America, It Is Time To Listen To The People Before Making Decisions

America, It Is Time To Listen To The People Before Making Decisions

This is what the American people have to say about teachers carrying guns.

From Facebook to CNN, I will hear something about the controversy of teachers being allowed to carry guns. I decided to find out what people truly felt about this controversy. America, listen to the people and what they have to say before you make any choices. America has a lot to say about their country.

Q: How do you feel about teachers having the right to carry guns in the classroom?

Kevin Martin:

“Honestly, I think it would be a great benefit to have at least some kind of tactical training for teachers. It's sad it's come to this point, but we can't be playing around in times like these. However, like anyone else, they need to be subjected to very lengthy mental health evaluations. I think that's where the big source of our issues lie. If arming our teachers can be proven it will protect our children, then let's make it happen.”

James Diehl:

“I’m for it as long as there are procedures that actually legitimately train the faculty to respond to and neutralize any threat in their school without any casualties that could’ve been avoided entirely. In the case that something does happen that they’re held fully accountable to any and all procedures and/or laws were broken.

Well, it's scary when I look back on some of the teachers I had, but it could be a good thing or a bad thing. I guess it's a trial and error situation. If they do this, however, I think the teachers that carry a gun need to have a camera in the classroom in case an incident or the teacher goes crazy or something like that happens, and they can stop it or use it as evidence to help put the teacher away.

I feel like it should be allowed only if the teacher knows how to handle a gun. If they don’t know anything about guns, then there’s no point to it.”

Jad Maxberry:

“So how I feel is, with our teachers being armed with a firearm, we have protection from intruders in our schools. It’s as simple as that whether it be locked away in a drawer or on the teacher’s hip the whole time. I fully support it. A gun in no way, shape, or form is going to cause bodily form harm unless acted with by a human and nowadays, we need to have protection and to be protected.

Now, of course, they should do like any other civilian and get their concealed carry and go through proper firearms training to ensure full security from the teachers. With a firearm in each teacher’s possession, let’s say we have 50 teachers in a school that is 50 firearms plus the shooter themselves plus the officers on the outside. I also think that teachers should still have the choice to carry or not and it be up to them but it is OPEN and LEGAL for them to do so if they choose.

I think this is a great idea. However, it is very hard to implement. Police officers have thousands of hours of training for high-stress situations. Teachers would also need that training. How will it be funded? A free concealed carry class won’t cut it. Sure you can take the class, but what comes after? More training. We can’t fund textbooks now, so how are we going to fund thousands of hours of training for each teacher? Something definitely needs to happen, but I’m not sure this is it.”

Autumn Deason:

“I think they should be able to, but they should have to go through a lot of psychiatric testing and have no anger problems.”

Spencer Brown:

“I feel like teachers should go through a course to learn how to actually use a firearm in the right way and the safe way. With how this has turned out, I believe that teachers should carry firearms in class because you never know when someone is going to come in and shoot up their school.

They are there to protect our children because they are prepared and maybe no lives will be lost and the shooter will be brought to justice whether he gets a bullet from a teacher protecting our children or through the Justice System. I agree teachers should carry a firearm in the classroom.

It would really be necessary if an accident had occurred in that specific school previously, then I would see where it might make sense. Other than that, all it would do is make some students feel unsafe. Also, what if that teacher was mentally unstable, then that would be a problem in itself.”

Samantha Sheets:

“I think that they should and should not be able to carry guns. There are many reasons for this answer, but one of my reasons for teachers not carrying a gun is because what if someone gets mad and pulls the gun? I’ve seen plenty of students in videos lay hands on teachers and actually beat them up.

That would make it so easy for a student to take the gun and shoot people. But a reason I think they should carry a gun is for the safety of students. Kids are going to school to learn and getting shot. It’s crazy.”

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.

It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Sociolinguistics Series: Part 50

Language is a powerful tool.


It's part 50--halfway to 100! I'm so glad to still be here writing! In this section, we will talk about Dr. Shikaki's findings on how Palestinians view the state of Israel.

25 years ago, 85% of Palestinians supported a two-state solution. 10 years ago, this number decreased to 70%. Dr. Shikaki believes this was due to an increase in the prominence of Islamism in Palestinian society during the second intifada; Islamists were opposed to the two-state solution. In the most recent survey, the December 2018 one, only 43% of Palestinians supported the two state solution.

In 2000, American President Bill Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and PA Chairman Yasser Arafat at the Camp David Summit to come up with a solution to the conflict. It ended without an agreement, but in December of 2000, Clinton once again proposed a resolution: the Clinton Parameters.

The content of the Parameters basically allowed Israel to annex settlements while Palestine to take 94-96% of the West Bank, as well as Arab neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. There were other guidelines regarding territory, refugees, security, and the end of the conflict. Essentially, the West Bank would have been split up by Israeli roads and settlements--which is kind of the reality today.

Both the Israeli government and Arafat accepted the terms with reservations, and Arafat wrote to Clinton a letter asking for clarifications on the terms. Clinton and Dennis Ross, an envoy of the Parameters, publicized that Arafat had refused to accept the terms; they painted Palestinians in a negative light, saying that Israel wanted to accept the peace negotiations but Palestine did not.

American Lawyer Robert Malley was at the Camp David Summit and oversaw parts of the Clinton Parameters. In 2001, he said that three myths had come out of the failure of both negotiations, and that these three myths were dangerous to any future peace processes if people kept believing in them.

These myths are as follows: "Camp David was an ideal test of Mr. Arafat's intentions," "Israel's offer met most if not all of the Palestinians' legitimate aspirations," and "The Palestinians made no concession of their own."

He said that these three statements were not true but very heavily publicized by America and Israel after the negotiations failed; rather, there is more nuance to each of these issues, and America and Israel have just as much responsibility in the failure of the Summit and Parameters as Palestine did. Malley wrote, "If peace is to be achieved, the parties cannot afford to tolerate the growing acceptance of these myths as reality."

Anyway, what does this have to do with Dr. Shikaki? He polled Palestinians not only on the their attitudes to the two-state solution, but the Clinton Parameters as well. 25 years ago, there was 60% support for the Clinton Parameters by Palestinians, but the June 2018 poll showed that the number had gone down to 37%.

The last ten years shows a significant decrease in public support for both the two-state solution and the Clinton Parameters, and it could be a result of disagreeing with specific parts of the proposals (such as how the Temple Mount/Dome of the Rock or Jerusalem is delegated).

I did some further digging when I got home, and I found this data from the UN Division for Palestinian Rights website:

"A 25 December [2000] published poll found that 48% of the 501 Israelis questioned were opposed to the proposals; 57% would object to Palestinian control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound; 72% were against even a limited return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. A 29 December published poll found that 56% of the Israelis would oppose a peace agreement reached on the basis of the Parameters."

This shows that though public media--especially Western media--may have painted the Palestinian government as the villain (and Israel and America as the "victims"), the proposals accepted by either government had varied support among its people.

The Israeli civilian population did not want to accept the Clinton Parameters because of the way certain things would be resolved; their reservations lie with the Temple Mount/Al-Aqsa Mosque because the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in the world for Jews, would have been given to Palestine, while Jews would have control of the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (which is the status quo).

In addition, there was a section in the Clinton Parameters that dealt with the right of return for Palestinians, where there would be a certain number of Palestinian refugees who settled in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while other Palestinians either would become citizens of their host countries, move to a third-party country, or settle back into the land that is Israel Proper (with permission from the Israeli government, of course); many Israelis did not support this.

That was the public opinion years ago. Today, there is even less support for these proposals. Dr. Shikaki outlined three issues as reasons for a decrease in support of compromise, which we will cover in the next section. Stay tuned!

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