Friday, September 28, 2012

Images that represent 'America' to me

Independence Day Celebrations

To me this particular image portrays everything that could be regarded as 'America' or 'American'. It features one of their most historic and notable landmarks, the Statue of Liberty; and is also displayed with the Independence Day or the Fourth of July celebratory fireworks in the background. 
America to me has always been about power, patriotism and unity. Americans aren't shy of showing off that they're American and that they love their country. Be it flying an American flag outside their residence, celebrating the Fourth of July with their families or giving a typically 'American' "Woop!" whenever the question "Are there any Americans here tonight?' is asked. With the Independence Day celebrations as my main focus, I think that as a culture they pull together and unite more than any other nation in the world. There is something special about the connection Americans have with each other especially when you take into consideration some of the awful things that have happened over the years. 


The topic of guns/firearms and the ability to own one is probably the most controversial thing about America, second only to the issue of poor dieting and weight issues, which was my original negative thought when I think of America. 
My reasoning behind choosing the idea of guns as the most negative thing about America and as my picture shows - guns are so accessible. No matter how much we joke about how 'all Americans are fat' - these people aren't the problem, they aren't the source of crime and deaths. It is acceptable for certain people to have a firearm in the US, which to some will be for protection or for hunting or whatever they could possible 'need' a gun for. However, if you think back a few months or so ago when the new Batman film was released, one man decided he would use his own firearms and open fire on a movie theatre, killing 12 and injuring many others. Similarly in 1999 when two students decided to take a high school in Columbia into their own force and massacre innocent people before turning the gun on themselves. Again, the ability to acquire a firearm has taken the lives of many prolific people including Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy - all of whom stood politically for something, two of them being Presidents. You can't buy an alcoholic drink until you're 21 in America, however you can buy a shotgun or a rifle from a department store or a gun store at the age of 18 - this is why this subject is argued strongly both for and against a vast amount of the time. To me I think that being able to buy firearms causes such a rift, politically and socially across America.What is difficult to challenge is that would America be the same if guns weren't as accessible as they are today? Would making them illegal create more crime such as smuggling weaponry across boarders or creating 'high in demand' black market for firearms?