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Editorial: Violence, Death, and Suffering Change is Needed Today

By Joshua Finn

The recent murders in both Buffalo and Uvalde seem to be part of yet another wave of extreme violence created by a system that does not provide for its people. A system where nearly 140 million people fall under the poverty line, where nearly 40-60% of the population has little or no access to decent healthcare, and where anywhere between 500,000 and 1 million people go homeless each and every year. 

I mention these statistics because it exists as the groundwork for a society bent on violence, suffering, and exploitation. Why do so many people die from gun violence here in the U.S. when other nations across the world have higher gun ownership rates, along with higher rates of diversity, yet much lower rates of violent, racist gun crime? 

One answer could be that historically the U.S. has created a society wherein people are so desperate, suffering immensely each day, that they will do anything to get by. Whether that is taking poorly paid jobs with terrible working conditions, living on the side of the road, turning to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain, or buying a gun to shoot or rob someone, these all stem from the same place of origin, people are not provided for in the United States.

It seems that as things become worse and worse the local, state, and federal governments all have no idea where to turn. As we’ve seen the ever-increasing level of violence against Black, Brown and Indigenous people by police, poverty, homelessness , addiction, discrimination, and hate crimes, it seems that the only solution is to look at gun rights, rather than human rights. 

Black, Latino, Chicano, Asian, and Indigenous peoples have all suffered extremely throughout the history of this nation, and today that is no different than ever. But what is being done to stop this? What is being done to try to put an end to the violence? Gun legislation, and that seems to be all. 

Certainly, we don’t want more ideologically motivated killings by White racists to be committed, but do we really think this only has to do with guns? What about the extreme levels of poverty? What about lacking availability to education, housing, healthcare? Or is it just all about political games for “our leaders”?

The time has come to reassess the disgusting history of U.S. Empire; we cannot go on this way forever. Even one life taken is too much, yet we still see nothing being done. 

Our only real option forward is to remove the ineffective and ultimately harmful elected officials, representatives, legislation, and laws that are intended only to keep the situation as it is today, rather than working to improve the economic, social, political and other realities that create such awful suffering and death. 

There is no reason, other than an unwillingness to fight for the people, that this should continue happening as it has for centuries. The time for change has come, and the people must be the ones to make it. We don’t want more politicians, more police, or more policies enacted to further harm the lives of the working-class. 

We want the power to decide for ourselves what changes need to be made on a community level, through dialogue, open participation, and a revocation of all the officials in power who are there solely to benefit from said power. This much is only the beginning. Much more action must be taken if we want to see the world become a better place for all who are here on this Earth, not just the wealthy, or powerful.

Mark Ziobro
Mark Ziobro
Mark is the current Managing Editor for The Utica Phoenix, and a Central New York Native.

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