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Opinion / Blog

Is America portraying a false image?

By teamkrejados (blog.chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-10-11 16:08

Is America portraying a false image?
Photo posted by the blogger

I'm pretty much a happy person, meandering through life making light-hearted (and sometimes ponderous) observations. Every so often, an issue jumps up and slaps me in the face urging me to the keyboard. This is one of those times.

The United States of America. In the past two days, I've encountered pertinent revelations which force reckoning that all is not well in China's second most revered country (China's first most revered country is, of course, China). A documentary series on television that recounts revisionist history, either glossing over the bad parts or leaving them out altogethe.(like wholesale import of Chinese labor to build the transcontinental railroad was not even mentioned) A blogger who thought America's mass transit system was so good it should be the envy of the world, and another who deemed Americans prosperous, strong and independent-minded. A mass shooting yesterday at a college campus in Oregon – the latest in a long line of school shootings.

Most of the world believes that America is the epitome of governmental, social, financial and educational ideal. And I agree. But, I've been there and have seen hungry children bed down in shacks, hopeless lives scrounging for what can be had, generations of non-educated people passing on their family tradition of welfare abuse. Teen pregnancy is at an average age of 15, and America has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the developed world.

Many Americans, those who live a good life in relatively safe suburban neighborhoods won't admit to their country's dark side. Indeed, they seem to take the attitude of,“sure, I know that stuff happens. I watch the news. But bad stuff does not happen here; not in my life circle, my small corner of the country.” I've been friends with this one woman for most of my life; she wears such sets of blinders. Somehow she and other Americans and people around the world fail to make the connection. America's terrible statistics are not one-off-freak-happenings. They are the norm.

Like Sean Boyce says in his blog, ‘Is Patriotism Healthy?’, the inability to accept that anything could be wrong in your country is more damaging to it than blindly accepting the status quo. I'd add that anyone who blindly promotes an inaccurate image of any country does just as much damage to that country as those who blindly accept their country's status quo.

To all of the people around the world, but especially in America I ask, how many school shootings is it going to take for you to see that America cannot possibly maintain its golden, idealistic image?

America has the most liberal gun rights of any country in the world. Citizens are guaranteed 'the right to bear arms' according to their Constitution. But are they really that free to carry guns?

Historians (and I) have long contended that The Constitution's 2nd Amendment, expressing 'the right to keep and bear arms' is misunderstood. It was written at a time when America had no army. Citizens were called on to defend the country – to form a militia, using their own weapons. In the 239 years that the USA has been an established country, they have developed a military force, complete with sophisticated weapons to defend against all foes. Yet, the mentality still persists; Americans will personally be called on to discharge their personal weapons to defend of their country.

Does America need saving right now? Should people be firing on lone gunmen at malls and schools and churches and movie theaters? Gun lobbyists think so, and the idea is contagious. Some legislators advocate teachers carrying guns to class in order to stop school shootings. Gun enthusiasts believe people should be permitted to carry their guns openly, just as their forefathers did more than 100 years ago, when settling the west. In fact, Texas has approved 'open carry', I almost can't wait to go back, just to see a bunch of cowboys swaggering around downtown Fort Worth with their guns on their hips. The idea fills me with a morbid fascination.

“The inmates are running the asylum!”is a phrase oft quoted when I worked in a government facility. It hearkens back to a time when mental institutions patients rioted. It has come to mean that those who should never have authority have taken it all. In my opinion, the inmates those with are running America while those who were elected to ensure the safety and prosperity of all are powerless

These days, average citizens are treated like criminals. This picture(Above), accompanying the latest school shooting, testifies to that. Students with their hands on their heads and lined up like prisoners while police search them and inspect their bags.

How can anyone look at that picture and believe all is well in America? That the people are safe, happy, prosperous and well-intentioned?

Read more from the author, please click here: The blogs of the teamkrejados

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