The Loss at Tree of Life Synagogue Needs To Be Final Straw

The Tragic Losses At The Tree Of Life Synagogue Is The Final Straw And We Need Change

We have to do better, because they deserve better.

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Unfortunately, the world we live in today is not always a happy place. It's not always safe, or kind. There is hate and there is violence. There are people who inflict evil and sadness in ways too difficult to imagine or fully wrap our heads around. For generations and throughout hundreds of years of history, there have been individuals who express hatred and deplorable behavior to display superiority. And the events of the past week have reshown us the evil we live amongst and the incomprehensible hatred that exists in the world.

To think that someone would walk into a synagogue, a place of worship, love, and kindness, and exhort such evil is something many of us simply cannot believe. And we shouldn't have to. We should not have to see that someone could express such hatred and disgust with a group of people because of their religion that they go into their place of worship with a gun and murder 11 people. This should not be the norm. Ever.

As a half Jewish-American, I have friends and family members who experienced prejudices because of their faith. They've felt like outcasts; like they had to hide their beliefs because they were Jewish and no one in their town had "met a Jew before." Even for me, I've had people make comments when they don't realize I'm Jewish mocking things or making a joke about those of the Jewish faith. We have become so accustomed to thinking our way is the superior one, or that a joke is OK when it is not sometimes. For a religious group that has experienced such violence, hatred, mass murder and loss of life, we cannot sit back and think what happened in Pennsylvania is acceptable and that nothing should be done about it.

Jewish people are some of the most hardworking and resilient people you will encounter. They know the importance of seizing the moment because most of us have someone in our heritage that was impacted by the Holocaust, whose entire lives or families were taken away from them, who were made to feel insignificant like they were of no value to this world. To think that some of those victims survived the atrocities of that came to America and were shot down in temple is deplorable.

It's hard to put into words how terrible this tragedy is. And what's worse is that our country has become numb. We have because accustomed to watching the news and seeing that breaking news banner run across the screen. From seeing the people crying over their loved ones to the local officials offering their thoughts and prayers. From seeing the candles and flowers left behind for the ones who have moved on to a better place. But at what point will we recognize that this should not be the norm? It cannot be the norm.

People should not have to live their lives in fear that when they leave their front door they or their loved ones may not come home. We shouldn't have to be scared to go to temple, or church, or the movie theater, or school, or a nightclub. We shouldn't have to feel like we are living in a war zone. We should be able to live our lives in peace. To enjoy each moment not because you're scared it will be your last, but because life is a beautiful thing that deserves to be enjoyed.

Hatred is real. Evil is real. There is so much bad in this world. But fighting for change, pushing for a better future, one with possibilities and kindness where we don't have live in fear - we can do that. Be kind to others. Promote positivity and love into the darkness in the world. Make a difference for those who can't anymore.

The 11 victims of the Tree of Life synagogue cannot be forgotten. We cannot let them or the thousands of others who have lost their lives to gun violence and hatred in this country die in vain. Their lives matter. Their memories matter. The futures that were ripped away from them matter.

We have to do better. They deserve better.

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Gun Enthusiasts From YouTube Are Considering Moving To PornHub

The newest platform for gun related videos
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YouTube's latest policy banning content that shows and teaches viewers how to modify and/or manufacture guns has sent disgruntled gun enthusiasts to upload their videos to PornHub.

YouTube's decision to ban this content was due in part to a video featured on YouTube Kids that was essentially a tutorial on how to build an air rifle. After receiving various complaints, the platform decided that such content was unsuitable for children.

Previously, YouTube had only banned videos that were related to the sale of guns and their various accessories.

While PornHub is a rather questionable choice, to say the least, it does coincide with YouTube's claim that gun-related videos are unsuitable for children.

While gun bloggers that had previously uploaded their content to YouTube claim that this new policy is a violation of their rights as U.S. citizens, they are still able to upload their videos PornHub and even Facebook.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Having Guns Around Doesn't Make Me Feel Safe

Officials want to have laws that put guns in every place that I am supposed to feel safe, and yet, in every place there is a gun, I feel scared.

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According to SB 7030 (which must be passed by the House to be written into law), Florida teachers will be able to carry firearms under the "Armed Guardians" program. Teachers must undergo a psychological evaluation and training program to be able to carry their gun and districts must approve the program to introduce the program to the teachers, staff, students, and parents.

SB 7030 was introduced after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February of last year and had a total of twenty-two to seventeen votes to pass to the House. It would offered in applicable school districts and teachers would volunteer to take part in the program (including evaluations and training).

Although there has been eight school shootings since January 1, 2019, and there were twenty-four school shootings in 2018 (328 mass shootings total - almost one every day of the year) and according to the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, there were 94 school shootings involving guns - which is an increase of 59% since 2006 and a record high since 1970.

Officials want to have laws that put guns in every place that I am supposed to feel safe, and yet, in every place, there is a gun, I feel scared.

Elementary school is when I started learning about Code Red drills. In fifth grade, I remember hearing the principal announce a code red, and every child in my class rushing to the back of the classroom, voices completely silent. Soon, every drill was standard - once a month: fire drill, code red, lock-downs - and you don't think much of the threats that are "supposedly" in place.

Sandy Hook is the first time that I felt threatened in a school. In 2012, I was in eighth grade, halfway through the year and getting ready to move into high school - it's scary enough to be a freshman, I didn't think that this was something I would have to be worried about.

Our classrooms had the news on immediately - and I remember not learning much in history that morning, because really, I was watching history happen, and I would remember it. I remember everyone being silent, as every hour more children were being put into the hospital - or worse, their faces were on the television because their lives were lost to a someone with a gun. I remember someone saying, "Our parents saw Columbine happen, and now we're watching Sandy Hook. Kids are going to have this in a history book."

Kids are going to have this in a history book.

I sat in a classroom and watched twenty-six partners, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, learn that their spouse, their six and seven-year-old children had died by a human being with a rifle.

In my freshman year of college, a concert in Las Vegas became the deadliest mass shootings in United States history.

In my freshman year of college, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, a high school three hours away from Orlando, became the place of one of the deadliest school shootings in United States history.

Seventeen students and faculty killed.

I have a younger brother. He's seventeen. He's going to be a senior in high school this year.

I don't understand how we are continuing to have this conversation.

I don't understand how after children are being murdered, there is no discussion on how to make gun control a priority.

I don't understand how the government can claim themselves to be "pro-life" when they aren't saving the lives that are going to be the future of this country that everyone believes to be so great.

I don't understand how abortions are becoming illegal faster than an assault rifle.

I am sick of this. I am sick of having to fight with adults about how a gun, how an automatic weapon that can kill dozens of innocent children and adults in minutes is not banned.

I don't feel safe. I don't feel secure.

I don't feel like my professor is going to be able to kill an armed shooter in a nanosecond when they start shooting in a classroom.

I don't feel like one training is going to be enough.

I don't feel like psychological testing is enough.

I. Don't. Feel. Safe.

I don't care about how much you need a gun. I don't care how you think that the Constitution is right.

THE CONSTITUTION WAS WRITTEN BY MEN THAT HAD TO RELOAD THEIR GUNS WITH EVERY BULLET. THEY DIDN'T HAVE BUMP-STOCKS THAT ALLOW A SEMI-AUTOMATIC TO BECOME AN AUTOMATIC AND MURDER FIFTY-EIGHT PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE OF A CONCERT.

I, literally, don't care.

I refuse to be in a classroom where there are guns. I refuse to be in a place where any individual can carry a gun, with the possibility that there was no psychological testing and safety training. I refuse to be in a society where mass shootings have become so normal, that we are almost immune to seeing that there was an act of gun violence anywhere.

Only mass shootings in schools, religious sanctuaries, and public places are publicly announced, too.

Our society's media sources don't discuss how many suicides are completed by guns. Outlets don't discuss how easy it is for someone that is mentally unstable to access and buy firearms.

Once a mass shooting occurs, everyone wants to blame the mental illness and create such a stigma around mental health that you can't even mark down that you have a mental illness without "warning" employers of possible instability.

STOP USING MENTAL ILLNESS AS AN EXCUSE FOR SICK AND TWISTED INDIVIDUALS TO USE WEAPONS AND KILL PEOPLE.

NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS.

I don't care what you think the Second Amendment is trying to say.

It's outdated. It's an excuse to continue using weapons that are created for mass destruction and shouldn't be in an environment that is meant to be a safe space.

We can agree. We can disagree. However, I think that everyone should come to a common ground in believing that there is something wrong with the system. How is there ever an opportunity for someone to use a semi-automatic rifle? How is there ever use for a rifle that can kill dozens of individuals - children - at a time?

Don't have an answer?

Good. It's because there isn't one.

Our government uses the Constitution as an excuse to have ugly behavior. Our government claims to be "pro-life" but won't take away the thing that kills thousands of people every year. Our government claims to have the interest of the people but takes no precaution to listen to what the people want.

I'm scared of guns. I'm scared of people who have guns. I don't feel safe where there are guns around.

Guns don't and won't ever make me feel safe.

One could hope that someone is finally going to realize that.

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