Thriving off fear

It seems you cannot turn on the news without hearing some horrible accident.

The reporter turns to the camera and tells you of soldiers dying overseas, or police finding explosives at the University of Florida. A pause and then they smile, like everything is normal.

As unsettling as that may seem, the tragic stories of violence and terror have become commonplace. Instead we become scared of things that may break that mold.

Take the case of Josh Welsh, a second grader from Maine, who was suspended for accidentally biting a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun. For making his Pop Tart into a pop gun, Josh received a two day suspension.

While the idea of a child holding a gun is frightening, the school decided that children holding tasty treats is far more threatening.

We sit on the edge of our seats, waiting for something bad to happen. For a moment to go wild and discover what we are capable of when pushed to survive.

This has been taking place for long before this year or the previous one. The fear stemmed long ago when we relied on fear to keep us together as a nation.

Be it witch hunts or taking citizens to trial under suspicion of communism, America makes a living off of fear mongering.

In the 1960’s we were scared of the nuclear clock striking and Charles Manson with his “family of followers”, the 70’s and 80’s brought with them Ted Bundy and the Unabomber, only to be topped by the 90’s which challenged the nation with a home grown Terrorism act in the Oklahoma City bombings and the rest of the nation the Columbine High School massacre.

As a nation we are afraid of the people around us at all times.

As individual citizens, there is a voice in they back of our collective heads telling us to be careful of the quite man in the corner, or the hooded figure walking down the street.

While it may seem like a horrid trait to have, no one can argue the success it has brought. The agencies that protect us here in the United States have gotten better every year at stopping crimes and acts of violence.

In an effort to make ourselves a safer country, we have forfeited our right to feel safe.

In order to make things right we have to change and fix how we act, but how do you fix something that has been broken for so long? With hard work and determination of course.

We’ve made this mess and now it’s up to us to clean it up.