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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I'm An Education Major Because I Know Firsthand That Teachers Can Make All The Difference In The World

"You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that."

cpabel
cpabel
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This is my third semester student teaching in an elementary school classroom.

It has been an absolute honor and joy to work with elementary age students. They are so full of excitement, energy, curiosity, and ambition. It's such a breath of fresh air to be around these children and help them learn, grow, and develop into who they will eventually become one day. Going into this experience, I knew that I was going to be making a difference.... but I didn't know how much of an impact I would make on some of my students.

Growing up, I was very fortunate, loved, and cared for. I never had to wonder where my next meal was coming from or when I would see my parents again.

Unfortunately, this is not the reality that a lot of my students live in. They live in my nightmare.

There have been several times that I have arrived to my school to see a child crying, absent from school, or secluding themselves. My first semester student teaching, I didn't think much of this. It's not abnormal for children to cry over spilled milk or to seclude themselves from their friends because they've had a fight.

These inferences were far from the truth. These children are living a life that I could not even begin to understand.

At the beginning of this semester, I had a student say to me: "You're my teacher, but I need you to be so much more than that." When this student said this to me, I said yes of course and that I'll do everything to help her. Little did I know, there was so much I didn't understand in that one sentence. After a few weeks, I learned that this little girl was being raised by her elderly grandmother because her father had committed suicide and her mother was so high on drugs that she couldn't even take care of herself and was in and out of jail.

Wow. No child deserves to start their life off this way or live this way. What can I do? How can I help? How can I make a difference?

Being a teacher is so much more than just teaching students how to add/subtract, read, or complete a science project. You're teaching children to someday become young, knowledgable, and responsible adults. But how can we do this if they don't even have responsible adult figures in their life at home? It's so important to be more than just this child's teacher. If you gain their respect and trust, you can make all the difference in their life.

This student and I had created a bond. For some reason unknown to me, she gravitated towards me as soon as I stepped in the classroom. The first few weeks we made small talk, but in recent weeks, she has told me that she feels alone. She feels unloved. She feels responsible for her dad's death and her mom's pain.

Talk about having your heart ripped out of your chest.

I hid my tears. I didn't dare cry in front of her. I stayed strong. I want to be a rock in her life. I want to remain stable and help her through her pain. I want to make school an enjoyable and safe environment for her. I want to see her succeed. I want to see her make meaningful and great friends. I want to see her blossom and overcome the struggles that she has endured in her short ten years of life. Being a teacher is such a wonderful experience, but it definitely is trying and hard. When you see a child, treat them like the beautiful souls that they are. You may not have a single clue in this world what they're going through at home.

They may be stronger and more mature than you are as an adult. Be kind. Love one another. Make a difference.


cpabel
cpabel

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.

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The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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