America, It's Time To Drop Your Abusive Relationship With Gun Violence

America, It's Time To Drop Your Abusive Relationship With Gun Violence

When will you realize it's not beneficial for you?
515
views

This month, between mass shootings at schools and police officers not being convicted for killing innocent civilians, gun control has been a topic of conversation for almost everybody. For those familiar with guns, we know the power of these tools and the destruction they can bring. Whether you've fired one or just saw one on television, you know that these tools can cause serious damage to not only one person, but their family and friends for years to come. As a minority who has grown up between urban and rural areas his whole life, I'm no stranger to the .45 pistol or hunting rifle. I've held both, and feared both, because at the end of the day I know what they can do and how they can drastically change your life forever.

When I was 8-years-old, I lost my cousin to gun violence.

This started my journey into learning what guns can do to human beings and how they can affect us. Thanks to my family, I learned how to control the weapons and was taught to only use them in dire situations. Still, to this day I hold the fear of what they can possibly do to us.

When I was twenty, I lost my childhood friend to gun violence.

When you lose someone to a gun, it creates a fear and anger that is often difficult to contain. You wonder what provoked the cowardly act of taking another man's life with a firearm, and how it could've been prevented. The same way I felt when I was eight is the same way I feel today as I am now twenty. I do not like guns. I do not believe we have any valid reason to use them as civilians. I do not believe any person should be able to purchase an automatic high-caliber rifle.

Guns in urban areas seem to carry a much different weight than guns in rural areas. I find that people more so in rural areas are burying animals once a gun is shot, but I am burying a loved one in an urban area once a gun is shot. To those who own guns in areas that are not like my own, I can understand how owning a gun may seem essential to your life, but think about what's happening to those in other areas of the United States. Gun violence and control has been a subject that urban communities have fought to get a hold over for decades. As they may not get as much publicity as a protest in the public eye now, best believe people in areas like New York City, Chicago, California and New Jersey, have been fighting for the government to place stricter control on gun laws for longer than a lot of people can actually remember.

In order to understand guns, we must first understand the second amendment. This amendment held dear by many Americans (seemingly more than the lives of their own children) allows individuals to own firearms as they please. I ask you now, to understand when it was written, and understand how it was written. The first ten amendments, also known as the Bill of Rights, were accepted by the states in the year of 1789. At the time, America was fresh out of a revolution and needed a way to ensure that its citizens would not be under siege by those under British rule. The second amendment states, "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

A well-regulated militia, everyone. A militia is defined as "a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency." Individuals can create a militia, but individuals themselves are not militias. The state of emergency the United States is currently under is that of gun violence.

Over the years, America has fallen in love with these firearms for the fear of losing control or dominance over our own property and those around us. If you're allowed to take someone else's life, no matter their size or strength compared to yours, I understand that you may feel a power unmatched by any. But it's that selfish thinking, accompanied by the lack of control, and in my opinion, concern from the U.S. government, that has placed us in the position that we are in today.

Guns kill people.

Nikolas Cruz did not stab and injure 17 kids; he shot and murdered 17 kids.

My cousin and friend were not killed by knives, or by the physical hands of another; they were killed by guns.

Once you understand what guns can do to an individual, physically and psychologically, you begin to understand what the problem really is with these tools. We are not a generation of killers nor do we need to be a generation of those who fear being killed.

I should not have to watch the emergency exit in class because I fear anyone can unload a rifle magazine within seconds. No one should. My cousin should not be dead, my friend should not be dead, all the people killed wrongfully by police should not be dead, and every kid that has fallen victim to the bullet during a school shooting, should not be dead.

To those who feel the same way I do, I love you, I am here for you, and I thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Popular Right Now

The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

43504
views

Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

NFL Players Are Right To Protest During The National Anthem

Actions speak louder than words.

15
views

As the 2018 NFL season gets underway, millions of fans nationwide are anticipating a fresh start for each of the 32 teams. Many of them will come to the games early to greet their team out of the tunnel.

Before we can kick off the game, the National Anthem is performed. Until recently, this was not a headline unless the performer did really well or really bad. Colin Kaepernick decided to sit during the anthem in the 2016 preseason, creating a wave of debate and controversy.

Whichever side you fall on is up to you; however, I believe the First Amendment gives these players the right to kneel, as well as raise awareness to important issues on and off the field.

Kaepernick at first sat on the bench, until a discussion and compromise with former Green Beret and Seattle Seahawk Nate Boyer. Boyer suggested that instead of sitting, Kaepernick would take a knee next to Boyer during the next game. Kaepernick did so and was joined by other players, including his teammate Eric Reid. This spread throughout the league, with many players following suit. This was met immediately with criticism from the media and the fans, as well as many former or current members of the military who believed it was disrespectful to the troops and the flag.

"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media after that first game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

This event came after numerous innocent African Americans had been unnecessarily and brutally shot by police who were freed in court. Kaepernick, among many others, realized the importance of standing up for racial tension, inequality, police brutality, and discrimination. Instead of literally standing up, hundreds of NFL players have either sat or taken a knee.

The uproar seemed to have gone away for a bit, until President Donald Trump said at a rally, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say 'get that son of a b**** off the field right now - he's fired.''

Immediately after this, hundreds of NFL players kneeled or raised their fists during that week's anthem. After Trump declined to invite the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors to the White House, since many players had announced they were not attending, he did the same with the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. Instead of celebrating a team's success and accomplishments, he selfishly made the win about himself, turning it into a "celebration of America."

Many against the players kneeling fail to acknowledge their reasoning. Innocent lives are unfairly being taken by corrupt and unjust police officers. They claim these players do nothing else for a greater good when the opposite is true. Many of these athletes, in addition to taking a knee, are also giving back to their communities and contributing to creating change. Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins and Wide Receiver Torrey Smith, among others, has met with both police and Congress to collaborate on a solution.

Players on all 32 teams give back to their communities, helping to make the world a better place. J.J. Watt raised over $37 million or victims of Hurricane Harvey. Chris Long donated his entire 2017 salary to fund scholarships for his hometown. Activist athlete LeBron James recently opened a school providing free tuition, food, uniforms and a guaranteed scholarship to the University of Akron.

The U.S. First Amendment gives the Constitutional right to freedom of protest. Read it right from the horse's mouth:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Peacefully should be emphasized. These men are not saying anything, they are not disrupting others from participating in the anthem. They are peacefully standing up--or rather, kneeling down--for equality and justice for all.

To those who are still against it, you are entitled to your own opinion. Just remember this is not in any way meant to insult our military, anthem, flag, or country. These are brave Americans using their platform to raise awareness to an important issue and inspire change. If we could all realize this and start to collaborate, these issues could become a thing of the past. That would truly "Make America Great Again".

Related Content

Facebook Comments