On Friday, May 18, yet another chapter was written in the seemingly-ceaseless nightmare that has ravaged America. At Santa Fe High School in Texas, 10 people were killed in what was the latest school shooting in the country. The following day, Prince Harry and now-princess Meghan Markle were married in England, highlighting the arrival of the highly-anticipated royal wedding.
When skimming through various mainstream media outlets on Saturday morning, it was severely disappointing to see that the talk of the nation was centered around the royal wedding. While many marveled over the dress that Markle was wearing or the luxury of the ceremony, they simultaneously disregarded the people dying in Texas hospitals due to gun violence. The damage it had inflicted on Santa Fe High School and students across the nation was quickly disposed of while a wedding captivated the country.
A popular counter-argument that has surfaced over the past few days pertains to the rarity of a royal wedding and how they appear less frequently than school shootings.
Morally speaking, that statement should immediately raise a red flag. Although the general frequency of these tragedies has been widely recognized, the first five-and-a-half months of 2018 have escalated the situation to unfathomable levels.
On average, more than one school shooting per week has occurred so far this year in the United States. Even if school shootings were abnormal, massacres similar to this should not be swept under the carpet while we draw our attention to foreign events with little to no relevance or affiliation with America. When school shootings are accepted as a part of society, the epidemic only worsens.
If we as Americans place a royal wedding of a foreign country ahead of one of the biggest issues of this generation, it clearly explains why progress isn’t being made. The tragedies cannot be glossed over so quickly or just cast into the various realms of forgotten history. Otherwise, how is a change going to occur? This past weekend was a harsh reminder of where America’s priorities stand.
As a country, it is imperative to acknowledge what needs to be acknowledged. By shifting the focus elsewhere, it emits an aura of disrespect to problems that require an immediate solution.