but we have to remember that our country is now changing. Things cannot stay the same. There are certain things that need to change. Along the way we may see difficult times, but we should always try to move onward. Living in the past cannot get us to the future.
We all have our differences, and I think that it makes us unique, and it is what makes America the greatest country to live in. I think we should always keep one thing in mind though. If you do not agree with someone, whether it be for who they want to marry, what they want to wear, what religion they practice, or who they vote for; you need to respect. We all have freedoms. You wouldn’t want someone to ridicule you for who you voted for, right? So don’t do the same to others.
Something that I value most in my life, is having freedom. We could live in a place where we would never have the chance to vote. If you feel that you want someone in office, you have the power to do so. This is something we should never forget.
My favorite presidential quote from JFK, “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
I am Madi Moore. And I support this message.