Dear NRA, Your Weapons Aren't Worth The Innocent Lives They Take, So Stay In Your Lane

Dear NRA, Your Weapons Aren't Worth The Innocent Lives They Take, So Stay In Your Lane

Gun violence IS a doctor's lane, not yours.

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This past November, Twitter exploded with a new hashtag, #ThisIsOurLane, to act against gun violence. The movement occurred shortly after the NRA retweeted a paper from the American College of Physicians by the Annals of Internal Medicine. The piece was titled "Reducing Firearm Injuries and Deaths in the United States" and it suggested a push to stop gun violence by speaking out to support "appropriate regulation of the purchase of legal firearms."

On Nov. 2, the NRA put out an editorial dismissing the piece, saying it was just "every anti-gunner's wish list." Then, they retweeted the ACP paper on their Twitter account.

Not only did the NRA retweet this ACP paper, but they also made a comment saying that "someone should tell self-important antigun doctors to stay in their lane. Half of the article in Annals of Internal Medicine are pushing for gun control. Most upsetting, however, the medical community seems to have consulted NO ONE but themselves." It goes without saying that this genuinely upset everyone in the medical field.

For starters, that tweet was made only a few hours before the shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks by 28-year-old Ian David Long, who was a former Marine.

It was then that doctors came together and started their movement. Each doctor, surgeon, resident, etc, came out and shared gruesome photos and stories on their Twitters with the hashtag "This Is Our Lane." All seemed to agree on one thing, the NRA created their lane, and it is not even a lane anymore, but a highway.

This epidemic led to many controversial debates on whether to keep guns or ban them altogether. Some doctors forwardly stated that guns and gun violence were a major issue and we needed to get rid of it completely. One doctor stated that they don't want to "[take] your guns - we just don't want to be shot." Her comment alone reached thousands, but it also angered many people. Twitter users went as far as to use the excuses "people kill people" and "people are the problem."

If people are the problem, then why do you want to give the problem guns? Does that not sound alarming to anyone?

Some Twitter users who followed the movement closely joined the argument with statistics to fight against the NRA. They mentioned how in 311 days into the year, there had already been 307 shootings. Others talked about the fact that firearms are the second leading death amongst teens and young adults, following shortly behind motor vehicle accidents. Then, a few people used food to reason against the NRA. One person tweeted out that the E. coli ridden lettuce that had killed four people was removed from shelves immediately, yet guns have been involved in over 300 mass shootings and are still available at Walmart.

The stories and photos shared with this hashtag were disturbing and quite heartbreaking. Most showed pictures of bloody floors and scrubs, while some chose to show the plethora of equipment used to try to treat patients that didn't survive. There were many tweets about the encounters that the doctors were faced with as well. One truly upsetting story consisted of a man who shot his pregnant girlfriend during a fight. The only reason she survived was because her unborn baby had stopped the bullet. Needless to say, the baby did not make it. Another story told of a young man shot in the chest and in his last breaths, grabbed one doctor and whispered, "please don't let me die."

To the NRA: you are right. It isn't a doctor's "lane" to advocate against guns and gun violence. It is their Highway. It is their job. It is their life. Shame on you for not realizing that your "rights" are costing hundreds of lives. No weapon is worth the amount of pain that a family goes through when they are told that their child, parent, sibling, friend, or lover has died. No weapon is worth the cost of a proper funeral. Your weapons are not worth this. Stay out of our lane, NRA.

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An Open Letter To Democrats From A Millennial Republican

Why being a Republican doesn't mean I'm inhuman.
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Dear Democrats,

I have a few things to say to you — all of you.

You probably don't know me. But you think you do. Because I am a Republican.

Gasp. Shock. Horror. The usual. I know it all. I hear it every time I come out of the conservative closet here at my liberal arts university.

SEE ALSO: What I Mean When I Say I'm A Young Republican

“You're a Republican?" people ask, saying the word in the same tone that Draco Malfoy says “Mudblood."

I know that not all Democrats feel about Republicans this way. Honestly, I can't even say for certain that most of them do. But in my experience, saying you're a Republican on a liberal college campus has the same effect as telling someone you're a child molester.

You see, in this day and age, with leaders of the Republican Party standing up and spouting unfortunately ridiculous phrases like “build a wall," and standing next to Kim Davis in Kentucky after her release, we Republicans are given an extreme stereotype. If you're a Republican, you're a bigot. You don't believe in marriage equality. You don't believe in racial equality. You don't believe in a woman's right to choose. You're extremely religious and want to impose it on everyone else.

Unfortunately, stereotypes are rooted in truth. There are some people out there who really do think these things and feel this way. And it makes me mad. The far right is so far right that they make the rest of us look bad. They make sure we aren't heard. Plenty of us are fed up with their theatrics and extremism.

For those of us brave enough to wear the title “Republican" in this day and age, as millennials, it's different. Many of us don't agree with these brash ideas. I'd even go as far as to say that most of us don't feel this way.

For me personally, being a Republican doesn't even mean that I automatically vote red.

When people ask me to describe my political views, I usually put it pretty simply. “Conservative, but with liberal social views."

“Oh," they say, “so you're a libertarian."

“Sure," I say. But that's the thing. I'm not really a libertarian.

Here's what I believe:

I believe in marriage equality. I believe in feminism. I believe in racial equality. I don't want to defund Planned Parenthood. I believe in birth control. I believe in a woman's right to choose. I believe in welfare. I believe more funds should be allocated to the public school system.

Then what's the problem? Obviously, I'm a Democrat then, right?

Wrong. Because I have other beliefs too.

Yes, I believe in the right to choose — but I'd always hope that unless a pregnancy would result in the bodily harm of the woman, that she would choose life. I believe in welfare, but I also believe that our current system is broken — there are people who don't need it receiving it, and others who need it that cannot access it.

I believe in capitalism. I believe in the right to keep and bear arms, because I believe we have a people crisis on our hands, not a gun crisis. Contrary to popular opinion, I do believe in science. I don't believe in charter schools. I believe in privatizing as many things as possible. I don't believe in Obamacare.

Obviously, there are other topics on the table. But, generally speaking, these are the types of things we millennial Republicans get flack for. And while it is OK to disagree on political beliefs, and even healthy, it is NOT OK to make snap judgments about me as a person. Identifying as a Republican does not mean I am the same as Donald Trump.

Just because I am a Republican, does not mean you know everything about me. That does not give you the right to make assumptions about who I am as a person. It is not OK for you to group me with my stereotype or condemn me for what I feel and believe. And for a party that prides itself on being so open-minded, it shocks me that many of you would be so judgmental.

So I ask you to please, please, please reexamine how you view Republicans. Chances are, you're missing some extremely important details. If you only hang out with people who belong to your own party, chances are you're missing out on great people. Because, despite what everyone believes, we are not our stereotype.

Sincerely,

A millennial Republican

Cover Image Credit: NEWSWORK.ORG

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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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