Humans, But No Humanity: Major 2016 Attacks

Humans, But No Humanity: Major 2016 Attacks

Hatred. Murder. Terrorism. Racism. Sexism. 2016 will be a year no one will soon forget.
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Hatred. Murder. Terrorism. Racism. Sexism. 2016 was a year that none one will soon forget. Countless shootings, bombings, attacks, stabbings, and other horrible events is why this past year will go down in history as, if not the worst, then one of the worst, years in history. 2016 will go down in history as the year where the United States had its worst mass shooting.


1. Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting

The worst mass shooting in the history of the Unites States happened in 2016. Forty-nine victims, not including the shooter, were killed in the tragedy and another fifty-three victims were injured out of the three-hundred people that were inside the nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This left the families and friends of the victims and the members of the LGBTQ community devastated.


2. Bastille Day Attack

Bastille Day, which is celebrated on July fourteenth every year, is a national holiday celebrating the 1789 date of the storming of the Bastille. In 2016, a truck drove into a crowd Nice, France in a ISIS-inspired attack, killing eighty-seven victims and injuring four-hundred-thirty-four other victims.


3. The Ohio State University Attack

An ISIS-inspired attack on The Ohio State University left only the attacker dead after injuring eleven victims with a motor vehicle and a butcher knife. Although no one had lost their lives other than the attacker, students at universities all across the country feared going to class or stepping foot on their campuses in fear of losing their lives to an attacker.


4. Brussels Bombing

In Brussels, two suicide bombers about thirty-seven seconds apart, detonated bombs the Brussels Airport in Zaventem. One hour after the two suicide bombs detonated at the airport, another suicide bomb was detonated at the Maelbeek Metro Station. Then, after the attacks, a nail bomb, chemicals, and and ISIS flag were found at a home. These ISIS-inspired attacks killed thirty-two victims, not including three suicide-bombers, and injured more than three-hundred other victims.


5. Germany Train Stabbing

Five victims were wounded when a seventeen-year-old unleashed an attacked with an ax on a German train. The attacker was killed after fleeing to a nearby town. The motive for the attack was unclear, but it is suspected the seventeen-year-old was working with ISIS when he perpetrated the attack on the train. This left many in shock; and people began questioning whether refugees should be allowed in countries because, although there are many refugees escaping conflict, some are coming to countries to cause conflict and unleash attacks.


6. Istanabul Airport Attack

In this ISIS-inspired attack, forty-one victims lost their lives and two-hundred-thirty more victims were injured by three attackers with guns and a bomb. They began firing at a terminal after arriving in a taxi; it was followed by detonating a bomb to blow themselves up after police fired at them.


7. Charleston Church Shooting

During a Bible study session at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, nine victims lost their lives after the shooter began the attack after an hour of sitting in on the Bible study with his soon-to-be victims. The crime was deemed a hate crime because the church was a historically black church. The attack left the community shocked and devastated, proving racism still exists in this day and age.


8. Cascade Mall Shooting

The Cascade Mall shooting took place in Burlington, Washington when five victims lost their lives to the twenty-year-old gunman opened fire with a stolen rifle. The authorities said there was no reason to believe it was related to terrorism, while he said he was interested in the activities of ISIS. It is believed that the possible motive of the attack was the break-up of a worker from the Macy’s store. She hadn't worked their in months and currently lives in another county, however.


9. Munich Mall Shooting

The attack, led by a teenager who planned for a year, took the lives of nine victims and injured sixteen others at a shopping district in Munich, Germany. Although a motive is unclear, it’s said that he researched rampage shootings and was obsessed with shootings.


10. Dallas Police Shooting

In 2016, one-hundred-thirty-five police officers lost their lives. While some died in traffic accidents, nearly half were shot to death. This means a fifty-six percent increase in shooting deaths. One of the shootings was the Dallas sniper attack, which is seen as the deadliest attack on police officers since 9/11. A peaceful protest was going on in Dallas, Texas, where five officers were killed and eleven were injured. The shooter had stated that he wanted to kill officers and expressed killing white people. This mass shooting was deemed a hate crime


During my research for tragedies that struck the Unites States and the rest of the world, I found that much more happened than I could cover in one article. In a few minutes of research, I found that there were twelve shootings, six bombings, three stabbings, eight attacks, and a multitude of other tragedies. If I would have dug deeper into my research, I probably would have found more than those numbers. 2016 was full of more hatred, murder, racism, sexism, and terrorism than any society should have to endure in a lifetime. There are seven billion people in the world, but where’s the humanity?

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A Letter To My Humans On Our Last Day Together

We never thought this day would come.
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I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

Thank you for letting me grow up with you.

Love always,

Your family dog

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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