Please, Stop Killing People

Please, Stop Killing People

In what world is a terrorist dictator accused of killing his own citizens going to care about us killing more of his citizens?
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On Saturday, April 7th, dozens of innocent Syrian civilians were killed in what appears to have been an attack by the Assad-led Syrian government on its own people with internationally illegal chemical weapons.

Decrying this heinous, reprehensible act of senseless violence and pointing to it as their impetus, the United States--joined in support this time by France and the UK--perpetrated its own reprehensible act of senseless violence, launching 118 or more missiles at the Syrian capital of Damascus late on the night of Friday, April 13th.

Though there is no official body count for this attack, a similar series of missile strikes by the US on a Syrian air base in April of last year resulted in the death of 15 total Syrians, including nine civilians. And this year the strikes were on Damascus, a heavily populated capital, rather than on a military base with small surrounding villages.

Many people have praised the president and, indeed, the country, for "sticking up to" Assad and the Syrian government's war crimes. But there is little to no reason to believe these strikes will do anything than stoke the flames of war and result in further unnecessary casualties of frightened men, women, and children that we can't even be bothered to help.

We conducted retaliatory strikes against Syria last year for a similar chemical attack on its people, and it still happened again. Dictator Assad does not care about the lives of the people he purports to govern; if he did, he wouldn't be using chemical weapons on them in the first place.

Meanwhile, he has been continually perpetrating other vicious attacks on his people up until this most recent attack, with little fanfare or attention from President Trump.

Meanwhile, in 2017, the United States killed as many as 6,000 civilians in the Middle East--not military personnel or terrorists; innocent men, women, and children--in missile strikes.

It is frankly inconceivable how someone can support these kinds of strikes on the basis of attempting to protect or save the Syrian people while simultaneously living in and supporting a nation who has, thus far this year, only taken in 11 (that's not a typo) refugees this year, despite overwhelming statistical evidence that refugees are not dangerous.

It is frankly inconceivable how a government pretends as though it lacks the resources and funds to fix the water pipes in Flint, MI or provide sufficient aid to Puerto Rico in the wake of a disastrous hurricane, while simultaneously spending well over $100 million in a single night just to send a "message" to a dictator.

War is senseless. Death is senseless. Allowing our own citizens to be literally poisoned by unsafe drinking water is senseless. Letting citizens in Puerto Rico remain homeless and without power is senseless. Refusing entry into our country people whose lives literally depend on it is senseless.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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That One Time I May Have Shot An Ex-Police Officer

Yeah, you heard me.

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In England, we don't really have guns, maybe hunting guns but I think it's pretty rare. Anyway, point is, barely any guns. I have never seen a gun, shot a gun, I don't even know anybody that owns a gun so as an exchange student in Oklahoma it's a novelty to visit a gun range.

I was pretty nervous about shooting but the instructor was super nice and told us how to hold the gun and load it before we went into the range. He also let us ask any questions we had about guns and explained the process of getting a gun in Oklahoma and he said he had visited Europe and was talking about England, and how he used to be a cop and opened his own gun shop. Basically a really really nice guy, which honestly makes harming him ten times worse.

We went into the range and we were shooting a 22 caliber and another guy at the range, I'm assuming a regular, asked if we wanted to fire his revolver so of course, we said yes.

This gun was definitely heavier and the trigger was super hard to pull but he kept his hand on the gun whilst I struggled with the trigger and then I fired it.

I heard a bang and I heard a yell.

I turned around and he was holding his thumb and there was blood dripping onto the floor. At this point, I thought I had shot him, so you can imagine the sheer level of panic that I was feeling.

The color drained from my face and I was frozen solid and all I could say was, "are you okay?" which was answered with a "Ma'am, put the gun down."

Basically, I'm freaking out and I look over at the lads for some form of reassurance, which was met with them looking equally as freaked out as me. So I asked,

"Do we need to call someone?"

"Yep. We are definitely gonna have to call someone"

So at this point, my nerves were shattered and I had no idea what was going on or what the procedure is for this sort of thing. I mean, the guy also took it like a champ and barely even winced and kept repeating "little lady, you're fine" – safe to say I did not feel fine nor did the situation, in my eyes, look at all fine.

Luckily the regulars knew what to do and took him to the ER so we were left in the store with another regular shooter.

Everyone else went back out to shoot but I didn't feel like assaulting/ shooting/ potentially murdering anyone else so I decided to sit this round out and talk to the woman that stayed with us and he called and said it wasn't me, something came off the bullet or gun and went into his hand- so no I didn't actually shoot him and he was going to be okay.

The point of this now very funny story is that whilst guns are cool they're also pretty dangerous.

I have no idea how someone can participate in these mass shootings because I didn't even shoot someone, only thought I did, and it was probably the most terrifying moment of my life.

So, if you are around guns, have fun, be safe and try not to send your instructor to the ER.

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