Another Day, Another Shooting

Another Day, Another Shooting

When will we say, "Enough is enough?"

Another day, another mass shooting in America. I want to say I'm surprised and shocked, yet I'm not. Ever since I was in elementary school the violence in America by Americans has become the norm for me and everyone else around me. It's something I've become desensitized to and it shouldn't be that way. It shouldn't be something that happens so often that I'm no longer affected by it. I shouldn't watch the morning news and not be fazed by the fact that 26 people are dead because of one man with a gun.

How many more people have to die before we realize that there's a problem? How many more kids have to die before we realize our gun laws aren't working? The youngest victim of the last mass shooting was under 2 years old. Let that sink in. A baby is dead because people didn't do their jobs.

In the latest mass shooting the shooter, who I'll keep unnamed because he doesn't deserve any more press, got his hands on the guns he had because people failed to do their jobs. The government should have done their jobs. You read the right, the government, the United States Air Force didn't do their jobs right and they are the reason this monster was able to get his hands on guns. The shooter is not the only one to blame for this, those who didn't properly do their jobs are to blame as well.

Let's look at numbers: Since 2000 there have been 64 known accounts of mass shootings in America. Since 1982 there have been 95 mass shootings in America. Between the years 1982 and 1999 there have been 31 known mass shootings, which means between 2000 and 2017 there have been 64 know mass shootings. In the 17 year span of 1982 and 1999, the mass shootings were half of what it is now. 2000 to 2017 is still a 17-year span yet has a mass shooting number that's over doubled the amount of what it had in the past.

I can guarantee you those numbers will only go up in the next year, if not the next month.

And no, you can't pull the "bad guys will always get guns" argument.

According to Mother Jones, the shooters obtained their guns legally more times than illegally.

Stop blaming these mass shootings on mental illness. Stop demonizing mental illness. I'm so sick of it. Start treating these people how you treated the person who went on the rampage in New York. Just because the color of the Texas shooter's skin doesn't match your definition of a terrorist doesn't mean that he isn't one. Stop blaming a group who already struggles with how they are viewed. People with mental illness are not the problem. People with guns are. People who allow easy access to guns are. Trump signed a bill recalling the bill that Obama passed to restrict those with mental illness from getting guns.

If it were as easy to get help for mental illness as it was to get a gun America wouldn't have this problem. If I didn't have to jump through hoops to find a therapist and psychiatrist that I don't have to pay thousands of dollars for, it would be easier to treat mental illness.

Note: Since I've started writing this piece and researching it 18 school shootings have happened in 2018 alone. This means the numbers have changed and became larger.

Focusing now on the latest (and yet another) school shooting. On February 14th, 2018 (that's right, Valentine's Day) a lone shooter entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a semiautomatic A-15 rifle. 17 innocent students lost their lives that day and countless more were injured and scarred for the rest of their lives. 17 families have to figure out how to continue living without their children. Again, I'm keeping the shooter unnamed because he doesn't deserve any more press, was reported to the FBI before the shooting yet nothing was done.

Just a few weeks ago the schools by me were shut down because there was a man with a gun having a shootout with police. There have been 18 cases of school shootings since January 1st but only 7 of those school shootings ended with someone either dead or injured.

Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to do anything. They’re not going to solve the problem that America has. There have been 18 school shootings since the new year started. Let that sink in. 18 in the last month and a half. If you don’t think there’s a problem, there’s something wrong. Yes, “thoughts and prayers” are nice but they don’t do anything. Actions do. It's time to take action against this problem America has.

I don't think anyone who is a danger to themselves or others should have access to a gun - which unfortunately mentally ill people are normally a danger to themselves before they are to anyone else. It just goes to show that despite the regulations put up to stop this type of thing from happening it still happens. Unless the people breaking the law by selling guns to people who shouldn't have one in the first place are held accountable, nothing is going to change.

I want people to stop dying, I want people to understand that we need stricter gun control. I'm not saying we need to take away all guns, I'm saying that we need better control. Fixing the system is what I️ mean when I️ say we need to be stricter with our gun laws. We need to be stricter on those who give them out and make sure they’re following the laws and guidelines put in place so things like this happen less often.

For those of you who would like to help there was a gofundme set up for the victims of the shooting. I know most of us are college students but even a dollar will help.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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When I Don't Support My Sisters

An editorial contemplating a supposed tenant of feminism in light of a corrupt administration

Picture for a moment, if you will, going back to the year 2016. It’s a bit painful, I know, but bear with me.

Political debates were heated. Bernie supporters were noticeably upset. Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump were supposed to be having intelligent arguments that seemed to mostly consist of out-shouting matches. Jill Stein was gunning for raising money to recount votes in an effort to combat Russian-influenced or otherwise-influenced voter fraud. I heard a lot of talk about voting third party “to rebel”…and we all know how that ended up.

I attend an emphasis-on-liberal liberal arts college, but was still in connection with my old school, an all-girls Catholic high school. I’ll admit I got caught up the fervor of rooting for our potential “first woman president!” and though I voted for Bernie in the primaries, I generally understood the importance of not splitting the vote, so I voted for Hillary in the general election.

Again, we all know how this worked out.

After several weeks, Trump came out with his cabinet appointments. And someone, in the grand sphere of the internet who figured out how to get a decent amount of attention on social media (I forget who), decided it was a good idea to clump Betsy Devos, Ivanka Trump, and Melania Trump in with Hilary and say that if we, Hilary’s voters, did not root for these women, then clearly we were hypocrites for doing the whole “women must support each other” thing for only Hilary. “Give them a chance,” they said.

At risk of the Lord blasting me with lightning (please, He knows me already), I’d like to point out that this is not the first time I’ve heard this sort of message. A variation of it was popular in my high school: “We must support our sisters. We must bring each other up instead of tearing each other down.”

To be clear, this is by no means a bad message and no, no one from my school brought up the warped variation of it in favor of the aforementioned women…as far as I know. In this dog-eat-dog economy and this country that still really needs to work on being more gender inclusive, racially inclusive, religiously inclusive, and every other kind of inclusive, some help from your fellow humans should always be welcome.

This message was basically my high school’s motto, for all intents and purposes.

As a person with anxiety, especially, I felt the genuineness of the message. “Real” women would be supportive or at least mature when I was struggling, and I was 100% for lifting up other people because I knew no one really wants to be left alone on the sidelines and struggling.

It felt really dirty that someone would throw my school’s motto at me like an unwanted crucifix. That was my motto, too. No one should get to do that.

In light of Illinois having a Republican woman running for governor who seems to think helping and acknowledging LGBTQ people is bad and Trump calling Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas,” I am really questioning the whole “support my sisters” thing.

Because sometimes, I have realized, I definitely do not want to support my “sisters” – as a morally sound person. Not that Elizabeth Warren should have been called Pocahontas – she shouldn’t have, and that still makes me angry for all cultures and genders involved – but just this idea of all women being my sisters. That I shouldn’t disagree with their decisions and lifestyles on the grounds of “family.” It must be more complicated than that.

Things I do agree with:

We should not tear down a woman because she was cheated on in the past.

We should not tear down a woman because some extremist in her culture, religion, or race in another part of the world decided to commit a horrible crime.

We should not tear down a woman if she made mistakes in the past and is trying to improve herself.

We should not tear down a woman because she had or still has an illness of any sort.

We should not tear down a woman for not being cis-gendered.

We should not tear down a woman because she came from a “bad” (by any definition of the word) family or a bad place.

We should not tear down a woman for struggling with school or finances.

We should not tear down a woman for putting her motherhood first.

We should not tear down a woman for showing emotions.

These truths I hold to be self-evident, because in this way we women were all created equal (see what I did there?). To tear down a woman for something she cannot help is just dirty and cruel. As for the school and money part, what human on Earth hasn’t, at some point, been short on money or gotten a bad grade or struggled to understand an academic concept? Okay, possibly don’t answer that, but you get my point. No one is perfect. Struggle makes us human. Emotions also make us human, and are completely healthy.

On the other hand, things I do not agree with include supporting a woman who does not care about the negative consequences of her actions on the people she is supposed to serve.

When Trump was first elected and put Betsy Devos in office, my only objection to her was that she favored charter schools and had never been through or put her children through the public education system. She has now continuously not addressed the tragically growing amount of school shootings that have affected too many educational institutions, instead opting to either not say anything or going to visit only for a photo opportunity. She also seems to have participated in creating recent budgets that have drastically cut funding to public education.

Ivanka Trump was declared – unconstitutionally, I might add – an advisor to the president, despite her status as family, and has been sent on multiple diplomatic missions to foreign countries that seem to end in little gained for our country and something always gained for her clothing business. Something just seems really off about a fashion mogul seemingly using her presidential job to further herself. I’m not even mad about her not being able to influence her father; I just don’t understand why government money is seemingly being spent on a fashion company.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders – daughter of Mike Huckabee and no relation to Bernie – for some odd reason is content with her job of covering for the president, and I don’t understand it. No, I’m not going to use her facial expressions as proof of guilt. I’ve seen perfectly truthful people whose eyes do the same thing. It seems unnerving that someone could be comfortable pretending that a corrupt person’s point of view is the truth for so long, especially given Trump’s latest deeds as president. The same goes for the similar case of Kellyanne Conway, who was Trump’s campaign manager and now is famous for the term “alternate facts” and for promoting Ivanka’s fashion line while in the capacity of working for Donald Trump.

Omarosa Manigault remains a wild card for me. I can see a person being grateful to someone who gave them a big break in their career. I can also see how journalists or social justice leaders would take advantage of the juxtaposition of a black woman with Nigerian parentage willingly working for a racist, sexist, and anti-immigrant boss and go off-topic in interviews. I cannot, however, quite see why a person would buy into a hateful agenda, why she would work as his aide for this long, or why she would only be speaking up now - unless she believes that will somehow get her out of the Mueller investigation, maybe. I can’t figure her out any more than I can figure out Ben Carson.

As you can see, I don’t always support my “sisters.” I also think it’s a bit unfair to call them my sisters. I would think “family” would care for each other’s well-being, and these women do not seem to really be doing that for me.

Cover Image Credit: BRYAN WOOLSTON / Reuters

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National Walkout Day: Students Demand A Call To Action


A month after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that resulted in the deaths of 17 students, the U.S. now sees thousands of students staging a National School Walkout.

On March 14th, 2018, schools permitted high school and college students to leave their classes for 17 minutes, honoring the 17 victims of the shooting and attempting to pressure Congress to pass long-sought-after gun control legislation. Organizers emerged nationwide, but the push is largely attributed to the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in partnership with EMPOWER, the youth department of the Women’s March. Under the title 'March For Our Lives,' students put forth a mission statement “to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues,” as well as to demand that the lives and safety of students be treated as a priority.

They look to send one message:

“Enough. We have seen enough senseless gun violence; we have lived in fear too long. We have buried too many heroes. We demand better.”

Starting at 10 a.m., Eastern time, demonstrations extended beyond school property, leading to marches and, in Washington, large gatherings around the White House. In New York, some public officials took to protest; Governor Andrew Cuomo, Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers, and Michael Mulgrew of the United Federation of Teachers engaged with a student “lie-in.”

Granted, the movement did not garner support from every school administration, some even threatening disciplinary action and facing defiance from student populations. As the numbers indicate, however, many districts allowed students the personal choice to participate, backing them with permission slips and allotted time frames for protest.

The walkout marks one of many continuing demonstrations. The official 'March For Our Lives' is scheduled to take place on the 24th of this month, and is meant to occupy the nation’s capital as well as the “town squares, city centers, rural roads, and village parks” that are available nationwide. The second walkout is set to occur on April 10th, the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting. The protests have clear implications; Florida Governor Rick Scott rebuked the National Rifle Association last week in signing into law a measure that would raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 to purchase a firearm in the state.

The walkout is a clear representation of the youth that is actively working for their cause, and that will not rest until it is seen through. Per their site, “Our voices need to echo into the future if our friends, our siblings, and our bodies are to be safe. Then it will be enough.” We must continue to demand change.
Cover Image Credit: Issac Tafolla / Twitter

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