I Walked Out For a Different Reason You Probably Wouldn't Expect

I Walked Out For a Different Reason You Probably Wouldn't Expect

I want a movement that genuinely and strategically wants to solve the problem at hand.
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In the past couple of weeks, I have tried to compose my thoughts before writing or even publishing an article about the events in Parkland, gun control, and mass shootings. I did this in order to truly understand the debate that has shaken our government the past month to its core, and demands for reform. I took my time to listen to the arguments from both sides, and from then, I would construct my thoughts and opinions.

Last week, as the Parkland teenagers encouraged the nation-wide "School Walk Out" I sat in my seat during my 10 AM class, wondering if I should partake. For my university specifically, the Walk Out was barely spoken about, so most students either were not aware it was even occurring or they had no idea what it was. After my professor highly encouraged anyone who was thinking of going to feel free to attend, I decided to walk out of my class twenty minutes early, curious and anxious.

I was totally unaware of what I was walking into. On my way to the middle of campus, where my fellow students who also walked out would convene, I began to think about why I was "walking out". First, I was not guilty of missing the last couple minutes of my other class, because when you are a college student, the world is your classroom. As a student of a school that is rarely to never politically active, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn and observe others taking part in political activism, something I have rarely seen in my entire life. But more importantly, I thought about the victims of Parkland, Florida. I thought about their friends, their families, and their school that will never be the same ever again.

I walked out in their honor. I walked for the futures that they could no longer have, finishing the rest of high school and beginning universities, maybe even my own. I walked out with all my thoughts and prayers, what everyone else would criticize as insignificant, on my shoulders. Because with every step, I could not help but pray that these victims are in a better place.

As I arrived at the middle of campus, I was surrounded by signs that read: "Never Again" or "Are We Next?" I felt my stomach turn as I began to realize the other's reasons for walking out of class. Throughout the course of the couple minutes I observed, I heard multiple speakers mention their opinions about gun laws and restrictions in order to protect our schools. Despite the artistically beautiful poems, speeches, and other heartfelt messages, I failed to recognize their objective of the Walk Out.

I wondered if this was all just another public outlet that was acceptable for people to ridicule politicians and other Americans who disagreed with them politically? And if so, this was a movement that I did not wish to be a part of. And that is not because I disagree with their message, which is to assure that Parkland is the last mass shooting within a school, because any person, regardless of political background, agrees with that statement. I disagree with the notion of disregarding people who do not agree with you simply because of their political opinions.

I want a movement that is willing to listen to opinions from both sides, that is willing to ask questions, challenge others, and offer bipartisan change to ensure safety for all Americans. I want a government that calls in gun experts to clarify the capabilities of certain gun models before creating laws. Because mistakes without proof and evidence will only cause more problems and loopholes for the future, and that can possibly allow another atrocity to happen. And as I previously mentioned that, no one wants that. I want a movement that genuinely and strategically wants to solve the problem at hand.

Until then, this will only continue to be a screaming match between both sides, and nothing will ever contribute to the most effective change that both sides want to accomplish.


Cover Image Credit: Juliana Cosenza

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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The Critics Of Mac Miller's Relationship With Ariana Have It All Wrong

She isn't responsible for his death. You can't love away addiction.

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Ariana Grande and Mac Miller had a long and loving relationship of two years, but their breakup is not what's responsible for his death.

His Illness is what lead him to his, what some may say, tragic death.

Miller isn't the first celebrity to die of an overdose there was Kurt Cobain and even Michael Jackson. What happened to these icons of music, wasn't because they were lonely or they didn't have anyone. What happened to every single one of drug overdoses gone wrong was a result of the mental illness of addiction taking over their life. Placing any sort of blame on someone close to the ones who've passed isn't only morally wrong but its detrimental to their healing process.

The first thing I noticed is that as soon as something happened to Mac Miller everyone was insanely quick to hop in Ariana's mentions and DMs. Why is the first response to a celebrities death to blame their ex and/or current girlfriend for an immense tragedy?

Well, this viewpoint is not new to women, women are supposed to take care of their significant other and that's the societal expectation. For one, it never was Ariana's job to assist Mac Miller into sobriety. She is not his psychiatrist nor is she his Addiction Anonymous sponsor. She did not "Leave him at his lowest" as some phrased it.

She left a relationship that she explicitly said was toxic and unhealthy for the both of them. Was he probably well into his addictive habits? Probably.

But she has every right to leave a partner whenever she doesn't feel the happy and healthy love necessary for a successful relationship. This type of narrative is what convinces other women that they should stay in relationships to try to "save" their partner in hopes that their love will solve their deeprooted problems, that are their mental illness: addiction. This is very dangerous and can lead women into abusive and toxic relationships that can damage their own mental health.

To add to that, before Mac Miller's death he had a radio interview about Ariana Grande's engagement. In the interview with Apple Music, he was very positive and happy for her.

Miller says "We worked through good times, bad times, stress, and everything else and then it came to an end and we moved on". In that statement he sounded calm and collected, and unphased by her moving on with her life.

Confirming all of the positive energy from Mac Miller to Ariana, he takes it even further in the interview to say he's happy for her.

Miller says "It's all positive energy. I'm happy for her in moving forward with her life"

On another note, we're doing Mac Miller a HUGE injustice by degrading his illness to be the fault of only love and relationships. Mental Illness doesn't go away when you're in love. When you're in love you just have another person to try their hardest to support you.

Even in the best situation, no one can cure an addiction that ran as deep as Mac Miller's, no one could've fixed that unless you were a licensed psychiatrist and even then it's hard to cure. We as a society refuse to acknowledge that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated as such. Sure, no one forced Mac to go on several drug and alcohol-related benders. Even so, he did not control how much his body was craving these drugs and the way the toxins took over his body and life.

Here's an example to help you understand why he couldn't "just quit" doing drugs of any sort.

Say you're on birth control to manage your periods (a drug) and you've been taking it consistently for five years. Now if someone just says "I'm sorry, these pills are harming your body, you can't take them anymore" and flushes them down the toilet, what happens? Your period will not be managed anymore and it may even cause side effects depending on the drug. In a similar way, if Mac quit cold turkey, there would not only be massive withdrawal symptoms but it would also throw his body out of wack because his body had adjusted to ingesting those toxins for so long, even though they were still harming him.

Addiction can stem back to many psychological disorders, none of which could ever have the simple solution of just having a significant other.

It might make them happy, but it won't solve the psychological issue or the mental illness so to speak. In order to fix a problem like this, he would have to have been very dedicated to becoming healthier and seeking help with his mental illness. It's common for most people not to seek help or feel dedicated to this sort of thing because it has a stigma of not actually being an illness and assumes the issue lies in the hands of the user's decision to start.

So, stop talking about his relationship with Ariana Grande and how she could've prevented it. Stop blaming his death on others or him.

Do, check on your friends and encourage the ones suffering to get the type of help they need.

Most of all, blast his music in your car or at your frat party (you're probably going to one anyway). That's how a legacy lives on in every one of his fans, so make him proud.


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