Thus far, 2016 has been a whirlwind. With terrorist attacks happening on a weekly basis worldwide, one has to wonder what type of effect this had and will continue to have on the youth of America.
September 11th, 2016 will mark the 15th anniversary of the most lethal foreign attack to have ever happened on American soil, killing nearly 3,000 people and injuring over 6,000.
Since then attacks have only increased, and events such as the multiple Paris attacks and the Orlando shooting are clear examples of the magnitude of this problem.
Us millennials are growing up in a society where terrorism is almost, if not just, normal. Until it happens in our neck of the woods, it’s easy to forget about because of how common these attacks have become.
Seeing on the news that dozens of people have died, again, in another foreign country is of course tragic, but look at how easily we forget and move onto the next subject. I can’t just cast blame either, because I happen to be guilty of this exact mentality. On the day of an attack we’ll use the hashtags praying for Pulse, Paris, and others, yet what true action is taking place to make change?
Better yet, what solutions have been presented by our current presidential candidates? So far I’ve heard Donald Trump say “take out their families,” (whatever that means) and Hillary Clinton propose that we delve even further into war, “with a more effective coalition air campaign, with more allied planes, more strikes, and a broader target set.”
So as it stands, our options are to either fight further in an ongoing war or… fight further in an ongoing war. Both candidates are essentially proposing the same plan of action, one just happens to be more, um… eloquently presented. (and no, I would never describe Trump’s presentation of any idea as being “eloquent.”)
Other solutions presented by both candidates includes the close monitoring Islamic Centers and Mosques. This solution is nothing but ironic, as both candidates also claim to be against intensive governmental surveillance, though both Trump and Clinton have differing definitions for what “intensive” means exactly.
What do the American people believe to be the solution? Some states are calling for the ban of semi-automatic weapons, including Massachusetts, who successfully approved the ban last July. This is a result of multiple terrorist attacks taking place with semi-automatic and automatic weapons, including the Pulse Shooting last summer.
Others have a, dare I say, unrealistic answer. Feel free to google “redneck solutions to terrorism” if you want to simultaneously laugh and cry for the future of our country. In this search you will find anecdotes such as “let’s ban Muslims, y’all!” and “Just stop lettin’ ‘em in the country and there won’t be a problem.”
Unfortunately, I don’t have the answers as to how we can change our futures, which is currently headed to hell. I don’t know how to solve this massive problem, and like many of you I have become numb to the reality that this is our new normal.
My only advice, to anyone wanting to make a change, is to write to your local governmental offices and vote in the upcoming election for the candidate you believe will be most apt to solve this problem. Make yourself aware of what valid, real solutions each candidate has proposed, and continue voting throughout the year in local elections. Get involved with your government as much as you can to ensure that terrorism sees an end.
As it stands currently, our children will be at risk. New terrorist attacks are happening incredibly close to home, so I urge you, don’t wait to take action. Be the change you wish to see in this world.
(This Editorial was written by Amanda Owens)