Humility has never been America’s strong suit. We’ve all heard the saying ‘America is the greatest country in the world’, and as someone who was born and raised in the US, I was brought up to truly believe it is. Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance every day at school, the obsession with respecting our flag, troops, and country, was drilled into us right from the start. Perhaps our pride can be seen as an endearing quality, but, when it comes to the fervent persistence of gun violence, it’s not. A school shooting happened in Santa Fe just a few days ago, where 10 people were killed. And it has, yet again, quickly passed as just another normal occurrence in the US. Maybe if the 58% of Americans without a passport left their oblivious bubble and observed how countries without guns function, this would be less of an issue. But even then, who knows? It’s clear that our ignorance is impenetrable, even abroad.
I saw a Reader’s Digest article recently – around the time of the last school shooting – it was called, “One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Future School Shootings—And It’s Not About Guns”. Shared around by Second Amendment enthusiasts on Facebook. The brilliant solution: looking out for the kids being bullied. This teacher had been putting this method into use since Columbine. As admirable as it is for a teacher to expand their role beyond teaching, to some sort of therapy even, this is not the responsibility or burden we should place on teachers’ backs. Furthermore, the attempted outsourcing of mental-health facilitation through employees of our education system – instead of the health care system – scrutinises the twisted nature of America’s federal institutions. But alternative solutions that protect the so-called ‘sanctity’ of our Second Amendment rights, do not stop there. Metal detectors, clear backpacks, bulletproof doors, being nicer to outcasts- the list drones on. Do you really need an AR-15 that badly? I mean, seriously? Americans are so ready to come up with every excuse before giving up their fucking guns. Would it really be so bad if we took after Europe’s example, or Australia’s?
Currently, we’re raising the next generation of Americans to fall into the same turmoil. Being told we’re the greatest country on earth, while being presented with objective evidence that shows we’re not. We take so much pride in being the best, but we cannot afford to be so deludedly ignorant. Children are murdered at their desks. This is not a time to protect our Founding Fathers’ wishes. The same 300-year-old men that, at the time, decided all women, and people of colour, didn’t have any rights? Thanks, NRA, what an honourable job you’re doing. But hey, at least at this rate we’re doing Paris a favour on their electricity bill, right? Turning off the lights on the Eiffel Tower for every tragedy caused by a US shooting is almost becoming redundant.
Our stubborn national pride prevents us from seeing the effectiveness of gun legislation laws in other progressive countries. If we don’t overcome this blinding nationalism, we will fail to rectify our country and prevent the murder of innocent children.