And "other activities" have been mostly watching TV and surfing the internet. I haven't thought about it this way, but sticking around without much to do has had some negative effects on me. I basically been feeling more depressed and afraid than usual.
I have managed to upset myself by reading about depressing subjects on the internet. I was seriously in a state of grief for a couple of days.
On the other hand, I've been watching plenty of TV, and I'm usually not a TV-watcher. We've got lots of channels, but there aren't a lot of options! Daytime and late night TV has been pretty bad. I'm always running into those talk shows about the same subjects ("Who's my baby's daddy???" & "So-and-so has been cheating on me!!"). So, I've been watching mainly the news and scripted shows.
My area has a LOT of crime. Hell, the United States has a lot of crime. Everyone seems to be killing each other.
Our news is always talking about new people being murdered. And an interesting conversation that we are finally having as a nation has been about guns.
While children and adults have been gunned down in large numbers for years, we've had this recent massacre in Newtown, CT. The children were what I would call the "perfect victims" -- upper middle class, mainly white -- and that type of thing wasn't supposed to happen there, of all places.
That's what it finally took for people to start caring about our gun crimes and I think that's a good thing. People responded with sympathy instead of their usual victim-blaming. Now they're looking for real solutions.
Even though it's one of my interests, I didn't want to really use this blog for politics. I typically read and chat about it in other blogs. So, I guess I'll be brief.
Personally, I'm glad that the feds are finally working to do something about guns in this country. However, I don't think it's enough by a long shot and there needs to be serious, sweeping reform. They seem to be only addressing background checks for gun sales and assault-type weapons. The problem is that the proposed reforms don't even touch our biggest gun issue, which deals with handguns. Give me a background check and I could keep on having my "private sales" with "individuals" (criminals, gangs, drug cartels) in states/localities with lax gun laws. Then, those guns that I used to own end up in places like Chicago, killing kids.
To make a long story short, I hope that America finds the strength to tackle the kind of violence the killed the young lady in the article I just linked to. Though I don't think that's likely because the victims aren't ideal (and their lives aren't valuable enough to gain sympathy), and even internet forums are full of gun advocates blaming child victims and their families for the killings. More importantly, the issues that contribute to this violence are complicated and more difficult to take on. The issues include things like the already mentioned handguns, the war on drugs and social issues such as deficiencies in education and lack of opportunities for those that end up turning to crime.
I have my own ideas on what I think should happen, but that would be another essay altogether!
In the meantime, I shall be hiding indoors under my own fear :-) I generally won't have to worry about violence in Korea.