Dear America... .pdf
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Wednesday 15 June 2016
I don’t consider myself a scholar - most definitely not in any field pertinent to current political
events in your country - but I do hope that to some extent, the pursuit of higher education has
afforded me the ability to think somewhat logically and rationally. Perhaps I’m mistaken (and
believe me, it wouldn’t be the first time) but of course that doesn’t stop me from having an
opinion and expressing it.
With all due respect, you’re not the only ones affected when violent, barbaric events take place
in your country. We too, hurt at the brutality and inhumanity coming across in our news reports.
We too, feel frustration at the lack of tolerance and compassion. We too, mourn the needless
and senseless loss of life taking place again and again.
We have friends, mothers, fathers,
brothers and sisters caught up in this violence - any argument that this is purely an American
issue that only affects Americans must well and truly be discounted by now.
There is no doubt in my mind that you care deeply for your people and that unspeakable
tragedies such as the recent events in Orlando, rock your country to its core. The outpouring of
love, grief and emotion is always apparent in the weeks directly following and is touching to us,
the world over. But nothing ever changes. You allow it to happen over and over again.
You’re like that kid we all knew at University who would spend every Sunday complaining about
their godawful hangover, only to ignore all advice and get drunk every week anyway. They say
the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different
results… Think about that. Do us all a favour - put down your guns.
Too often I see rational argument flippantly dismissed as irrelevant, due to the author’s origins
being outside of the United States. Is it rational to conclude that because someone doesn’t
reside in your country, they have no understanding of the horrific impact gun violence has? Or
that because somebody is a foreigner, they automatically have no grasp of a political problem
and lack the foresight and intelligence to help fix it?
You trust other countries all around the world to provide groundbreaking technology, military
intelligence and trade partnerships… Hell, you’ve even trusted Russia to take your people to
the International Space Station via Soyuz rockets for the past 21 years. So why is it so difficult
to swallow your pride and accept unanimous international advice that your gun control (or lack
thereof) sucks? Whatever the hell you think you’re doing at the moment, clearly isn’t working,
and it’s affecting us all.
Out here in the Pacific, we’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we care about
and look after each other.
If something was causing the people we loved to be brutally
murdered, you can be damn sure we’d do something about it. There would be no argument or
protest because quite frankly, we value our country, our people and our identity above all else.
You can continue either directly or indirectly, to pass these atrocities off as acts on behalf of ISIL,
or specific attacks against race, gender, sexuality - and perhaps, yes, that may well be true. But
until you can accept that irrespective of motive, the common denominator in all of these attacks
is the availability of guns… don’t expect change.
And don’t expect the rest of the world to be ok with it.