A Plea To End Mass Shootings, From A College Student Forced To Grow Up In Fear Of Them

A Plea To End Mass Shootings, From A College Student Forced To Grow Up In Fear Of Them

It's time.
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February 14, 2018, a day that should have been focused on love, was changed to a day titled the third deadliest mass shooting in America.

My whole nineteen years, I've been taught how to act if a shooter entered my school.

In elementary school, I remember having a code yellow when a suspicious person walked across our campus.

My high school freshman year was put on lockdown when a neighboring school had a stabbing and the suspect was on the run.

My senior year of high school there was a threat of a shooting and although I didn't attend this school freshman year, within the first week it was shut down to bomb threats.

I have watched every state I have lived in have mass shootings. I lived in Connecticut at the time of Sandy Hook, although I didn't live anywhere close to Sandy Hook I remember missing school that day.

I woke up and went downstairs to my grandmother watching the news and crying. I lived in South Carolina when the Charleston church shootings happened and although I didn't move to Flordia my parents live 51 mins away from Parkland. The Las Vegas shooter was found to have plans of shooting at Lalapalooza which took place a block away from my college dorm. Luckily this shooting did not occur but the same can't be said for the lives lost at the route 91 harvest music festival.

Shootings have happened in my lifetime in movie theaters, concerts, every level of schooling, clubs, bike rallies, hotels, churches, convention centers, etc.

2018 has ten months left and while only two months in we've already had 18 shootings. When will mass shooting become rare occurrences instead of something that statistically happens once every week? When will it ever be the right time to talk about gun rights? When will we stop blaming mental illness as the sole reason and actually take action?

I was born in the year 1999 and since then there have been 71 mass shootings. Within 19 years how has this country allowed for 71 mass shootings to happen. Not only this but because of how often mass shootings happen the news doesn't cover every mass shooting or double-triple homicide. If not for yesterday, I wouldn't have known about the past 17 shootings that have happened this year.

My plea is that before our generation brings other beings into this world that mass shootings are halted. Unless there is action, Parkland will not be the last. We should not become numb to hearing about millions of people dying, we should not fear to leave our homes and go to school.

We should be able to see our favorite artists and worry about how much a t-shirt will cost before worrying if it'll be our last time on earth.

Without dragging politics into this I beg that there be a change, for the justice of all lives stopped because of these shootings.

It's time to stop blaming mental illness, these are acts of terrorism. We worry about letting others into our country when we should be worried about those who are causing the damage in our country. It's time for a change, I refuse to watch mass shootings continue to become more popular and accepted in this "great land."

Australia changed their gun laws after three mass shootings happened in the 80s - there are no mass shootings documented since. Guns are too easily accepted in this country as well as excuses for why these events occur. Parkland will only just become another shooting if there is no action, this needs to be the end.

Cover Image Credit: @foxnews

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Customer Service Expert, Gary Brewster of Oneida Provides Tips for Displaying Appreciation to Your Customers

By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business.

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Customer relationships are a core part of your business success. Many businesses that outperform their competitors are just more responsive in this area. By taking a more direct and proactive approach to managing your customers, you can open up a new avenue of success for your business. How can you display genuine appreciation to them? Here are tips and practices from customer service expert and accomplished entrepreneur, Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee that you can adopt.

Event Sponsorship

There are many small signs of appreciation you can show to customers, but hosting an event provides significant evidence to customers that your business genuinely acknowledges and cares for their support. With these events, you can treat customers as guests - which can be a great way to elevate your relationship with them. After these events, you can follow-up with your customers, build upon that relationship, and gain additional insights into their expectations.

Customized Products and Services

Customers will be pleasantly surprised to see products specifically catered to their preferences. This shows that you do respond to their feedback and are appreciative of the information they provide. Also, you are reinforcing the fact that your business firmly puts a priority on their needs and is committed to elevating their experience. You can personalize your products through a couple of means, including offering them in certain colors, modifications, labels, and more.

Use Handwritten Notes

A handwritten note is one of the best ways to convey authenticity in your messages. When you use this medium for sending messages of appreciation to your customers, it generates a more positive response. In a world saturated with emails, social media messages, and mobile text, a handwritten letter can stand out. You can work with your team in organizing a schedule where customers are sent handwritten notes. These can especially work great for the holiday season as customers are more receptive to goodwill messages during this time.

Develop a Loyalty Program

While your business benefits form loyalty programs, they also make the customer feel more appreciated. For your most consistent customers, you are sending the message to them that their loyalty has not gone unnoticed and that you are truly grateful. When repeat business is rewarded, the long-term benefits will be valuable. Instead of merely creating a loyalty program from scratch, consider doing research and recognize specific purchasing patterns within your customer base. You can then highlight certain products they favor and make that the focal point of your loyalty program.

When it comes to maintaining a high standard of customer service, communication and goodwill are valuable. Showing appreciation to your customers is more than simply communicating with them, but also conveying a general sense of commitment to their needs. Your business stands to gain immensely by developing this unique approach to customer service. Consider adding more of these elements as you build your customer service strategy with your team.


About Gary Brewster:

Gary Brewster in Oneida, Tennessee is an entrepreneur and commercial roofing expert. Driven by building excellent relationships, he takes pride in providing the best customer service possible. As a business owner, his goals include delivering exceptional service, solving complex problems, and giving back to the community. Outside of the office, Gary enjoys spending time on his family farm with his wife, children, and grandchildren.


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The 2020 Race Is Feeling The Bern

Everything you need to know about Bernie Sanders entering the presidential race.

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This morning, February 19, 2019, Brooklyn-born Bernie Sanders announced he is running for president once again.

Unlike his run in 2016, though, Sanders now joins a crowded field of progressive candidates, one of which is Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

In Sanders's own words, this campaign is "about taking on the powerful special interests that dominate our economic and political life". Sanders went on to say that this is a "pivotal and dangerous moment in American history," and "We are running against a President who is a pathological liar, a fraud, a racist, a sexist, a xenophobe and someone who is undermining American democracy as he leads us in an authoritarian direction".

In his interview with CBS, Sanders explained that it is "absolutely imperative that Donald Trump be defeated", and described candidates whom he is running alongside as his "friends".

Regarding policy issues, his focus remains the same as in previous years, planning to focus largely on women's reproductive rights, lower prices for prescription drugs, and criminal justice reform.

Sanders is also widely recognized because of his goal of universal healthcare. His Medicare-for-all bill that was drafted in 2017 outlines the establishment of a "national health insurance program to provide comprehensive protection against the costs of health-care and health-related services". According to estimates, however, such a plan would increase federal spending by $2.5 trillion a year.

When it comes to education, Sanders plans to make preschool for all 4-year-olds free, aiming to fund this plan through tax increases on the wealthy as well as Wall Street transactions.

More widely acknowledged is his "College For All Act", which would provide $47 billion a year to states in order to eliminate undergraduate tuition and fees at public colleges and universities. Additionally, the act would cut student loan interest rates nearly in half for undergrads.

In terms of social issues, Sanders is pro-choice when it comes to abortion rights and opposes policies which discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, such as Trump's push to ban transgender people from the military.

The New York Times discusses the idea that the political field of the 2020 run might leave Sanders a "victim of his own success", in that the multitude of Democratic candidates are embracing policies which Sanders championed in the last race.

"Ironically, Bernie's agenda for working families will be the Democratic Party's message in 2020, but he may not be the one leading the parade," said talk show host Bill Press.

Moreover, victories by women, minorities, and first-time candidates in the 2018 midterm elections suggest that "fresh energy" is preferred by Democrats, which potentially poses a challenge for Sanders.

Conversely, though, Sanders is also starting off with certain advantages, such as a "massive lead among low-dollar donors that is roughly equivalent to the donor base of all the other Democratic hopefuls combined".

Donald Trump responded to Sanders's announcement by saying, "First of all I think he missed his time, but... I like Bernie. He sort of would agree on trade... the problem is he doesn't know what to do about it. But I wish Bernie well."

By and large, Sanders is another strong candidate, and it will be interesting to see if he can generate the same energy and support now that he did in 2016.

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