Route 91 Harvest Country Music Festival - Day 3

Source: Mindy Small / Getty

Concerts have historically held the power to bring people together across race, gender, sexuality, politics and more. As the music swells and bounces off the walls through the venue, we’re reminded for a couple of hours that humanity can exist in harmony on the same beat.

But in 2017, these recent events have conditioned us to live in fear. Something in us innately cowers at the thought of  any event with the potential of large crowds. The magic of a single heartwarming experience could be seared open at any moment with a shower of bullets or a bomb. It’s a shock to our systems felt so brusquely, that it shakes us to our very core. It even dares us to beg the question — can concerts even be considered safe spaces anymore?

Of course, the same can be said for countless other places we’ve considered safe. We’ve been shown countless times throughout history that we can’t even come together in prayer without lethal threat. Athletic events like marathons are joyous times that remind us of the human body’s ability to thrive, but instead the people in Boston in 2013 came face to face with their own fragility. College campuses, small and large, are supposed to be scholarly havens but students have been taught to flinch at the mere mention of an active gun man on campus.

America’s biggest terrorism crisis is state-bred.

Americans have championed the idea that this nation (among other first world countries) is above the violence that wrecks other “less developed” places in the world. However, it’s quite the opposite: while other nations are being pillaged and wrecked by other countries, we continuously destroy our own. America’s biggest terrorism crisis is state-bred.

It’s easy for us to say “pray for [fill in the blank]” every single time that something like this happens. We can tweet, text, and talk until we’re blue in the face about how terrible these events are. But until we begin to advocate for gun control and mental health awareness to the same extent that we fight for any other cause that effects our daily lives, we will never see change.

One Vote: Register to Vote