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A Latina’s Opinion on the State of the U.S.

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been trying to process everything that is happening in this country. From inflation to mass shootings, and now to abortion and women’s health. Am I grateful that on American streets there aren’t ongoing shootings between the military and civilians… like in South America? Yes. But here in America it happens in places much worse than the streets. It happens in schools, grocery stores, religious sites, movie theaters. It happens anywhere and everywhere. It saddens me to say that I don’t know if it’s a privilege to call myself an American. Deep down I know it is, trust me I know. But in light of what has happened with school shootings, food shortages, abortion, and countless other things, my gratitude is on hold. As AOC has said, “it is internationally embarrassing.” How can such a powerful country that states it cares for its people do this to them? A country that claims to care about their rights and freedom. All I can think about is, ‘Aren’t we supposed to make progress and move ahead? Not regress and go back to 1776?‘ I’m not sure if it’s a free country anymore but at least I (we) still have freedom of speech. And with the few rights I have left I will use this right to say my opinion.

This really isn’t an issue of being a Republican or a Democrat, it’s about standing up for human rights. These two parties that are ripping this country in half should not be enemies… They should be balancing each other out, like yin and yang. It’s for the same reason that when you look for a partner you don’t go for someone that is exactly like you, you need someone a little different that balances out your personality. Why can’t the United States do the same? The Republican party is not always wrong, and the Democratic party is not always right. Why do we have to hate each other for having different views and beliefs? That’s what makes America a melting pot. 

I’m jumping back and forth between mass shootings and abortion, but I really just don’t know where to start or end. I’m still in shock from hearing the news that guns have more rights than women right now in the great and powerful United States of America. Something that really blows my mind is that we keep looking at age, race, and ethnicity. But what about gender? What if 99% or even 90% of school shootings were done by females? Nobody would be talking about mental health or even the availability of guns before addressing the fact that the shooters were female. The government would immediately remove the ability for women to buy guns. The Violence Project states that “of the 172 mass shooters studied, only four were women.” Michel Martin and Emma Bowman from NPR state that “a staggering 98% of these crimes have been committed by men, according to The Violence Project, a nonpartisan research group that tracks U.S. mass shooting data dating back to 1966.” Sandy Hook Promise states that “The majority of individuals with diagnosed mental illness do not engage in violence against others.” While mental health may be a concern for those sick individuals, it is not the main reason behind their actions. People with mental health can be a danger to themselves but not necessarily to someone else. Even if that was the main concern, I don’t see any progress with resources towards mental health or in the decline of individuals battling anxiety or depression. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states, “anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.” The only progress I’ve seen is the addition of 988 (Mental Health Hotline). 

People would rather arm teachers than give them money to buy supplies for their students. Also, on the topic of school, the government is banning books with certain topics (race, LGBTQ+ issues) instead of guns. We really don’t need a Fahrenheit 451 situation… I’ve also heard many times that if the shooter is Hispanic then it’s a border issue, if they’re brown then it’s terrorism, if they are Black, it’s an upbringing issue, but of course if it’s a white person it’s a mental health issue.

People also talk about walking out and changing their mind on getting an abortion. Well sorry to break it to you but that was A CHOICE. You had a choice to walk out of that room. Why is there a focus on controlling women when there is a solution that men can do that is actually reversible? It has never been about the baby… And it really isn’t about being pro-life or pro-choice. If you claim to be pro-life, you’re anti-abortion, but you support the death penalty… then just read that sentence again… These laws just don’t make any sense to me because if the fetus was a baby like many claim, then men should pay child support the moment the child is conceived. And if someone were to assault a pregnant woman then it would be child abuse. But now because the fetus isn’t a baby, our female reproductive rights are being decided for us. Also, make this make sense. Instead of giving a mother more money to better support a child you take the child away and put the child in a stranger’s home, who the government pays $400 each month to take care of said child. Right now, the men who govern this country and even the women who govern this country, don’t care about what happens to other women. Women including their wives, daughters, sisters, and their own mothers.

When will it be safe to be a woman? 

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