Thursday, July 7, 2016

Both my children are keen to visit the States. Olivia wants to see certain things she likes from TV and the internet. She thinks America is the place to be. Ireland is boring. Bodhi just wants the experience, of somewhere we see and hear so much from.

God knows Ireland has its massive issues. Our parliament has just near-unanimously voted down a bill to allow abortion of foetuses with fatal foetal abnormalities. At the moment, parents of such children have to travel, grief-stricken, to London, and carry their baby's remains home with them in secret, or have them delivered in the post. Can you imagine? And our parliament thinks this should continue.

Anyway... America. I've been several times now. I love a lot about it. It doesn't feel like home, but it feels familiar - the smell of coffee shops and sunshine on the street, the scale, the beauty.

And, yet, dear god. I think I'd be frightened to take my kids  there. What if? In case? I'd be frightened to call the police if I needed them, in case my call resulted in some one's death. I'd be afraid to send my kids to school there, because even if they never experienced a school attack, they'd still have to practise hiding in bathrooms and under tables in the event of one. I might have to purchase a special bullet proof blanket for them to hide under.

Is it just that there are too many people in the world? Have fear and anger taken over? Is it too much to expect of a police force to embrace alternatives to knee jerk shoot-to-kill policies? To not be racist?



Ms. Moon said...

Is there any place on this earth safe?
I think you and your kids would be as safe here in the US as anywhere. Safer than a lot of places. Not as safe as some.
Are you thinking of moving?

Jennifer said...

It's not as scary and awful here as it probably seems from watching the news. I think you would be very safe here. As for the police...well, there are obvious problems especially with racial issues but the majority of police officers are good and decent people. The bad ones get a lot of press, though (and rightly so).

If you're thinking of moving here, some places are better than others. What part are you interested in?

Jo said...

Oh my goodness, no, not thinking of moving. Just hypothetical musings in reaction to the most recent cop murders. I think if I were going to emigrate, Canada would be top of the list. If they'd have me...

Have all those good cops ever denounced all the killing? It seems to me they close ranks out of fear and misplaced solidarity. I think thinkgs might improve if they stood up and said, 'this is bad, we want it to change'.

Joanne said...

Things are not the best here right now. I feel depressed about living here with all the black people getting shot and now police getting shot in Dallas and out upcoming election... Orlando. It just seems a string of violence. But as Mary says, probably not more unsafe than other places.

Jo said...

You have to understand I live in a country of under 5 million people and our general police force doesn't have guns.

Ok, we have small organised crime gangs limited to relatively small areas who shoot each other over drugs. But ... things are very small scale here.

Anonymous said...

if you divided America down to 5 million people areas, the scale would be similar don't you think? The news bombards the sensational. skipping over the kindness and caring of most of our citizens and police. Remember all the police shot in Dallas were protecting the protesters.


Jo said...

I'm afraid not, no, the scale bears no resemblance. Statistics comparing this area of gun violence in the US and Europe are quite alarming. I read yesterday that 'A person is 10% more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer in the United States than to be shot and killed BY ANYONE in all of Europe.'

I don't have the source for that though. But the Guardian is compiling stats for police shootings around the world, and there just is no comparison. Our police choose not to carry guns.

I read a list of people's reasons for shooting others in the last few months of this year and it made for chilling reading - mundane, non-reasons. Again, I don't think there's any comparison.