‘Divided’ you stand | An international student’s American perspective

I’ve wanted to study in America ever since I was in the sixth grade. It was my dream all throughout high school to receive a scholarship for attending an American university, because I believed I’d be better off living there.

After achieving that dream by a miracle, I left my whole life behind on the other side of the world in hopes of finding what I’ve been seeking in the United States. When I came to Kansas City in 2015, I was just another international freshman waiting to discover all America had in store for me —and then reality hit me.

In the wake of the Florida high school shooting, many Americans have been saying that “the time for thoughts and prayers are over” . They are right. It’s the time for change and peace, and time to realize the flaws in the system.

After more than a year of controversy and tragedies, I found that it was time to speak out. America used to be a place for hope, education and freedom. It has now turned into a gigantic joke. As an international student, I find it unsettling to live in a country that I once viewed as a haven for opportunities turn into that of something from nightmares.

After hearing about school shooting after school shooting, I’ve started worrying about my safety more than I used to. The only thing worse than hearing about these attacks is listening to news anchors, political public figures and people online, defending the very weapons that are used to carry out such monstrous acts. Worst of all is when they declare victory over the very children who have experienced and survived such a traumatic events when their bill to ban guns doesn’t pass.

We are going through possibly a revolutionary time in American history . Children have resorted to protesting for their rights to safety in schools, the very place where they are supposed to grow and gain an education to better their country.

The fact that this seems to not concern a lot of people in power, and see them trying to brush off these “teenagers” who are fighting for justice, makes me think that if they don’t put their own people first, or their own children first, why would they care about the life of a foreigner?

Realizing how divided this country is makes it hard to love it like I once did. Despite this country’s flaws, I know Americans are some of the nicest, most genuine people; so why divide yourselves when it comes to your children’s safety?  Why divide yourselves at all? Having different opinions is unavoidable, but verbally and physically attacking each other, and trying to prove each other wrong is not going to help either side in the matter.

I am not one to say what should and should not be banned in this country, but I do know that in order for this country to keep prospering, identifying the key issue is vital. We cannot ignore the harms guns bring. We cannot ignore each other’s pleas for justice, because ultimately, whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, you all want a better future for America.

 

biav22@mail.umkc.edu

 

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