America rang in 2016 knee-deep in the democratic process. As the days and months passed, it seemed that the country was full of crazy people. There were civilians shot by police. Gun violence reached an all time high. Police officers were ambushed and murdered. Members of Black Lives Matter shouted to be heard and countered with opposition groups spouting, “All lives matter!”
America’s Democratic Craziness
Republicans and Democrats alike saw headlines on an hourly basis. There was one character who stood out from the political masses. Donald J. Trump. His campaigning resembled a twisted circus act that included overt racism, bigotry, and outright lies.
Then there was Hillary Clinton. When competing with Bernie Sanders, she came off a wicked woman. In fact, at one point, Madeline Albright told America’s women that they should vote for Clinton. During that rally in February, she proclaimed that “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help each other.”
The worst part of America’s experience with the democratic system was the bitterness between family, friends, neighbors, and anyone who was there to suffer the effects of 2016. The nation collapsed into a fractured heap of hostility and downright fear. Only the wealthy came out ahead at the end of the year.
Record Year of American Gun Violence
From the beginning of the year through Dec. 28, 135 of America’s men/women in blue lost their lives. Almost half of those lost their lives to gun violence. Crazies with guns killed 64 officers; 21 of those murdered, died in ambushes.
During this tumultuous year in America, 957 people were killed at the hands of police officers. While this was a reduction of 34 deaths in 2015, Americans dying from gunshots is a travesty. Many of the shootings resulted in retaliatory ambushes and deaths of authorities.
Mass shootings have always been horrendous but those committed in hatred, inflamed by fear, and egged on by the Republican presidential candidate, now president-elect, is even worse.
America’s gun violence breakdown as collected by the Gun Violence Archive:
- Deaths – 14,927
- Injuries – 30,461
- Children killed or injured, under the age of 11 – 664
- Teens killed or injured, ages 12-17 – 3,091
- Mass shootings – 383
- Officer involved shot or killed – 325
- Officer involved subject-suspect shot or killed – 1,900
- Home invasion – 2,477
- Defensive use of gun – 1,873
- Accidental – 2,151
- Suicides estimate for the year – 22,000
The cycle continues, and unless something drastic happens in 2017 the shootings will continue, and America will be burying more bodies. Unfortunately, without stricter gun laws surrounding purchases in America, this will not change. Changing requirements for purchase made online or at gun shows is of vital importance.
Mourning the Deaths of Icons and Personal Losses
When a person lives another year, the celebration is called a birthday. If not, those lost are mourned. America lost many celebrity icons in 2016. Perhaps no more than what might be normal, but given the political climate and the lives lost at the hand of a gun; each celebrity death was magnified as an excessively tremendous loss.
Among close family, co-workers, and dear friends there was sadness as well. Parents passed away, and youngsters died far too early. Some American had close calls with major health issues and others have experienced declining health.
Is America Doomed in 2017?
As the song goes, the answer is blowing in the wind. America is still divided, and its citizens exist as extreme polar opposites. People either love President-elect Trump or cannot wait to see him fall flat on his face. Those who do not trust him are terrified he will do something that will bring on a war against the United States. Many are trying to put on a happy-faced mask and encouraging others to give him a chance.
Are the citizens of the finest country on Earth doomed to see failure, and see their neighbors tormented because of the shade of their skin or religious beliefs? Check in again America, when 2017 is over – maybe it will be okay after all.
Opinion by Cathy Milne
The New York Times: Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright Rebuke Young Women Backing Bernie Sanders
PBS Newshour: Number of police officers shot, killed on the job rose sharply in 2016
The Washington Post: How The Washington Post is examining police shootings in the United States
Gun Violence Archive: 2016
Featured and Fourth Inset Image Courtesy of Andrea Kirkby’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Top and Fifth Inset Images Courtesy of Cathy Milne – Used With Permission
First Inset Image Courtesy of Mark Taylor’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Third Inset Image Courtesy of Peretz Partensky’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License