To The Fox News Correspondents Who Thinks The 'March For Our Lives' Is 'Playing Politics With Tragedy'

To The Fox News Correspondents Who Thinks The 'March For Our Lives' Is 'Playing Politics With Tragedy'

This isn't just about guns and politics.
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This article is a response to several statements Fox News anchors and other media that seem to be against the students' protests, March For Our Lives that happened on March 24th, an event staged after a deadly mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Dear Fox News Correspondents,

I'm sorry that you think that I'm just a "pawn" in this movement. I'm sorry that you think that I'm being "used to advance an agenda". I'm sorry that you think the "left is playing politics with tragedy". I'm sorry that you are quick to dismiss the arguments of the students marching. I'm sorry that you see the marchers as "misguided and ill-informed."

I'm sorry that you think I should be in civics class instead of on the streets making my voice be heard. I'm sorry that you see the gun control movement as a personal attack on you and your constitutional rights as you have "done absolutely nothing". I'm sorry, but I've got some news for you.

As someone who participated in the march last Saturday, I don't think you're truly hearing us out.

The amount of anger about gun laws has been boiling up for years, this is anything but new. The possibility of a school shooting in anywhere would have lurked over every students' heads whether or not the shooting in Parkland, Florida happened. It will continue to do so until there is change, and this doesn't necessarily mean banning ALL guns.

This was a fight for stricter gun control, for more regulations, and for the ban of SEMI-AUTOMATIC rifles to the public. Because frankly, what person needs an AR-15 and why was a 19 year old able to legally obtain one? This isn't about taking away your constitutional rights, it's about taking away the daily fear for our lives that comes with going to school every day.

We understand that not everyone with a gun is a killer and we hope that you understand that not every marcher wants to deprive you of your rights to your safety. The point is 17 innocent people should not have to die to make this March happen.

17 families weren't left grieving their loved one for no justice to come. The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are the first who have spoken up about their experience and have gathered support from millions across the country. They are making sure something comes from this tragedy for their peers who can't.

They are not using this tragedy to prevent those to obtain guns. They are using their voices and their experiences to further the discussion and start a movement; and what a movement they have started. To belittle this movement as a tactic to further liberal politics is degrading to the fear they endured and survived. This isn't just about politics, this isn't just about guns.

This is about lives that shouldn't have been lost and lives that can be saved. This isn't just about Parkland. This is about Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the 305 and counting school shootings that have happened in America since 2013. For the victims of any gun violence issue, for the 96 Americans that die each day to gun-related issues.

We march for the innocents who have had their lives taken due to gun violence too early, which could have been prevented. We march in hope of not having anymore lives taken. To say this event was all about being "anti-gun" isn't the full story. As someone who participated in the march last Saturday, I can tell you it was an event of bringing us together in the face of tragedy, fear, and hope that this will never happen again.

The civics class that you are so keen on insisting I be in instead of using my first amendment rights taught me to let my voice be heard, the importance of being active in a democracy, and being an advocate for what I believe in. It taught me the value of political efficacy and that one person can indeed make a difference.

This is shown by the millions who participated in the march, and Parkland students like Emma González, Jaclyn Corin, Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind, and David Hogg who have left their mark on this movement and our country and have encouraged so many others to do the same.

Although you anchors may have done "nothing wrong" with your guns, you are doing something wrong by belittling the meaning of the actions demonstrated by millions. I am not misguided or ill-informed about how the obtaining of guns have to lead to deaths.

I am not uneducated about the rights that Americans have and how we are entitled to them. I am aware of the meaning and importance of this movement and will continue to participate not in taking away other's 2nd Amendment Rights, but lending my voice in taking away the chance of even more death in school and on the streets.

So, I will go back to my civics class now. I will open my textbook and my desk and continue to learn about history, government and what being an American means. However, as hard as I try, I can't seem to focus on the subject when a continuous threat of violence seems to be in the back of my mind.

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.
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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.

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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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