#atozchallenge: The American Dystopia

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When we think of a dystopian society, our mind goes to film and literature: The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, The Lord of the Flies, 1984.

Is America a dystopia? If you are sick, poor, non-white or any combination of them, life must look like one of these stories. When I think of America, I think of two things: the multitude of guns in our society and the lack of affordable, universal health-care. These are, for me, two sides of the same coin.

Guns are everywhere. Guns are also the only tool used for one purpose: to kill. Owning a gun makes a person statistically more likely to die by that gun. I have used guns and lived around guns my entire life, but if we woke up tomorrow without them I would not be upset. Nor, I suppose, would anyone else. There is no problem a gun has solved that has not escalated to a bigger, more indefensible problem. Good guys with guns may kill bad guys with guns, but the gun will still be there for the next bad guy.

It is cheaper for me to fly to the United Kingdom and receive routine care than it is for me to pay for health insurance monthly and receive the same level of care. This sentence should make no sense to anyone reading it. I am a person with no health issues, so I have basic health insurance one step above ‘catastrophic’, but even then my out of pocket expenses are unrealistic. So I am happy for my ability to use the NHS for my once yearly check-up and leave everything else well enough alone.

A country where it is easier to die than to be healed for me is the very definition of a dystopia, and America is that country. It is a developed nation where it is easier to get a gun than a doctor’s appointment, if you are not properly insured. And even if you are properly insured, as I am, finding a doctor that will accept said insurance is even more difficult.

It will take a long while for America to change its ways, and I do think it may do, but for now, unless we are careful, our society is at the breaking point, and may yet tilt into the abyss.

Until next time. – SDM

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If you’d like to read my other posts in this year’s A to Z challenge, check them out here.

Photo by unsplash

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