The Freedom of being American
Being American is all about freedom and right of expression,choices, and our life in general. Without being able to express ourselves without consequences our lives wouldn't be the same as they are today. Freedom to do and say what you want as long as it doesn't hurt others is a powerful tool we are given in our everyday lives. For example if we say “Screw the government its policies are terrible” we will not get thrown into jail or humiliated in public. But this freedom comes with a heavy burden of responsibility. That is, the responsibility to respect others freedom while maintaining your own. A good example of this is peaceful protests, they are completely legal and ok to do but once they turn violent you are violating another person's freedom to not being attacked/harassed by others. A good example of overusing this freedom is what is happening in Palestine and Israel at the borders where protesters have been gathering and protesting for weeks now. The protesters were ok at the beginning by using peaceful protests as a form of argument against Israel. But once some of the protesters used violent measures, such as throwing rocks and bottles at police officers things turned violent because the protesters overused their freedom. They intruded on the police officers freedoms by attacking them which then caused the police officers to attack back and defend themselves but not with rocks and bottles, they used live ammunition and many people died/got injured. This is a good example of the consequences that can happen when people don't respect each others freedoms at the same time as expressing their own.
In my opinion I think the real problem in America is that people understand that they have rights, but they do not understand how to correctly use their rights to protest and do what they believe is right. A great example of this is the new game “Active shooter”, this game caused outrage in the United States and rightfully so. School shootings have dramatically increased in America and now it feels like every month there's a new horrifying event that occurs in our learning spaces. To create a game to express your ideas when it is hurting others by reminding them of the terrors they and they families have been through, or to scare someone by reminding them that this “game” could happen to them in real life, is outrageous. We do have the right to express our creativity and create products to sell or share with others, but not if it takes away rights from other human beings. We need to understand the limits of our freedoms that makes us Americans and bonds us together as one people. Being American means that we have a lot of freedoms and opportunities in our lives to improve and enjoy them, but at the same time we can't do things that we think are great but others find terrible and horrifying. As a student I personally find this game terrifying because it puts me in the position of seeing a video game made out of an event that could really happen to me. This game puts into perspective how little people take this problem seriously. For example you don't see any games made about reenacting 911 because people respect the event and realize how horrifying it was. Why treat this any different? Gun violence is rising throughout the country including in schools. In my opinion the freedom to create a game like that should be taken away because it disrupts others freedoms. Having the freedoms we have as Americans comes with two responsibilities, respecting our freedoms, and respecting others freedoms.
On the other hand there are some great movements that are happening right now that show how the freedoms we have bond us, and create improvements in our nation. A great example of this right now is the massive movements for gun control by students and Americans in general. We as a people saw a problem in our country (Gun violence) and started thinking about solutions to solve this problem and stop the slaughter of innocent people for no reason. People took to the streets and protested, bringing this problem to the attention of the mass media and our government officials. But, we have to remember that they did this all peacefully, they did not throw rocks at police, or burn down politicians homes to get them to listen. The protesters formed ideas and took them to the streets, sitting down to talk with politicians and using the media to get their ideas out to the public. This is a great example of people expressing their freedoms as an American at the same time as respecting the freedoms and rights of fellow Americans. If they had used violence and thrown rocks through the windows of politicians houses shattering their glass all over the floor and destroying property they would have been violating the rights of other people, which is not what it means to be American. Personally I think that this aspect of being American is truly a great part of my life. I took part in a protest led by students for gun control and it really made me feel American. I was out on the streets with my fellow Americans and peers all united under one cause. This is the true meaning of being American, having your own ideas and being able to express them without feeling scared or in danger.
Overall throughout my life I have taken part in events, as well as watched them happen around the world that have shown me over and over that the world revolves around different types of freedom, or the lack of it. This belief led me to thinking that being American is really about freedom. Everyday we make choices only available to us because of the freedom we have as Americans. For example we choose what we buy and where we work, we are not ordered rations or mandatory jobs like other countries that do not have the freedoms we have. Without the freedom gifted to each and every one of America's citizens, the America that we have today would not exist.