Life in Tucson

Gun or No Gun: Do I Feel Safe?

What is peace? What is safe?

One of the pictures I took when we walked out of our class for a few minutes just for a symbolic action.

I have always tried to not talk about how dangerous it can be to live in the states. One of the reasons is that I don’t want to make my family at home worry. Another reason is that I feel Tucson is very safe. Nothing horrible has ever happened to me. But with all mass shootings that have happened across the states, and nearing the end of last year I read news about mass shooting in Las Vegas by a gunman-by default it is not a terrorism if not done by Muslims and it’s in a neighbor state adjacent to AZ btw, I have to admit that sometimes my imaginations go too wild.

I imagine myself walking down the street and then get shot. Not because I am a Muslim of course but simply because some people are so psychopathic they are so proud of owning a gun, and they push their fears and insecurities onto others by shooting people randomly, thinking it is the only way to keep themselves safe. Well, if that ever happens and I die here, please tell my parents that I love them, that I’ve been happy enough, that I am thankful for this life, and that I have no regrets of coming to the states but I’m sorry that I haven’t done several things that might make them happier.

And not long ago another mass shooting happened. At school. In Parkland, Florida. Yes, at school! Gosh. Then again, some people demand for a reform on gun law. They want gun control. Alas, some people think it’s taking away their freedom to owning a gun. What about second amendment, they say. Well, okay, I know only a little about second amendment so I’ll talk only as a commoner, based on a common sense.

Honestly, I often feel frustrated reading the comments on the argument of gun control, especially by those opposing it. One of my friends says that it’s kinda cultural; people get used to growing up with guns at their home so they find it hard to have it taken away from them. Ok, but not all “cultures” should be kept, right? I mean, in my country Indonesia, we’ve got some bad “cultures” too: people litter, people nonchalantly cut the line, people are not on time, etc. But honestly, I really want to change that. I mean, you cannot say that those dead kids in Florida shouldn’t have been surprised to see their friend carrying a gun at school just because they could’ve always expected it considering they’ve been growing up with a gun at their home, right?

Then some people blame the games and movies saying they are too violent. Gosh, other countries have the same movies and games, there aren’t mas shootings there! Then some people propose to arm the teachers, like, are you for real? I mean, I cannot imagine coming to a class seeing my teacher bearing an arm then I don’t know what to do or say worrying if I say or do something wrong s/he’ll shoot me, right? What if s/he is having a bad day? In a bad mood?

I don’t understand how many Americans’ logic works. Whenever there is a discussion on this issue, I always read the comments, and I always, AND ALWAYS, find people arguing (and are convinced) that even if the gun is banned, people will still find a way to murder and that’s why they need the gun to protect themselves; i.e. they claim it’s safer that way. Isn’t it the same as acknowledging and admitting that many of them (American people) are mentally ill? And they are giving these insane people an easy access to guns? I’m sorry to say this, but I’m beginning to think that these people against gun control are also ill; i.e. they are part of the sick society. Really, they need to be cured. I mean, if they are good people and not mentally ill, then they don’t need to worry about not being able to have the gun, right? They can still have it if they prove they are good, trustworthy, and responsible enough to have a gun, no?

Sometimes I get to question: do they need their own children to be the victims for them to support gun control? Or, if their children became victims, would they become even more enraged and obsessed with owning a gun? If only it’s not a life that’s at stake, I’m wondering if people would do an “experiment”. Not that I’m giving the idea.

I think it’s quite simple. If they think they aren’t ill, then ban the gun. If they don’t want to ban the gun, then they’re ill. And they should definitely do something about it, and oh, still, including banning the gun.

And then some people mention Australia and UK for a comparison about gun control. Still, some defend gun ownership saying US is way bigger and more populated than Aussie and UK to have the same gun control system. Gosh, I don’t know. They want a bigger country as a comparison? Ok, look at my country, Indonesia. It’s not the best country, I know. In some aspects it’s no better or maybe even worse from the US. But it’s big. It’s the 4th most populous country. It’s the largest/most populous Muslim country (gotta mention this to show how bad we can be considering how badly some people see Islam and Muslims). Some are also anxious and fearing that people of minor race and belief/religion will take over the Muslim (and “native-race”) majority. Some are homophobic too. Exactly like the US, no? Health insurance is no better (I don’t have one at home!), let alone psychological/mental care. So yeah, some are lunatic. There was bomb in Bali; there was another attempt in Jakarta. Some might have tried to kill, too, using sickles and such, injuring/killing 1-2 people. But not as often as (mass) shooting here, and not as many victims. Again, I’m just showing some resemblance and ways to make my country look worse. But when it comes to mass shooting, no, I don’t think we have it. As retarded as we are as the third-world country, we know we can’t just let anyone own a gun easily.

Another picture that we took, that I had my friend take from behind. You know I was the one with the hijab. Hhe

And so, last March 14, 2018, the school kids had this event of #NationalWalkOut, where they walk out of school to demand for gun control, to create a better and safer environment especially at school. Still, some think that it’s politicized; it’s just a political act. Gosh, can we leave aside the politics for a while and just see it using common sense and logic to save those kids?

Well, I am not a school kid. But on that day our professor came to the class and said something about her daughter joining the nationwide school walkout campaign. She then asked if we wanted to walk out a few minutes as a symbolic action demanding new gun controls. She says she doesn’t want to bring a gun; she’s happy that our campus is weapon-free. And we agree

USA is not my country. I will leave the states once I finish my study. Still, I hope the best for this country and for American people. Well, it’s because before they are Americans, they are human. They need to feel safe. They need to be protected. Best of luck, America. God bless!

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