There Is No Political Separation In Our Goal To Stop School Shootings

There Is No Political Separation In Our Goal To Stop School Shootings

Our schools should not feel unsafe.
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I think we can all say, we have heard of a school shooting happening in the past year. If not one, several. In the U.S. alone, there have been 13 school shootings, only in 2018. This is the highest number at this point during any year since 1999. Still, school shootings remain rare, and only a tiny percentage of the tens of millions of students in America ever experience them.

Even still, the Washington Post indicates that no less than 210,000 students have experienced gun violence within their schools since the Columbine High massacre of 1999.

Since then, the post has seen that at least 131 children, educators, and other people have been killed in these assaults and another 273 have been injured.

These numbers portray the number of children and adults who will always be traumatized by experiencing a life-threatening event, scared of waking up and going to the place where one should feel the safest.

We cannot allow more children to lose their lives from being shot at school. We cannot allow more teachers to have to make the decision of jumping in front of a rifle to save the lives of these children. We cannot allow one more family member to hear the words that their child has been killed.

Our schools should not feel unsafe.

School safety is not a political issue. There cannot be two sides and millions of biases to doing everything in our power to ensure the lives and futures of children who are at risk of dying when they should be learning, playing, and developing. We should not have to live in fear.

I don't know what the solution is, or if there is one to ending these occurrences.

I believe that through education, safety procedures, and other in-school adjustments, there is a chance of reducing these horrifying numbers. In order to do this, we must put aside the political debates about ideal solutions and be reminded of the reality in front of us.

There is no separation or political parities in our goal to do everything in our power to keep children safe within their schools.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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What I Learned From Andrew Yang's Rally

My experience at my first presidential rally, and what I learned from Andrew Yang.

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While each and every election is important, this upcoming presidential is incredibly important to me and my peers. It is Generation Z's first time voting. As a recently turned 19-year-old attending one of the most politically active schools, being informed about current issues is simply a must. Although I am continuously working to catch up to my peers, attending Andrew Yang's rally enlightened me on many issues that had not previously come to mind.

I would like to share that I am no way endorsing Andrew Yang, and this article has nothing to do with my political views. The following is about what I feel I need to make an informed decision when America is deciding who deserves to be our next president.

To begin with a little backstory, I learned about Yang recently. While hearing about him from someone very close to me, I was encouraged to attend his rally. I did minimal research on the candidate, as a currently unknown candidate does not hold priority over finals. We arrived incredibly early to the rally and got to stand on stage right near the candidate. It was enthralling until the candidate began his speech.

As it was my first-ever rally, the first thing I noticed was the energy of his campaign manager. Carly, who could not have been much older than me, handled the entire event with "organized spunk." She was gracious while transcending this incredible energy before Yang took the stage. To see someone who was so close to my age possess that amount of energy for a virtually unknown candidate was inspiring.

Going back to the main event, Yang's speech was not too enticing for me. As not being a politician, one could easily tell that this is new for him. His platform focuses on the numbers, and they had rally signs saying "math." At first, I thought this was an abbreviation, figuring I was behind on his slogans. Turns out, it was not an abbreviation. His signs were really just saying "math," as his campaign largely focuses on the numbers. As one of many who attempts to avoid math at all costs, I was not enticed

This is not to say I disagreed with his talking points. In fact, I agreed with most of his proposed policies. Again, this is not an endorsement for Andrew Yang, but an encouragement to check out every candidate from both sides. Regardless of his success in the race, Yang has addressed a serious issue that has not been brought up by the current administration, the media, or any other candidate so far. I would encourage everyone to take a look at his platform, regardless of affiliation.

Being at George Washington University, it is quite easy to get sucked into other people's views. While having such a politically active campus is amazing, sometimes my views can easily become blurred with GW's. Although it was too early in the race for me to fully support a candidate, I highly recommend taking a look at Yang's platform, as he brought up issues that I would not have previously considered when submitting my ballot for the first time.

I do not know if I will be attending any more rallies, but I do know that I will be doing extensive research for every single candidate so that I can make an incredibly informed, confident decision when it is time to go to the polls.

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