Miyanna Jelks' Death Needs To Mean Something

Miyanna Jelks' Death Needs To Mean Something

How many more children must fall victim to gun violence?
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Over the weekend in Milwaukee, as many were enjoying the nice spring weather, a nine year old girl was shot dead by her brother. Miyanna Jelks was a child accidentally killed by another child, and just like that has become another example of the extent of gun violence.

While her parents will be arrested for this awful incident, there is still, ultimately, never any real “justice” when a child’s life is taken by gun violence. Milwaukee has always suffered from such violence, but as high school students everywhere march for their lives this week, Miyanna Jelks’ death must also be remembered and fought for.

Similar to Jelks, many other children live in households with guns. As a result, many children have also been accidental shooting victims and will continue to be victims if no change is enacted.

There are endless stories that I could fill this article with to better prove my point. Just last year, a six year old shot a four year old child in South Carolina, a father accidentally killed his daughter in Indiana, and a boy from Mississippi died in his grandparents’ arms on the way to the hospital after being accidentally shot in the chest.

That list can go on and on, further showing that no matter how many children fall victim to guns, people will continue to fight against the argument that more gun restrictions must be put into place.

Miyanna Jelks’ father obtained a gun even being a felon and he had a locked safe for his gun in his home…that he never used. It’s easy to simply push the blame for this shooting onto bad parenting (which could be argued to be true,) however in many of these accidental shootings, children have had frighteningly easy access to their parents’ guns.

As I mentioned before in previous articles, gun control doesn’t just mean taking away everyone’s guns. It means providing the proper training to use guns, especially if families allow their guns to lay out in the open for their children to pick up.

It means having a better background check system for purchasing guns. It means teaching people how to safely secure their guns in their homes, so curious children don’t use them.

According to a study published in Newsweek, shootings are now the third leading cause of death for children in the United States. While this is extremely important, let’s look at the causes of death that come before shootings: illnesses and unintentional deaths (such as car crashes.)

As for illnesses, we created vaccines and have made so many advances in medicine to help treat diseases in an effort to save children’s lives. With cars, we have enacted speed limits, restricted the driving age, and forced people to pass a test before they are allowed to control a vehicle.

Yes, it is true that illnesses and car crashes still, unfortunately, take children’s lives everyday but it’s crucial to remember that the country has at least attempted to regulate these issues.

So, it doesn’t really make sense that guns have become so dangerous to our children and, yet, there has still been nothing done to help solve America’s gun problem.

Cover Image Credit: Tony Webster

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Dear America, We Can Step Forward As A Country If We Stop Believing That Only One Belief Is Valid

It's time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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Dear America,

2018 was a year of political strife and conflict. The left and the right fought constantly. Republicans and Democrats blamed each other for the tiniest mistakes, and there were only a small number of successful bipartisan deals. Politicians and citizens alike seemed more concerned with sticking to party platforms, even ones they truly didn't believe in, rather than compromising with the other side to improve our society.Yet all this name-calling and hatred — what does it do in the end? What does it accomplish?

We've only seen an increased polarization of American politics and an expanded hostility towards "the other side." We don't consider the well-being of each and every person in America and the bettering of our society, or the building of a stronger world for our children and grandchildren.

We spend so much time insulting each other's political beliefs that we forget probably the most important fact that links us all together: We are all human. We all share the same basic needs, the same struggles, the same moments of happiness and sadness.

And yet we are willing to put our similarities aside and only focus on our differences. We are willing to thrust ourselves into the deep anger and loathing that comes in attacking those different from us. We are willing to parry insults behind the safety of a phone screen and forget all about what makes us alike. And we are willing to gloss over the fact that we have more similarities than differences.

SEE ALSO: Dear Trump, Thanks For Transforming Me Into A Responsible, Educated Citizen

Yes, political beliefs make a person. Political beliefs define the values, ideas and thoughts of a person. But sometimes, we have to reach over those beliefs, as hard as that may be, and focus on the bigger picture at hand. What will insulting someone because of those beliefs do? It definitely won't change their views or make them see things from your point of view.

It's sad and frustrating that this endless fighting doesn't even occur between two countries or two governments or two nation-states. Instead, we see arguments and strife between two family members, two neighbors or even two strangers, all living in the same community and under the same government, all sharing more similarities than differences.

We need to stop focusing so much on singular ideas. We need to stop believing in the close-minded idea that only one thought is the best thought. And instead of wasting energy trying to change other's opinions, we need to use that energy and time to promote unity and emphasize our commonalities.

These past few years have truly divided America. Let's make 2019 a year of unity, because only through unity can we step forward as a country.

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