American Exceptionalism Essay

American exceptionalism is defined as “ the idea that the United States has a set of characteristics that gives it a unique capacity and responsibility to help make the world a better place.” Many find this idea to be true, like President Donald Trump and MAGA believers who rave about the greatness of America constantly. While others like to point out the uniqueness in our Bill of Rights and Constitution and how unique it is to the freedoms and liberties it provides to us as American Citizens. The definition of American exceptionalism includes the line “responsibility to help make the world a better place” in recent news mass shootings in America have been on a wild rise. Counting from September 1st, 2019 there have been 283 mass shootings this year, meaning there have been more shootings than days of the year. On top of that according to the New York Times, “53 People were killed in mass shootings just this August.” Students and Parents fear sending their children to school today because mass shootings have spread inside of schools. How can a country claim to be truly exceptional and want to make the world a better place if the place itself isn’t safe from the citizens and their guns inside of it? 

In America, mass shooting has become routine in our lives. It starts with hearing it on the news hearing the number of gunmen and people killed, News outlets, celebrities, and political figures express their sorrow, Teens post on social media for condolences and action to be taken for the event, Democrats cry for gun control and better gun policies, then the country moves on. Nothing changes about gun laws and the mass shooting cycle repeats itself again. In America, we are given the right to bear arms from the Bill of Rights. According to a new study of firearm ownership today there are more guns in America than people. Buying a gun in America is almost too easy. If a gun is bought in a store, the store will conduct a background check that takes minutes and the denial rate is low. It is even easier to buy a gun at a gun show where they don’t background check. It is not hard for a gun to be in the wrong hands, hence mass shootings becoming regular to American culture. Nothing is being done to stop this madness except make background checks harder, but why? Democrats speak up about gun control, but its all up to one man, President Donald Trump. President Trump looks into gun control to please the crowds, but little has been done because President Trump is afraid of the republican party's disapproval, he would receive which would be unhelpful for the elections coming up. How can President Trump call our country exceptional when he fails the definition of making America a better place with gun control because he is scared of the press and his time in office?

The United States is ranked highly in education compared to other countries, but it's hard to see that through when fewer students are surviving high school because they are being shot inside them. Being a teen in 2019 I have experienced firsthand the uncertainty and worry in the back of my head when attending school. School my place of learning which should be a safe haven for me and all students of America is subject to unsafety and uncertainty today as well. I should not have to be thinking in the back of my mind in Physics or any class where the best hiding spot in that room is or if the fire drill is real or not. An article in The New York Times shares a chilling thought for parents and students in America. The article states that “Mackenzie Bushey, a 15-year-old junior, came home upset that a teacher enforced a no-cellphones policy. Mackenzie states the importance of her phone isn’t for social media and talking to her friends during class, the importance of her phone is to alert the police if a gunman enters her school and to say her final goodbyes to her family.” American high schools have now reached a point where students like Mackenzie and I stop thinking about just learning and education, but how safe we are inside the school. Nothing about fearing school because there might be a gunman screams excellence and exceptional for America.