Announcement: The American Government is shut down. I personally have tried to stay out of the political drama, even though I am a political science major. I felt like there was nothing I could say at this point, that hasn’t been said, so I stayed quiet, as an observer. In the depths of Hobo Day weekend, I heard something about an Amber Alerts controversy. Amber Alerts are something that I did not know was specifically paid for by our government, apparently it is.
It is nice knowing that when everything else those people in D.C. do is going wrong, at least our tax dollars are working to find and save missing kids. The Amber Alert system is nationwide and runs over many different media sources. News, radio, weather alerts, LCD road signs, these all send the message out with any information in attempts to save a child that is missing.
With the government shut down, Congress has been working to figure out what is ‘essential’ and what is not. All the National Parks are closed, thousands of federal employees are not getting paid, and even the roads that provide a view of Mount Rushmore are closed. Sorry Congress, the rock isn’t going anywhere and you don’t pay for that road, so you have no reason to close it. When the ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ programs are decided, there are always bound to be people upset, but bringing in missing children is a whole new can of worms.
It was decided that the Amber Alert system was ‘non-essential’. Just like the websites of the National Parks, when trying to access the Amber Alert site, there is a message from the government blaming the problem on the shut down. Will someone please explain to me how the stalemate in congress over Obamacare, has anything to do with the saving of innocent missing children.
Last week the government tried to stop WWII veterans from seeing their own memorial in D.C. When will this madness end? War vets and missing kids are people that should be considered ‘essential.’ The government needs to figure out their issues with the budget and until then, they need to see that their decision to shut down the government affects many more people than just the politicians in Washington D.C. These are kids and their lives we are dealing with and it seems the government has written them off as simply an expense.
The children of our country are not an expense and should not be seen as such. Congress needs to re-evaluate their priorities of letting missing children stay missing is just a consequence of the shut down. Fix the government, but first make sure the people you are fixing it for are still safe.
Amanda Siefken is the Visual Editor at The Collegian. She can be reached at [email protected]