Why Privilege Is Real

Why Privilege Is Real

The privilege that allows terrorists to take innocent lives and get away with it.

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Sandy Hook. Stoneman Douglas. Pulse Nightclub. All of these places are where people lost their lives to a shooter whose privilege allowed them to create a dangerous situation.

There is an ongoing debate about whether or not privilege exists and how it can be used to do harm instead of good. This privilege exists and it allows criminals to get away with committing crimes and paying the minimum price.

We pretend that there isn't a difference between how we treat one person versus another but the truth is we do treat people differently depending on how they represent themselves and what our personal values are. If someone identifies as a white nationalist they will almost certainly be white and hold prejudice against those that they perceive as inferior to them.

Your personal values determine how you treat others and if you are privileged you can afford to express your values more than others.

We live in a world where because a person is white, we can't call them a terrorist but if they wear a headdress and the color of their skin is brown we automatically assume that they pose a danger to a large group of people. The definition of a terrorist is a person that uses unlawful violence against innocents, especially in the pursuit of political aims. These shooters all had an ultimate goal and used people that did not deserve to die to further their agenda.

One would assume that because a person took a life unlawfully that they would be punished to the fullest extent of the law and treated like a criminal in the eyes of the public. This did not always happen. The media brings up the criminals past with mental illness or states that they had no friends and that's why they took innocent lives. Their privilege allows them the right to be framed as anything but a common criminal.

Privilege exists and it allows people that should be seen as monsters to be framed in a way that says it wasn't their fault. If you have privilege you need to begin to use it for good instead of allowing people to use it for their own personal gain. Do not stand by and allow others to be treated differently because they are not as privileged as you.

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10 Deadliest School Shootings in U.S. History

These are ten of the most savage attacks on American innocence.
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School shootings in America trace back as early as the Settlers and Indians .

Over the years, attacks on schools have gotten progressively more brutal, senseless and deadly. Motives behind such occurrences are often blamed on social cliques and bullying or the perpetrators often suffer from mental illnesses or addiction.

Here are the 10 deadliest school shootings in American history:

10. West Nickel Mines Shooting

On October 2, 2006, milk-tank truck driver Charles Carl Roberts opened fire on a small Amish schoolhouse in Bart Township, Pennsylvania. Prior to going to the school, Roberts left a suicide note at home for his wife and children.

Roberts entered the one-room schoolhouse and ordered all the boys to leave, as well as one pregnant woman and three parents with infants. He ordered the remaining ten girls against the wall and held them hostage.

Sisters Mariah and Barbara Fisher, ages 13 and 11, courageously asked to be shot first in exchange for the lives of the other young girls; some were as young as six years old. Roberts killed Mariah and wounded Barbara. In addition, he shot eight out of the 10 girls, killing five of them.

9. Oikos University Shooting

43-year-old One L. Goh committed Oakland, California's deadliest mass killing on April 2, 2012, at the Korean Christian college Oikos University. Witnesses testify Goh stood up in his nursing class and ordered everyone against the wall at gun point.

One student recalls him yelling, "Get in line..I'm going to kill you all!" before firing. He killed seven people and wounded three others.

8. California State Fullerton Massacre

Custodian Edward Charles Allaway was reported as going "postal" on July 12, 1976 at California State University in Fullerton, California. The 37-year-old employee of the institute had a history of violence and mental illness, and was later diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

He was found insane by the judge of his trial for the murders. He called the police after killing seven people and wounding two others, and turned himself in. His motives behind the mass murder included him believing the university library was screening pornographic movies his wife was forced to appear in.

He is currently receiving medical treatment for his condition at the Patton State Hospital.

7. Red Lake Shootings

The Red Lake Indian Reservation in Red Lake, Minnesota will never quite be the same after events which occurred at the senior high school on March 21, 2005.

16-year-old Jeffrey Weise killed his grandfather (a tribal police officer) and his girlfriend. He then robbed his grandfather of police weapons and bullet proof vest, before ultimately driving to Red Lake Senior High School where he killed seven people and wounded five others.

Weise took a total of 10 lives that day, including himself. He committed suicide in a classroom after exchanging fire with police.

Witnesses reported Weise smiled while shooting his victims and questioned multiple students about their faith before firing.

6. Umpqua Community College Shooting

On October 1, 2015, 26-year-old Christopher Harper-Mercer committed the deadliest mass shooting in Oregon history. He killed nine people and injured seven others at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon.

He spared one person in the classroom he opened fire in, only to deliver a message to the police for him. Mercer was described as "hate filled" by those who knew him. In addition, he identified himself as a White Supremacist, anti religious and suffered from long term mental health issues.

Some theories behind the mass shooting were Mercer falling below a C average, putting him at risk for suspension, as well as him not being able to pay the tuition bill due.

He ultimately committed suicide after the attack.

5. Enoch Brown School Massacre

The Enoch Brown School Massacre is one of the first documented school shootings in U.S. history. On July 26, 1794, four Lenape Indians entered a Settler's schoolhouse in Delaware where they massacred school master Enoch Brown and nine children; they were shot and scalped.

Two children survived the attack and four others were kidnapped and taken as prisoners. This event is considered one of the most notorious incidents of the Pontiac War.

4. Columbine High School Massacre

High school seniors Eric Harris, 18, and Dylan Klebold, 17, may have not committed the deadliest school shooting in the U.S., but their killing spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado is considered one of the most infamous attacks in history.

It sparked numerous debates, including gun control, anti-depressant drugs and the influence social cliques, violent video games and bullying have on the mental health of high school students.

Harris and Klebold spent countless hours preparing for the events on April 20, 1999, which were documented in their "Basement Tapes." The tapes contained footage of the two boys having target practice with illegally obtained firearms, as well as a suicide message and apology to their parents.

Their ultimate goal was to be responsible for more victims than the Oklahoma City bombing, an event the boys idolized. The morning of the shootings, Harris and Klebold encountered one of their few friends Brooks Brown in the school parking lot.

Brown was one of the few students the shooters considered a friend; they told him to leave campus immediately because "something bad was about to happen."

Reports claim the boys targeted jocks, taunted people for their belief in Christianity and made jokes with each other while they killed their peers. Harris and Klebold took the lives of 13 people and injured 24.

They committed suicide in the library together.

3. UT Tower Shooting

On August 1, 1966, former Marine sharp-shooter Charles Whitman unleashed havoc on the campus of University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

Whitman positioned himself on the observation deck at the very top of the U.T. Tower; it was the perfect place for a sniper to have his pick of targets, considering you could see the entire campus from his vantage point.

He killed 14 people and wounded 31 others. Prior to his attack on campus, Whitman killed his wife and mother.

Post autopsy, it was theorized that Whitman's behavior might have been caused by a tumor found in his brain. Doctors and psychologists attribute the tumor to his impulsive, irrational behavior and his lack of a conscience.

This theory was supported by records of Whitman seeking professional help prior to the shooting for "overwhelming, violent impulses" he felt he couldn't control.

2. Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting

20-year-old Adam Peter Lanza is responsible for arguably the most senseless and brutal attack on a school in U.S. history.

On December 14, 2012 Lanza shook the town of Newtown, Connecticut when he attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza killed his mother, before entering the school where he killed 26 people and inured two others; the majority of his victims were children aging from five to 10 years old.

He committed suicide upon completion of the attack. This shooting in particular confused both the media and authorities, because Lanza never offered a motive or reasoning behind the murder of his mother nor the horrendous mass slaying of innocent children.

1. Virginia Tech Massacre


Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia came under attack on April 16, 2007. Senior student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people and injured 17 more in two attacks – one in a co-ed dormitory, the other in the Engineering, Science and Mechanics building.

He is noted as committing the deadliest attack on a school in U.S. history.

Cho was previously diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder; among the tapes he personally mailed to NBC news, Cho expressed his hatred for the wealthy, compared himself to Jesus Christ and explained that he was forced to commit the mass shooting due to voices in his head.

Virginia Tech has held the number one spot as deadliest school shooting for five years.

Holocaust survivor Liviu Librescu was a professor in the Engineering, Science and Mechanics department at the school, who was famously remembered for using his body as a barricade against the door during the attack; Librescu was killed during the attack but managed to hold the door closed long enough for all of his students to escape out the window.

Cho ultimately committed suicide following the shooting.

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There Is A Huge Problem With The Gun Debate In America

Problems with America's approach to guns that only perpetuate gun violence.

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deanbl
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It's no secret that the United States has had a unique and extremely volatile history with guns in this country. In light of the several mass shootings that have occurred in the past few years and the growing fervor for changes to gun legislation, this country has reached a very climactic point in this debate. For as long and as intense this conversation is, both sides seem to be misguided by myths, misconceptions, and misunderstanding that only add fuel to the fire. If there is any future where we can come to a fair consensus on how to resolve gun violence in America, both sides need to realize the problems that ultimately prolong gun violence in America.

Mass shootings are a big problem, but not the main problem.

Although this rash of mass shootings that has infected the U.S. is horrific and needs addressing, it needs to be clear that these are certainly not the only incidents of gun violence. The sad truth is that out of all the people who die from gun-related incidents in this country, a small percentage of those deaths come mass shootings. A larger percentage of these deaths are victims of gang/drug violence, smaller violent crimes, and even suicide. These incidents happen on a daily basis in this country, but do not get the attention that they deserve.

Right now there is a multitude of structural and societal problems that facilitate violent crimes and gang violence in urban areas. If we as a people truly want to curtail the proliferation of gun violence, we need to pay special attention to the circumstances that create the bulk of gun violence victims.

Not enough clarification on what kind of guns to restrict.

For people on the left who advocate for more, stricter gun laws, there is a slight consensus that a particular type of guns should be banned; This type of guns have been coined "assault weapons." When people turn on the news and see the aftermath of another mass shooting, the conversation always turns to restricting or even banning these "assault weapons," but that again shifts the focus away from the bulk of the issue. Although these shootings are committed with semi-automatic rifles, since a big portion of gun-related homicides are a result of individual violent crimes, then these acts are committed by smaller firearms.

Because news networks focus heavily on these semi-automatic weapons that are involved in a small portion of gun violence in America, we lack knowledge about the weapons involved in these incidents that result in more deaths. This then creates confusion and disagreement among the people and leads to ineffective legislation that merely sticks a band-aid on the bigger problem.

Gun culture in America is vastly different from other countries.

It seems that whenever possible solutions and legislation are brought up to the national stage, one of the other main talking points are gun buybacks. A gun buyback is when the government buys your guns from you as a while of voluntarily removing guns from the public. When people discuss the effectiveness of this plan, they usually cite Australia as a prime example. When Australia had the Port Arthur massacre back in 1996, gun buyback programs did prove very successful in the country.

However, the assumption that this same program could work with the same success here in the U.S. is simply naive. This way of approaching the situation has one key mistake, and that is assuming that the gun culture in America is the exact same as the gun culture in Australia. When examining the demographics of the country, Australians were never really the gun-owning type of people, which made it easier for the government to convince the people to give their guns. But the culture and history around guns in America is so deep and intense, that convincing a huge chunk of the population to participate in these gun buyback programs would be nearly impossible.

Unfortunately for all of us, we live in a pretty scary world, but we all have the power to make it a better place. However, the first step in doing so is by simply knowing exactly what you're fighting for and what you're fighting against.

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