It would be nice to go to school or the movies or the mall again in America without wondering whether you'll survive it, wouldn't it?
There was a time when we never gave a thought to the prospect of being slaughtered by an angry gunman with a military-grade semiautomatic rifle as we took in the latest blockbuster or visited the stores and that time wasn't so very long ago, but those days are gone for good now, aren't they? Or are they?
The world has certainly got the message. Ninety-six Americans are killed by guns every day. Tourism has slumped under Trump because the USA is increasingly seen as a hapless basket case where the government cannot legislate to prevent gun carnage because deep-pocketed special interest groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) will oppose their reelection.
Many tourists have simply stopped coming here, appalled by the images of mayhem and carnage they witness on their TV screens week after week, year after year. It all adds up. It paints a picture of a nation so at war with itself that it can countenance mass murder without mustering the necessary moral force to oppose it.
The @NRA experiment is a failure. They told us more guns - almost 400 million in civilian hands - and fewer gun laws would make us safe. Instead, we have the highest rate of gun violence of any high income country. This chart is what happens when gun lobbyists write our gun laws. pic.twitter.com/0cssgxbX0Q— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) August 26, 2018
China has warned its citizens that gun violence kills as many people as car accidents in America, which is a rate that is unknown anywhere else in the developed world. Translation, the United States is not safe. You'd be much better off staying at home, frankly.
Before you scoff and tell the Chinese "who needs them," consider this: China has a population of nearly 1.4 billion and it leads the world in the number of tourists who travel abroad. Its tourists spent $261 billion overseas in 2016, or more than twice as much as travelers from the United States, which ranked second in total spending on international tourism.
That's a large market to lose and we are finally starting to lose it. We are losing it because the necessary adjustments to the nations image and the gun crisis on our streets are not being addressed. The reason for this is simple: there was a time when ardent capitalists used to run the Republican party, but these days they have been superseded by the era of ranting ideologues.
Thanks to our bought and paid for leaders, who now whistle past every new massacre, we are quickly losing our hard-won moral authority on the world's stage. In fact, in some cases, we are becoming an outright laughing stock.
China’s ruling Communist Party has said that American expressions of concern about human rights overseas are hypocritical considering Washington’s complete failure to prevent unnecessary bloodshed at home. It's hard to refute that claim if no action is being taken, and no action is being taken.
Gun violence makes the headlines after a mass tragedy, but it also traumatizes communities every single day in this country.
We don’t have to live like this; we don't have to die like this. Join the movement to end gun violence: Text READY to 644-33. pic.twitter.com/dqpdhVd4uy— Moms Demand Action (@MomsDemand) August 29, 2018
Just a word on that sadly surrendered moral authority. Our grandparents' generation worked tirelessly to achieve America's special standing on the world's stage as a beacon of liberty and justice. It was their lives work. It mattered profoundly. It was never a perfect union but for most of the 20th century, America stood for fidelity to its founding documents, its dream of itself.
We are now led by a president that can't see the point of maintaining that unique moral authority and special standing, a president that looked at the neo-nazis in Charlottesville and saw in his own words, “very fine people.”
We have also allowed the gun industry to profit completely unfettered by reason, even at the expense of our own quality of life and peace of mind. We don't even blink now as our streets are being turned into an increasingly militarized war zone, we don't flinch when beat cops like good old Officer O'Shaughnessy start to look more like a mashup of Robocop and the Terminator.
A new study shows that militarization of police fails to keep officers safe and targets black communities. Trauma-informed justice would mean creative, equitable responses to violence that disrupt cycles of community-wide trauma. https://t.co/nJMCKvO9Ge— Equal Justice USA (@EJUSA) August 28, 2018
In another decade, at this rate, we won't recognize where we live anymore or remember that we didn't always exist in a lethal hell-scape of relentless and once preventable gun violence.
The NRA has made it quite clear, they will not stop until the United States has entered a new state of nature where you can either arm yourself to the teeth with military firepower (enriching them as you surrender your freedom) or face the fatal consequences.
Remember in November. You may think it's already too late for you but think about the country that you want your children to live in. Because even living in America is becoming a crapshoot now. Vote.
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section, below.