Opinion

We need a bullet proof vest to survive in this world

What’s going on in our world today? I open the newspaper and I’m overwhelmed. As a student looking forward to entering the media, I know I have to keep up with what’s happening in the world, but sometimes it’s hard to do. I criticize myself for not writing more important columns that have to deal with urgent issues facing us. But the truth is I simply don’t know how to feel about all of this global chaos.

Take these examples in recent papers: a female serial killer is happy to finally be put to death after murdering seven men over a decade ago; another victim shot by the serial sniper…and countless other stories about violence, rape, kidnapping, drug abuse, child abuse, bombings, death. It’s utterly depressing. I understand this is what’s facing our country and it has to be accepted, but there are two things I find particularly troubling.

The first is that it seems like nothing ever gets done about anything. Someone tries to bring something relevant up in our government and it’s shot down in a fury of finger pointing and disagreement. If an issue is lucky enough to pass even one legislative group, then it won’t the other, and winds up mired in political BS. This complex, giant system called the government is supposed to be protecting us and leading the country away from harm, but I wonder if that can even be done anymore.

The second, and presumably more disturbing, is the outlook on things in our city, in our country, in our world. Maybe it’s me because I’ve recently been more aware of everything happening in the news, but it seems like there’s way more negativity than ever before. It might be a reflection of media coverage today since they are the essential gatekeepers of what we see and hear, and let’s admit: society is more desensitized, flashier, and grittier than ever before. Something is changing in our world, in our lives, and it’s happening quicker that I can fully comprehend.

You can’t go a day here in South Florida, or in any city across the nation, and not see something in the news about a fatal shooting. I read a statistic today where the U.S. has more death by guns in a year than Europe has had in its history. I guess that’s democracy for you. People in Maryland and Virginia can’t even go about their daily lives without the fear of being gunned down by some freak with a high-powered scope and rifle. Something is seriously screwed up here, yet we keep going on with our lives, blindly moving into an uncertain future and secretly praying that nothing happens to us. I guess we have to in a way or we’d go insane.

Tensions are rising, people are growing restless, government is only getting more corrupt, the world is getting meaner, and time is running out. Frankly, I hope I’m not around for the fallout. Sorry to be so pessimistic, but this is where I am right now. I keep thinking about what kind of world will we be living in twenty years from now? Will it only get worse? Are we going to have to start wearing bullet-proof protective vests to step outside of our houses and go to the supermarket? I shudder to think.

Derek Bramble is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and theater.

October 25, 2002

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.