2016: The Year of Fear

2016 is set to be the year of fear and nervousness. In a recent New York Times poll, forty-four percent of Americans believe it is “very” likely for another terrorist attack to happen in the upcoming months. Americans are as fearful of a possible terrorist attack as they were following the September 11 attacks.

Coming off the heels of the massacre in Paris and gun violence in San Bernardino, many individuals hope for a change in protocol as fear for the future continuously lingers in the minds of many Americans this new year.

“…We are, as humans, hard-wired to perceive unspecific and foreign-sounding and unclear information in a threatening manner,” said Micah Zenko, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations to the Washington Post.

“Where Americans have gone to war against terrorism, that’s where people die from terrorism….Politicians are going to do what they do, because it’s largely consequence-free to do threat inflation.”

This fear inflation causes Americans to overestimate the likelihood of a terrorist attack occurring in their own neighborhood. They believe that few politicians have put forth enough energy to secure their lives; It is their fear and concern that are pushing for a changes in legislation—not only in regards to terrorism, but also gun violence, which has been on the rise.

President Obama’s recent executive actions on gun reform highlight the widespread fear and anxiety Americans face. Gun violence has heightened concerns among those who perceive Americans as being the land of the brave. Although some believe his recent reforms will strip them away of their Second Amendment rights, his measures are in securing the safety of the people. He is trying to make them feel safer in their own homes without the use of a gun.

According to Gun Violence Archive, in 2015 there was an average of about one mass shooting per day. As of December 3rd alone, over twenty-four thousand individuals have been injured due to gun-related incidents.

With about sixty school shootings last year, many schools are already taking action in securing the safety of their students. In the wake of these attacks, many schools in MDCPS have taken steps to provide protection for their students and staff members, maintaining a safe learning environment for them all.

“In an abundance of caution, additional resources have been deployed to schools,” said Miami-Dade School officials back in December.

Although some believe strongly in their second amendment rights, the topic of gun reform and national security has been a popular one among many presidential candidates; in this time of heightened fear, nervousness and resentment, the future President will be the hope and optimism the nation will depend on.

As one in every six Americans view terrorism as the most important problem facing the nation, many of them are holding their political leaders on a high standard, seeking their support and leadership to guide them out of their suppressing anxiety, and rising gun violence.


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