No, I Won't Let It Go

No, I Won't Let It Go

I'm adding my voice to the #NEVERAGAIN movement and you should too.
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Warning - if you disagree with obtaining new regulations on guns for civilians, exit this article immediately.

I'm not writing this to argue, because honestly, there is no argument. Or at least, there really shouldn't be.

I can't let go of the Florida massacre - and frankly, I shouldn't have to.

I'm tired of opening social media outlets to find out another horrifying event has occurred. I'm tired of hearing that more students have been killed during school, where a student should feel the most safe.

The hashtag #NEVERAGAIN has taken control of Twitter since Wednesday, February 14th. Students who attended this school weren't given any time to grieve the loss of their friends, teachers, and other staff members - instead, they are doing what the President should already be doing. Taking action.

These courageous students have stood up for themselves and this country after a tragic event - one that never should have happened. These students have done press conferences with the public, participated in marches across the state, and set up donations.

It's time to do something about this.

#NEVERAGAIN should a student fear walking into their school building.

#NEVERAGAIN should 20 first graders, children who went to school that horrific day in 2012 to paint pictures for their parents and make crafts for the upcoming holidays, be innocently shot down.

#NEVERAGAIN should a parent drop their child off for school and kiss them, unknowingly, goodbye for the last time.

#NEVERAGAIN should a civilian feel the need to own a AR-15 or any other semi-automatic/automatic gun.

There is no justifiable reason for an individual to own this deadly of a weapon. Most arguments I've read surround the individuals who believe they need this weapon for hunting purposes.

I just don't believe that.

Years and years ago, hunters did JUST FINE with the rifles they had before these gruesome weapons were even thought about. So what if takes a whole minute for you to reload? Why is that more important that a child’s life?

Back then, these hunters killed just as good game and had just as good of a time.

I'm sorry that you feel the need to shoot 100 bullets a minute for animal that you would like to hang in your home.

I'm so very sorry that you believe owning a gun is more important than the 20 innocent seven year olds' and the 17 high school students' lives. And the other thousands of injured and killed over the last 18 years.

Your right to own a gun does not outweigh a student’s right to feel safe at school.

Your right to own a gun does not outweigh these kids' lives.

The most common argument used against new gun laws is the Second Amendment, but I'm sorry, that's no longer a good enough reason either.

When the Founding Fathers signed off on these amendments, never in their mind did they know or even believe weapons as deadly as these automatic rifles would be created and allowed for civilian use.

And because of this, there is no excuse for you to use the Second Amendment as your argument. It's not justifiable.

Another favorite of mine: "It's not the guns, it's the people."

Nearly every human being on this planet suffers from a mental health disorder, whether it be depression, anxiety, PTSD, or the other thousands of disorders.

The ones who argue that the individuals with mental health disorders should not have the right to own a gun are contradicting themselves, because truly, they aren't even aware they are talking about themselves.

If you believe that a person with a mental health disorder should not be able to purchase a gun, than that means more than half of the population wouldn't be able to own one anyway.

It is the guns, people. It is!

So why not take it the step further it needs?

Geraldine on Twitter states it perfectly:


It's sickening to read the statistics. It's sickening to know that these kids who lost their lives and the other thousands injured are just a number to the President and his Congress.

And maybe you don't think that's true. That's your own belief, but the evidence is right there for you to see.

Donald Trump, in my opinion, the worst President to date, has done nothing to help our country in this aspect.

He is cowardly and only worried about what the media has to say, not the families who lost their children and the ones who are terrified.

Donald Trump continues to use his Twitter to his disadvantage. On the day of the massacre, he tweeted, "My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school."

While that's kind and supportive, these grieving families do want your prayers, Mr. President. They want you to act. Change this world.

A few days later, while the world continues to fight and grieve, Donald Trump tweets, "Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!"

While it is true that the FBI was aware of Nickolas Cruz's media accounts showing his weapons and his threats on Youtube, they are not the ones that can change the law. We don't care how many signs were missed - because this whole mess could and SHOULD have been avoided years ago.

On February 18, Donald Trump tweets, "Just watched a very insecure Oprah Winfrey, who at one point I knew very well, interview a panel of people on 60 Minutes. The questions were biased and slanted, the facts incorrect. Hope Oprah runs so she can be exposed and defeated just like all of the others!"

After reading the replies, my blood was boiled. How could our President, controller of our country, be more concerned with putting others down and insulting them when innocent children were murdered just four slow days previous?

The ones who argue that Barack Obama did not react to or create any laws against guns during his two terms, you're wrong. Obama passed, not a law, but a rule that required the Social Security Administration to report disability-benefit recipients with mental health conditions to the FBI’s background check system.

A rule that our current President rescinded when he was voted into office.

Barack Obama held a press conference shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting and stood at his podium and cried with the rest of the world. He discussed gun safety. He was on our side.

President Trump held a press conference, showed no emotion, and said not one word about gun safety to the public.

I'm exhausted for the ones fighting incredibly hard for a change to happen.

My heart is broken for the families who lost their children; kids who could've become our future scientists, doctors, farmers, teachers.

I cry for the 20 first graders who had no idea how cruel the world was and had nothing but thoughts of playing at recess and snack time when they were killed for no reason.

I can't stop thinking about where this world is going and how badly we need a change. And I shouldn't have to.

Change won't happen if we give up fighting. And although we shouldn't have to fight this hard, fighting hard will get us to where we need to be.

I'm adding my voice to the #NEVERAGAIN movement and you should too.

To support these students in their efforts to change the world, donate here.

https://www.gofundme.com/8psm8-march-for-our-lives

May the students who lost their lives forever rest in peace and may the families and millions of grievers see change.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Thomas Bormans on Unsplash

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I Might Have Aborted My Fetus When I Was 18, But Looking Back, I Saved A Child’s Life

It may have been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had done it.

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Due to recent political strife happening in the world today, I have decided to write on a very touchy, difficult subject for me that only a handful of people truly know.

When I was 18 years old, I had an abortion.

I was fresh out of high school, and deferring college for a year or two — I wanted to get all of my immature fun out so I was prepared to focus and work in the future. I was going through my hardcore party stage, and I had a boyfriend at the time that truly was a work of art (I mean truly).

Needless to say, I was extremely misinformed on sex education, and I never really thought it could happen to me. I actually thought I was invincible to getting pregnant, and it never really registered to me that if I had unprotected sex, I could actually get pregnant (I was 18, I never said I was smart).

I remember being at my desk job and for weeks, I just felt so nauseous and overly tired. I was late for my period, but it never really registered to me something could be wrong besides just getting the flu — it was November, which is the peak of flu season.

The first person I told was my best friend, and she came with me to get three pregnancy tests at Target. The first one came negative, however, the second two came positive.

I truly believe this was when my anxiety disorder started because I haven't been the same ever since.

Growing up in a conservative, Catholic Italian household, teen pregnancy and especially abortion is 150% frowned upon. So when I went to Planned Parenthood and got the actual lab test done that came out positive, I was heartbroken.

I felt like I was stuck between two roads: Follow how I was raised and have the child, or terminate it and ultimately save myself AND the child from a hard future.

My boyfriend at the time and I were beyond not ready. That same week, I found out he had cheated on me with his ex and finances weren't looking so great, and I was starting to go through the hardest depression of my life. Because of our relationship, I had lost so many friends and family, that I was left to decide the fate of both myself and this fetus. I could barely take care of myself — I was drinking, overcoming drug addictions, slightly suicidal and living with a man who didn't love me.

As selfish as you may think this was, I terminated the fetus and had the abortion.

I knew that if I had the child, I would be continuing the cycle in which my family has created. My goal since I was young was to break the cycle and breakaway from the toxicity in how generations of children in my family were raised. If I had this child, I can assure you my life would be far from how it is now.

If I had carried to term, I would have had a six-year old, and God knows where I would've been.

Now, I am fulfilling my future by getting a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics, having several student leadership roles, and looking into law schools for the future.

Although it still haunts me, and the thought of having another abortion truly upsets me, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get asked constantly "Do you think it's just to kill a valuable future of a child?" and my response to that is this:

It's in the hands of the woman. She is giving away her valuable future to an unwanted pregnancy, which then resentment could cause horror to both the child and the woman.

As horrible as it was for me in my personal experience, I would not be where I am today: a strong woman, who had overcome addiction, her partying stage, and ultimately got her life in order. If I would have had the child, I can assure you that I would have followed the footsteps of my own childhood, and the child would not have had an easy life.

Because of this, I saved both my life and the child's life.

And if you don't agree or you dislike this decision, tough stuff because this is my body, my decision, my choice — no one else.

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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