Militarization is all around us in our every day life, whether it be via social media, our own home or even our own local shopping mall. It is hidden in the places that we least expect it and we do not realize it until it is brought to our attention. Take the image above as an example. At first glance, you only see people who are going about their day to prepare for the holidays. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary, until, you see the gentleman with the camouflage cargo shorts. Camouflage came into being during the 19th century and its original purpose was to provide some sort of cover to its soldiers. It seems as though the use of camouflage has deviated from its original purpose and now influences our country's sense of fashion.
It is known for a fact that the generation of today uses social media as a form of communication. One of the top social media sites that the population heavily relies on is Twitter. To say the least, there are currently 67 million Twitter users in the United States. With that being said, social media has a way of influencing our perspective and behavior. I personally do not own a Twitter, but I was scrolling through the news and this image was part of an article that was highlighting the security measures that were taken during the Macy's Parade. I originally thought that these weapons and armored personal carriers could only be utilized by soldiers that had undergone training, but I was wrong to see that these weapons are within arms reach. This image made me realize that even our own social media exposes us to the concept of militarization of our every day lives and it also made me wonder when the use of these weapons became a norm for us to want to militarize our own law enforcement officers.
Through society's fascination for video games and entertainment systems, it is easy for us to be exposed to many different topics, such as the idea of what militarization may look like. Playing video games such as Call of Duty contains narratives and images that glorifies military power and we grow up thinking that war resembles that of a video game. It is interesting to see that you don't need to go to a reserve or military base to find soldiers or weapons, it can just be found at a local video game store.
Similar to the camouflage cargo pants that were mentioned earlier, combat boots have also become a commodity that exemplify fashion. Much like the camouflage shorts that were originally meant to be used as a form of disguise for soldiers, combats boots were designed to be worn by soldiers during combat or training. Nowadays, combat boots have been normalized for the use of fashion, comfort, and can be purchased almost anywhere.
I had never been to this section of Walmart before, so seeing that these weapons were available for purchase at my local store was intriguing and terrifying. I grew up knowing very little about what guns were. I was only used to seeing the weapons that local law enforcement carried during their visits to my childhood schools. It wasn't until I got older that I learned about tragic shootings that had taken place within the United States and that some of these weapons displayed on the glass case had contributed to it. Some of the weapons have been used by military personnel and to know that this weapons are made available to the local public just shows how much of an influence the military has on the things we decide to purchase at our local store.
Other than video games, apparel and weapons that are made available in today's society, toys are another source that are capable of displaying the militarization of our every day life. I don't know whether to find it amusing or shocking that a military tank play set is made available to kids once they turn three years old. I found more toys throughout Walmart, but this particular set stood out to me the most. It creates the idea that war can be seen as fun to children who have not even been exposed to the theories or historical lessons of what war is.