I do not affiliate with either major political party. When it comes to social issues, I side with the Democrats. When it comes to fiscal issues, I swing conservatively. Having just turned 18, I will register as an Independent. I have a Republican father and a Democratic mother, who used the tools of information and communication to let me form my own opinions. The opinion of mine that conquers all is that our government is, simply, far too polarized.
As a young person, I believe it is my duty to know what is happening in our country and why. Every law or clause enacted today will affect my generation tomorrow.
The issue of gun control has been at the forefront of government debate for years. The debate rages on, caught up in the Washington gridlock, causing the public to desensitize and take sides, argue on social media, and widen that gap of party polarization.
I, like many of us, am saddened to say that mass shootings have become ingrained in our culture. No one should have to fear the movie theater, a concert, work or school; and yet, our country has reached a place when going out and enjoying life causes a twinge of fear in the back of our minds.
The Parkland shooting for me was different. For the first time, I knew people who were in the school that day.
Two girls that I went to summer camp with are seniors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. One of them hid in a closet for hours. Both went to the funeral of a close friend who was killed.
It is true that we think we will not be affected by these things until we are. I am so thankful that the girls are okay, but I am deeply frightened by the fact that this very easily could have been me. I could have been the one hiding in the closet, fearing for my life. I could have been the one shot and killed, with my friends far too young to be attending my funeral.
The United States has one of the largest and most powerful governments in the world. This issue is not one of gun control, of mental health, or of the FBI. This issue is partisanship.
With the size and strength of the U.S. government, there should be laws and regulations passed to control the purchase of guns. There should be programs to help anyone struggling with mental health. What there should NOT be is news debates and social media fights about whether the shooter was mentally unstable, or whether owning guns is a 2nd amendment right, or whether there should be more regulations on the purchase of an automatic rifle.
It shouldn’t matter.
The fact here is that people of all walks of life are dying, and rather than taking action, the government and the country sits still, takes bribes, and argues until the media storm ends and until the next shooting happens, when the arguments begin again.
If the people we elect to run our country, party aside, can make zero changes in this dire of a state, than our founding fathers’ experiment of government has failed.
I hope, only, for a future in which change is able to come.