Gun-Free Zones Cause More Death Than Pro-Gun Laws

Your 'Gun-Free Zones' Are Causing More Deaths Than Any Pro-Gun Law

Look where most mass shootings happen.

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I was out with my boyfriend this weekend when I got a news update from CNN about the tragic shooting in Pittsburg. As someone who is religious myself, it terrified me to think that one of the places I go to feel safe could be brought down by gun violence. But it also got me thinking one thing that I couldn't shake.

Gun-free zones are basically just giant glowing targets for anybody who wants to commit a mass murder.

Hear me out. Guns used to scare me and I was all for stricter laws so they didn't get into the hands of the wrong people. Being from Chicago, who has some of the strictest gun laws yet worst gun violence rates in the country, I began to see the flaws in this logic.

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, 97.5% of shootings happen in gun-free zones. Let that sink in for a moment.

Fast forward a few years to a party that my boyfriend, a firefighter, and I attended with his friends, the majority of which are firefighters as well. We were about to have a water balloon war and it shocked me how many guys lifted up their shirts to remove guns from their waistbands. Instead of the uneasy feeling I thought I would have, it honestly made me feel safer.

Anybody who wants to carry out a mass shooting will do it, and they will do it in a place where they know nobody will shoot back: gun-free zones. Think about it. Where have all of the most recent mass shootings taken place? Sandy Hook. Parkland. Vegas. Now the Tree of Life synagogue. These were all gun-free zones.

The sad truth is that somebody can cause you a whole lot more damage when you have to rely solely on the police to protect you. They never get there before at least a dozen people die and that isn't their fault. It is just reality.

You may be thinking, "But then why do we never hear of other people with guns stopping shootings?" Because it is not part of the mass media's agenda. It happens more frequently than you may think, like in this attempted robbery stopped by an armed customer, or these heroes who didn't let a gunman get away after attempting to shoot up a restaurant.

In this era of mass shootings, gun-free zones should no longer be a thing.

All these zones do are give shooters a target. A target that they know is unarmed, unprotected and unknowing because they think they are in a safe place.

No, I'm not saying we should arm every teacher and priest. That would be nuts. But if my campus wasn't a gun-free zone, my handgun would be in my backpack at all times. Why? Because who is going to mess with the girl who has a gun? Nobody. Just like who is going to mess around and try a mass shooting in a place where someone might have a gun? Nobody smart and nobody who will get very far with it.

We look at guns as the enemy when they are a form of protection that we need to be using. The Founding Fathers knew it, the Republicans know it, and we need to know it too.

Your gun-free zones won't stop mass shootings. Those of us with the concealed carry permits and handguns in our waistbands will.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Democrats Need To Split From Ilhan Omar Because Of Her Radicalism

Ilhan Omar's actions are only making matters worse for the Democrats and the country.

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Many freshman representatives have been gaining a fair amount of traction recently, either by the things they say or the legislation they push. One of these is Congresswoman Ilhan Omar from Minnesota. However, the reasons for the attention she has garnered are more negative than positive.

Earlier in March, Ilhan Omar accused American Jews of "dual loyalty," an anti-Semitic trope that has been used many times throughout history. She proclaimed, "I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says that it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country." When Democrat Representative Nita Lowey called her out for such comments, Omar responded by saying, "I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress."

Most recently, she has come under fire over her comments on the 9/11 terrorist attacks, referring to this horrific event as "some people did something." Here's the full quote:

"For far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen and, frankly, I'm tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."

She could have reasonably apologized for that comment, saying that she used a poor choice of words and did not really mean it. But instead, she doubled down. Omar tweeted a quote from George W. Bush that says, "The people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."She then followed up in the same tweet asking, "was Bush downplaying the terrorist attack? What if he was a Muslim?"

Omar and her defenders say that she is being criticized because she is a person of color and for her Muslim faith. However, there are other Muslim and African-American Congress members who aren't under any scrutiny like her. They don't associate themselves with anti-Semitism and downplay terrorism like Ilhan Omar did.

Now, Omar and her companions are suggesting that a video Trump tweeted, juxtaposing her 9/11 comments with footage of the attack is inciting violence. When asked if she thinks Trump is trying to incite violence against Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, responded by saying, "Absolutely." Omar replied to the video by saying, "Violent rhetoric and all forms of hate speech have no place in our society, much less from our country's Commander in Chief. We are all Americans. This is endangering lives. It has to stop."

Has Trump used violent rhetoric before? Yes, he has, but the video he tweeted about Ilhan Omar does not encourage any violence toward her. It is dishonest to say it does and is an attempt to stifle real discussion. The actual people sending Omar death threats and the people honestly criticizing her are two entirely different groups.

If Democrats want to have a chance for 2020, they need to split from the radical area of their party, and that includes Ilhan Omar.

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