American Apathy

Julia Ramirez
Feb 15, 2018 · 3 min read

I could not focus at work today. How can I sit here in my cushy little office chair and act like there isn’t a serious problem in this country? How can any of us? We go back to our lives after another mass shooting; maybe we shed tears and hug our loved ones, but we eventually stop thinking about the lives of the victims. We move on, we think of the next problem. Perhaps we worry about whether or not we’ll get promotions or when we’ll go on our next vacation. We complain about menial things. Sadly, we ALL eventually shield ourselves from this “life and death” matter. Our minds glaze over it because we’d all fall into severe states of depression if we knew that all this life means is we exist and then we die. Especially if we thought that there’s a chance that we, too, could die at the hands of irresponsible violence. We try convincing ourselves that “it can’t happen to me”, repeating it again and again like a healing mantra.

However, if we continue to excuse the deaths of innocent people with “there’s nothing we can do”, then we are falling victim to barbarity. This is not civilized. This is a society being fooled by ignorance. This is a society becoming mockery. Do we not value lives of innocent children? Can we not sit down, like the kind hearted humans we’re supposed to be, and try to solve this issue? We are seeing the true, ugly face of the issue: valuing ego instead of innocent lives. We are selfish- one of the most abhorrent traits that sets us apart as humans. We should be striving to define humanity as pure benevolence. Sure, we all try to accomplish benevolence with our thoughts and prayers. But despite those best of intentions, we need to take things one step further with severe urgency.

Defenses like “you can’t touch my right to bear arms, the problem lies elsewhere”, are deafening to our movement when the problem, truly, lies within the refusal to hear out the real meaning of the word reform. Background checks, limits on ammunition purchases, and gun storage regulations are a huge part of said “reform”. Even mental health is a huge issue in this country. But we keep electing leaders who are trying to limit access to healthcare and who make it legal for mentally unstable individuals to buy firearms.

Deterrents like “quit making this about politics and let them grieve”, pour out of too many mouths when we should be screaming at our leaders, even in the moments after a massacre, to implement change. We shouldn’t be shaming people, calling them insensitive. How is wanting safety for our children a bad thing? How is wanting immediate action wrong? How many times have we waited, seen the situation grow cold again, only to be utterly destroyed when a new one comes along?

Do not pray for our dead and then forget about why you were praying in the first place. Do not pray for our dead and declare that guns are not a problem. Our blindness, our inevitable apathy does more damage than we think. We cannot become an idle America at the mercy of these despicable mass shootings. Do better, society. I know we can.

Julia Ramirez
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