Gun Control: Not An Issue Until It Directly Affects You

Gun Control: Not An Issue Until It Directly Affects You

Not my shooting, not my problem

Not even a full week into the new year and the nation is stuck by another tragedy due to gun violence. Friday afternoon, Estaban Santiago began firing his weapons at the baggage claim at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport; killing five and injuring eight. Santiago had originally declared his firearms and had them transported through the baggage claim on his flight from Alaska to Florida. Witnesses say that Santiago brought his carrying case with him into a bathroom and exited firing into the crowd. The FBI is currently looking into his motive.

Gun Control was a large topic during the presidential election. While gun control supporters fought for laws denying the purchase of guns to members of the terrorist watch list and banning the sales of automatic assault weapons, many people were opposed to these laws as they feared that it would put restrictions on the Second Amendment. In fact, gun sales reached record highs in 2016 alone than in any other year.

So while the number of gun sales on the market progressively climb and politicians clash over seemingly common sense issues, innocent people are continuing to be killed by guns every day. And although critics claim that it isn't the guns that are killing people, rather than the person who fires it; it does not disregard the fact that guns are still an issue in this country.

When compared to the rest of the developed nations, the United States has extremely loose laws concerning gun purchases. In America, it is much easier for an adult to obtain a gun than it is for them to receive financial aid for a college education. So when tragedies like Fort Lauderdale and Sandy Hook occur, the entire nation mourns over the innocent lives that have been taken from us; then in the following day rally with the NRA not to let the government take our guns away. That is because no one really understands the consequences of gun violence until it directly happens to them.

While news stories of senseless acts of violence do get some attention to their audience, they are quickly forgotten about and are replaced with a dumb pop culture bit. It is much easier to ignore a problem when it does not affect your daily life. But the fact is this, gun control affects all of us; including those who own guns and those who do not. So why are we allowing the gun violence continue to destroy lives and refuse to believe that it will never happen to any of us? The victims of Fort Lauderdale did not plan on being attacked while grabbing their luggage after a long flight to their vacations. The parents of the Sandy Hook victims did not intend on having their children be murdered at school right before their holiday break. So stop thinking that you're above the dangers of guns and let's end the debate over protecting our people.

Cover Image Credit: CNN

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Knowing The Difference Between Redirection And Failure

This difference is everything.

Redirection, by definition means, the action of assigning or directing something to a new or different place or purpose.

Collectively, we know what redirection means in the basic sense of the word. However, when we experience redirection, we often view the situation as a failure or a loss. We as human beings can become easily frustrated or discouraged in seasons of misfortune and perceived failure.

In life, it’s rare that things go according to plan. We don’t get the job we wanted, we graduate college in 6 years not 4, perhaps don’t even finish, plans get cancelled and we disappoint ourselves. Unfortunate scenarios and events occur in everyone’s life, and no one is immune to mishap. So how do we stop viewing these inevitable complications as failure?

First, we must learn to not recognize them as such. Life is not easy and when things don’t work out it doesn’t mean we’ve failed. Often times we’ve just been redirected. We’ve been put on a new path to reach our end goal. This can be a challenging concept to accept at first, we often feel pressure to complete certain tasks in a very specific time frame or order. However, there is no right or wrong order when it comes to living your life. We all experience different events at different ages and each one of us embarks on a different journey to reach our unique end goal.

That being said, it’s common for people to feel that they have failed at a task due to time, specifically lack of time. We feel we weren’t given a fair amount, we miss a deadline or progress takes us longer than projected. Not completing tasks by a deadline can leave us feeling like failures, often times our lack of timeliness results in sanctions from someone who holds more power than we do. The fear of punishment can also manifest the fear of failure. Time is a non-renewable resource we cannot make up for lost time or create extra time for ourselves, but when we fail to meet a deadline it is important we forgive ourselves.

Failure leaves us feeling as if we have limited or no options after. We have exhausted all of our energy and resources into one project ultimately to watch it fail. After experiencing this, it can be hard to become re-inspired and find a new focus, but refocusing can be the best remedy.

Not every failure should be viewed as a loss, some failures provide us with new opportunities and growth, they redirect our lives and put us on the path we are supposed to be on. We will be disappointed and we will be hurt in this life. However, being denied of a job does not mean you’re forever unemployed, it may open new doors, the relationships that you’ve been hurt in can help you grow and prosper with your next partner, and every mistake made is not the end, they may even foster success.

Redirection happens to everybody, no one’s life is perfect or simple, even if it appears that way. As humans, we all struggle and we all feel like giving up at times. Let redirection fuel your next journey and allow your failures to become your inspiration.

Cover Image Credit: Caitlin Rounds

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The Contradiction Of Being "Woke"

Is just saying you're an activist enough?

It's no secret that students everywhere are forming many different opinions on gun violence, among other political issues, and it's important that young people stay involved in the political climate. We are the nation's future. However, as I evaluate the situation, I begin to wonder if just saying you are an activist is actually enough to voice an opinion.

Lately, I've seen countless tweets calling out gun violence in America, and there's a glaring contradiction I see whenever I stumble upon these tweets. On the one hand, I agree with the viewpoint of these young people, and I want to support the aforementioned tweet, however, is tweeting really enough to call yourself an activist?

I don't want to act like the gatekeeper for social issues, but it seems counterintuitive to jump on the bandwagon of BLM or March for Our Lives when in reality, many of the young people tweeting or expressing an opinion online, are really only doing it for the publicity. With the goal of being "#WokeGoals," many young people find themselves forming an opinion that is just an accumulation of what their parents or their favorite celebrity think.

While yes, there is merit in listening to the opinions of others, its beginning to seem like activism is mainstream, and in order to catch the sensationalist wave, many younger people are voicing an opinion for the sole purpose of jumping on that bandwagon.

We are an incredibly vocal younger generation, which is incredible, but more often than not we are preaching to the choir. I highly doubt that a Twitter argument over politics is actually going to change someone's mind, nor do I think that unbridled rage can change the opposing sides mind, however when you tweet, your social circle is going to be the primary audience, and it's more than likely that they already agree with you.

Activism for the sake of change is needed, and important, however in order to achieve the social goals that one claims to support, it is necessary to back that up, and not get swept up in the sensationalism of it all.

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