America is a land locked in turmoil. Every day, its citizens are forced to swim against a merciless tide of racial inequality, xenophobia and distaste for compromise which all too frequently erupts into violence.
It doesn't matter where you stand on the political spectrum – America is in dire need of decisive leadership. The country needs a strong voice. And that's what has made this week's Republican National Convention so gut-wrenchingly terrifying.
Thus far, Donald Trump has piggybacked the seemingly irrational fears of an allegedly marginalised White America in order to establish himself as the undisputed rallying point for law and order. He has embraced this false persona as a brutish strongman who is able to keep America safe – and time and time again, he's used meaningless rhetoric to solidify that persona.
Trump's chillingly Orwellian acceptance speech on Thursday proved to be no different. The Republican presidential hopeful powerfully proclaimed that 'safety would be restored' the split-second he assumes office – and the sick thing is, millions of people seem to believe him.
But there's just one problem with Trump's insistence that he alone can end America's perpetual war on crime: he refuses to recognise it in its most basic form.
America's number one threat to law and order is not Islamic fundamentalism or some rogue nuclear state – it's the fact that there are more guns in the country than there are people. Say what you want about the merits of background checks or magazine bans, but the fact of the matter is America's shockingly liberal firearm policies are blatantly idiotic tools of self-destruction.
America's shockingly liberal firearm policies are blatantly idiotic tools of self-destruction.
In the last eight months alone, 7,671 Americans have been killed by guns. There have been 200 mass shootings. Over 180 police officers have been shot or killed, and there have been 1,248 reports of accidental shootings. In the last 72 hours alone, there have been 77 gun-related homicides across the United States.
This has got to stop. A slim majority of Americans are finally starting to warm to the idea of improved gun control measures. Yet this appetite for change is still fragile, and will rely exclusively on America's next president capitalising upon that demand to help the country overcome its sick addiction.
Neither presidential candidate has offered us a single, sweeping solution that could drastically reduce the number of shootings in America. But at least Hillary Clinton recognises that guns are actually a problem – Donald Trump doesn't even seem to think guns are a contributing factor in crime.
Under Donald Trump's premiership, law and order will simply slip further out of reach for countless Americans. The man is a catalyst for violence.
Not only does the NRA puppet wholeheartedly support private ownership of the same semi-automatic, military-grade weapons that have killed scores of children in mass shootings, but he also thinks background checks are a waste of time. Worse yet, if Trump had his way, every single American would be allowed to carry guns around in secret everywhere they go. Why? Because Trump seems to think that the only solution to gun crime is to flood the public with more guns.
Let's get one thing straight: Donald Trump doesn't live in the same America that you or I may have encountered. In Donald Trump's America, it seems innocent people are only killed because they are stupid enough to have gone to a shopping mall or the cinema unarmed. In Donald Trump's America, the collective thoughts and actions of society in no way reflect the violent tendencies of the individual. Worse yet, in Donald Trump's America, safety is a privilege to be earned – not a fundamental human right.
Until Donald Trump admits that guns are a contributing factor in the never ending wave of mindless acts of violence that plagues American society on an hourly basis, he will never be able to make America safe again. He will not be able to deliver on that sardonic campaign slogan of his, either. After all, under Donald Trump's premiership, law and order will simply slip further out of reach for countless Americans. The man is a catalyst for violence.
That's plain to see from the outside looking in – but the scary thing is, millions of Americans are already bathing in Donald Trump's toxic snake oil. If voters continue to flock to the Republican and his blatantly twisted views on guns, law and order, the tensions that plague American society will continue to fester. Things might look bad now – but the truth is, they could get a whole lot worse.
Nash Riggins is an American journalist and political commentator based in Scotland.