In the break room of my current employment, I found two covers of the news magazine 'Time' resting on one of the tables.
One had a cover dealing with an article about the issue of abortion and the court case of Roe v. Wade, the other about gun control.
It is the purpose of this article to discuss these issues, or to convince you, the reader, to decide one way or another how either issue should be decided.
No, the purpose of this article is to examine what these issues mean to us, as a people. They are, in themselves a way for us to reflect and gain a better insight to who we are, and where we are going.
The history of America is a history of conflict and debate. We have developed a society which, until recently, has been able to discuss such conflicts in open and cordial manners.
Of course, we have also seen the results of what happens when we let the worst demons of our nature have control of our emotions and the carnage, the deaths, and the hate that we are still feeling and coming to terms with today.
Yet, what is different from the society we had then, even thirty years ago, and what we have today?
We have a plethora of information at our fingertips, our education systems have far surpassed what our forefathers have had.
Yet, no other time in our history have we seen a greater epidemic of little involvement for the issues that have such a tremendous effect on our lives.
Why? Why do we not care?
There is a near infinite collection of reasons. But there is a common theme that can be taken, we are raised to not care.
Life is for us, and us alone, and anything not aimed for our own interest is trivial and need not be our concern.
It goes against the ethos of those who subscribe to the ideals of YOLO, and have problems thinking of others.
So why does this matter for issues such as abortion and gun control. Because when the greater populace does not care, the lunatic fringe takes control.
We have let the fringe have the wheel and drive our direction for national policy. And over half a million men, women, and children lost their lives as a result.
Europe and Asia had seen this same fringe-phenomenon, and over fifty-five million people died as a result, in a war that we were brought into, and lost many loved ones as a result.
This new century, though we are more than a decade into it, has such promise, such hope. But we must take this oppurtunity.
This requires action, and sacrifice. And we must stop thinking of what is good for us in the immediate time-frame. We must think of the longer term, and that requires us to think of the nation as a whole.
I do not think we should become a socialist nation, nor communist. The political theories are perfect on paper, but paper is not real life. And real life is not perfect.
But we must come together once more, educate ourselves on what affects our nation, and us, and we must remember once more, why we are Americans, and what it means.