America, We're Missing The Point On Mass Shootings

America, We're Missing The Point On Mass Shootings

This issue starts and ends with us.

It's been over a week since the latest school shooting in the United States and people are talking, which is great, I'm glad the dialogue is still flowing on this topic. I wish along with the rest of you that this issue gets resolved and does not slowly go off the radar like past mass shootings. The problem here is that nothing will be accomplished if we remain divided. Half of this country wants to ban guns, create stricter gun laws, etc. while the other half wants to arm the teachers that educate their children. At the end of the day, we're still debating guns while going in circles. Both issues can be argued for and against forever, but that is not what I am here to do.

We are not a country made up of guns, we are people. This is a fact that I think both sides of any argument can agree on. We are all human beings who need to start by loving and caring at the most basic levels. Until we come to our senses that tragedies begin and end with us, I think we could continue to fight and be divided for years to come on this issue.

Would we be mourning hundreds of victims each year from senseless acts of violence if people did the right thing? No.

Would we need to be talking about gun laws if people would just do the right thing? No.

Would we need to be talking about arming teachers in the schools if people did the right thing from the beginning? No.

My point here is to not make this a political speech, argument, or gun talk. I want to get back to the basics and remind people why we are in this predicament. What changed in just 50 years that people do not feel safe going about their daily lives to school, church, concerts and events? What has changed in the fact that we hate more than we love? And at what point did we have so many people believing that their opinions and outlooks are superior to others?

So what exactly is, "the right thing?"

The "right thing" is holding people accountable for their actions, walking in other's shoes, thinking before we speak, combating mental illness and loving more than we hate.

Doing "the right thing" is taking responsibility as a parent to make sure that you are truly doing the right things with your child and acknowledging when little Johnny is in the wrong.

Doing "the right thing" is reaching out and helping others or offering assistance large and small when you know someone is struggling.

Doing "the right thing" is finally putting others before your own personal agenda for once.

Gun laws would not be being discussed if people used them for hunting purposes and not out of hate. Mental illness would not be brought to the point of murders, suicides and horrible acts in between if the illness was identified, along with treated before it was too late.

We as a society have become so accustomed to doing things for ourselves, blaming problems on others and ignoring issues when we don't want to deal with them. The media loves to take an event, twist it, publicize it in the wrong ways and get rumors flying while people don't even have their facts straight on the issue. Even the people who are delivering the news, simply playing messenger are not being honest and kind.

Reality check: we're dealing with these issues whether we want to or not.

We continue to bury and mourn ones who lost their lives while we fight on social media about left vs. right-wing policies and conspiracy theories, all along while we fail to acknowledge the problem right in front of us.


We are the problem.

And until we get back to the basics of what it means to be an American citizen who is a positive contributor to society, we could fight about it all day.

Who are American citizens? Let's look at the Parkland students. It has taken countless mass shootings in America for something to be done and I think they will finally be the change- a change drawn because of a group of high schoolers. These kids are barely old enough to buy lottery tickets, much less purchase alcohol and are peacefully trying to create change — what a concept!

They are not letting a silly president or the money hungry NRA bring them down. They could lie down and mourn, be sad and angry due to what happened on Valentine's day, but instead, they chose to do something about it. Just watch, if any turning point comes from all of this it will be because of them. Hats off to you, Parkland.

Fix the problems from the start and there will be fewer problems in the end.

It doesn't take being a democrat or a republican to be a good person and if we were all good people I would not be writing this right now.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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An Open Pat On The Back To Full-Time Students Who Also Work

You really deserve an award, but this article will have to do.

It's pretty freaking hard.

“I can work nights and weekends, I'm a student," you told the manager during your interview.

So, what does he do? He schedules you most nights and weekends. This is OK. This is, after all, what you asked for. So you start working.

Class, class, work. Class, work. Class, no work tonight, you sleep and it feels like the first time in years. Class, homework, homework, homework. Class, class, work.

Before you know it, it's the weekend. There's a party. Your friend wants to see you. Your mom is calling you to see how you are.

But you are working all weekend.

You call your mom on your half hour break. She tells you are doing too much. She tells you that you should work less. Ask for less hours. Sleep more. Eat more. You will get sick.

You get out of work Friday night around 11 p.m. There is still so much night left!! You try to hit up that party. Sure, you will show up a little late, but at least you will make an appearance. At least you will get to see some of your friends. At least you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself. At least you will be able to have some fun. By the time you get ready and get there, people begin leaving. You begin to wonder why you came out in the first place.

“I'm sorry, I've been at work" becomes an all-too-familiar phrase.

But, but, but.

You really deserve a pat on the back, so here it is.

You've given up a lot. And you work crazy hard. Those long nights and hours are hard. A lot of kids your age don't work and rely solely on your parents. But you, you have taken it upon yourself to earn some money for yourself. You are a full-time student, and most of your free time goes toward working and supporting yourself.

You truly do not get the appreciation that you deserve.

But when you do get some time to go out, when you request a weekend off, you have some money to spend. You are never the guy who can't go out because they don't have enough money.

And of course, you will start saving. This is huge. You're going to graduate in debt (probably), and because you busted your butt during school and saved up, putting a crack in that debt will be a little easier for you.

You are a forward thinker, whether you realize it or not.

You are building responsibility, money management, and self-reliance skills, whether you realize it or not.

You are quite mature for your age, whether you realize it or not.

AND YOU deserve a pat on the back. So here it is.

You're incredible. You're amazing. Go get 'em.

Seriously, take a second to congratulate yourself for all your hard work.

And whatever you do, get some sleep, kid. And remember, don't work yourself too hard. Just hard enough so that you feel good, and rewarded, and happy.

You're the man. Keep killin' it, dude. Keep killin' it.

Cover Image Credit: Peter Bernik/123rf Stock Photo

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Quality Testing 5 Different Dollar Store Makeup Products

Do you really get what you pay for, or is the bargain actually a great deal?


The dollar Tree boasts the slogan, 'Everything's 1 Dollar!" a price that beats many, if not most, other stores price-wise. I've found, through some of my many expeditions in this store, that there are a lot of hit-or-miss items there. I decided to experiment with the makeup, and see if it is worth it. I put the items that I tested down below, with a detailed description of my opinions. Some of them are really good, while others...are not. It's worth it, to splurge for quality on these items.

L.A. Colors Eye Shadow Palette

Woman Showing Eye Shadow · Free Stock Photo

This is hands down, my favorite makeup product from the dollar store. The palette I chose, 'Nude' has a lot of different colors that I really like, and that are easy to blend and merge so you can get a look like the image above. It's actually my favorite eyeshadow that I've ever owned, and it looks so good on. I love the palette because the colors are very easy to control the application of. It doesn't go on too thin, and if you add too much, simply brush it down a , it blends in. Applying the eyeshadow is easy and simple, too. It glides on nicely and doesn't clump. The one issue I have is that it smudges a little after a while. It's good for daily routines, just make sure you're glancing at your mirror every 2 hours or so, to catch it before it smudges, and blend around the edge with a finger or brush.

Colormates Mascara

Selective Focus Photo of Mascara · Free Stock Photo

This mascara is not bad as a starter, or for practice...or for a dollar. But if you want it to look professional, I wouldn't recommend it. The mascara isn't a bad color and isn't a bad consistency. The problem is that it clumps a lot, and makes eyelashes look thinner than before. It's definitely not the worst product, but I wouldn't say it was the best either.

L.A.Colors Brow Powder

A bunch of make-up brushes · Free Stock Photo

I'll admit, I'm not the best judge of this product. I don't do anything to my eyebrows, and I'm not sure how to do anything to my eyebrows. HOWEVER, I can say that this product was not my favorite. The quality was good, as it didn't wash out easily, and stayed on for a long time. What I didn't like about the product was the fact that the two colors given looked fake. They didn't look like real colors. They also went on too thin to look natural, and too thick to look feminine. When I applied it, I Still like a guy. My eyebrows were thick, and looked painted on, even though my normal eyebrows aren't like that at all.

L.A.Colors Liquid Eyeliner

Eyeliner around eye

Liquid eyeliner is not my friend. I have a couple of different brands, and I still can't seem to get a straight line. That being said, I wouldn't recommend this product. My biggest issue is that it's too liquid-y. It doesn't drip, but the stick catches a lot, and then it pours off the brush into bumpy lines. I also don't love this product because the stick is uncomfortable, and has little control.

L.A.Colors Pencil Eyeliner

Finally, at the bottom, a product that I do not recommend at all. This one is much easier to use than the liquid liner, but I still don't love it. The pencil's product does not come off easily, so I end up pushing much harder than I would like to and feel safe doing. The pencil also, when wet, doesn't let any of the eyeliner out. You have to let it air dry before it will work again, which is really annoying when working the inner eyelid. The pencil is my least favorite product because it feels unsafe to use, is annoying, and never seems to work well.

As you can see, bargain hunting is no picnic. There are some obvious fails, but other products are pretty good. I'd use most of these again, but the bottom two, the eyeliners, I would say go to a higher-end store and get the quality that they would sell. Still, this was a fun experiment and pleasantly surprised me with the quality of the products. Follow the link here next week, and I'll show 5 products that I would NEVER recommend you purchase.

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