As the World Mourns for Manchester, Here's How You Can Help

As the World Mourns for Manchester, Here's How You Can Help

This is the worst terror attack in the United Kingdom since the 2005 London Bombings.
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Late Monday evening, tragedy and terror strike thousands of concert attendees after an explosion occurs at the Manchester Arena. Chaos erupted around 10:30 Monday evening after the conclusion of an Ariana Grande performance. Witnesses describe hearing a loud bang while the audience was beginning to leave the arena, followed by panicked screaming and running. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack taking the lives of 22 victims and injuring at least 59 others; many of which include children and young adults. Manchester police have identified 22-year-old Salman Abedi as the suspected bomber and believe that he acted alone. This is the worst terror attack in the United Kingdom since the 2005 London Bombings.

Shock and devastation filled the world following the news of this attack. UK Prime Minister Theresa May stated in a televised conference "This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice- deliberately targeting innocent, defenseless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives." Queen Elizabeth II issued a press release expressing her deepest sympathy for those affected and describes the attack as an "act of barbarity." Ariana Grande, who was the performer of Monday night's attack wrote a simple but heartbreaking tweet amid the chaos following her show.

Social media has already played a huge role in helping those who have been affected at the Manchester Arena Monday evening. The hashtag #RoomForManchester went viral following the attack as hotels and Manchester residents opened their doors and allowed frightened children and teens stay in their homes while they attempt to contact and reunite with their loved ones. Taxi services also gave away free rides to escort people out of the crime scene. The Manchester United soccer club has allowed victims and emergency services to stay and operate in their arena while parents attempt to locate their children and paramedics transport the wounded. Local tattoo parlors in have also announced that they will be tattooing Manchester Bees and donating the money to the victims and families affected by the disaster.

But there are ways we can help here in the United States. And here's how:

First, use the hashtag #MissingInManchester to help residents locate their loved ones.

Second, donate money to the Manchester Evening New Crowdfunding to help the victims and their families.

Lastly, you can sign the Manchester City Council's Book of Condolences.

Our thoughts and love are with the victims of the Manchester Arena Attack and their families.

Cover Image Credit: Echo Liverpool

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It's Time To Take Action

I am fed up with all the violence in this great country. All this talk and yet no reform. One shooting is one too many, so let's do what we Americans do best and defend ourselves and our fellow Americans.
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It's time to start talking about gun violence and gun control reform. NRA don't jump down my throat, I am not saying diminish all guns or impede on Americans' Second Amendment Right. I am saying there needs to be a better interpretation of our Founders' meaning of, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." In their time, "Arms" were muskets. Today, "Arms" stretches across a multitude of weapons, including automatics.

This is not just a mental health issue or just a gun control issue, but a combination of the two.

The Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment in the Constitution to allow Americans to protect themselves against, at the time, Britain's standing armies. Today, America has Posse Comitatus, which is a law stating that the American government cannot deploy American Troops on American soil. Military personnel and SWAT teams are the only people who legally have automatic weapons. Since they cannot, and would not, lawfully attack citizens, there is no need for citizens to have automatics.

On a Federal level, there is no requirement for licensure to purchase a gun. However, some states do have this requirement. According to the Washington Post, 18 states (CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, MI, NC, NE, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, WA) and Washington DC require extended background checks. Six of those states (IA, MD, MI, NC, ND, PA) only require extended background checks for the purchase of handguns where as the other 12 states require extended background checks for the purchase of all guns. 13 states (CA, CT, HI, IA, IL, MA, MD, MN, NC, NE, NJ, NY, RI) and Washington DC require a permit to purchase a gun. Seven of those states only require a permit to purchase a hand gun (IA, MD, MN, NC, NE, NY, RI) while the other six states require a permit for the purchase of all guns.

According to the National Rifle Association - Institute for Legal Action (NRA-ILA), this is the official list of requirements which prohibit someone from purchasing a firearm:

  • Those convicted of crimes punishable by imprisonment for over one year, except state misdemeanors punishable by two years or less.
  • Fugitives from justice.
  • Unlawful users of certain depressant, narcotic, or stimulant drugs.
  • Those adjudicated as mental defectives or incompetents or those committed to any mental institution.
  • Illegal aliens.
  • Citizens who have renounced their citizenship.
  • Those persons dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
  • Persons less than 18 years of age for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle.
  • Persons less than 21 years of age for the purchase of a firearm that is other than a shotgun or rifle.
  • Persons subject to a court order that restrains such persons from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner.
  • Persons convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.

I have highlighted the requirement I believe needs the most attention.

For me, I believe there needs to be a Federal requirement for extended background checks for those purchasing any firearm in every state. In addition, I believe there needs to be a more extensive and thorough check of one's mental health during those background checks. Furthermore, I believe the requirement for prohibition needs to extend to not only those who have been deemed as "mental defectives" in a court of law, but also to those who are deemed that same mental health condition according to a professional psychiatrist. Just because a judge or a jury did not deem someone as "mental defectives" does not mean they are responsible and appropriately motivated to own a gun.

Gun purchasing does not stop at the door of a shop. Illegal gun trade is an issue that has an even more difficult solution. This problem is not going to stop with the passing of a law, but we can all work together to put an end to these heinous acts. "See something, say something" does not just apply to possible terror attacks, but any threat that is posed to the general public. Together, we can find a way to make our America, and our world, a safer place.



Citations:

Giffords Law Center. “Licensing.” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2017,

lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/gun-owner-responsibilities/licensing/#federal.


NRA-ILA. “Citizen's Guide To Federal Firearms Laws - Summary.” NRA-ILA, 24 Mar. 2004,

www.nraila.org/articles/20040324/citizen-s-guide-to-federal-firearms-law.

https://www.nraila.org/articles/20040324/citizen-s...

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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I'm A Feminist And I Don't Need No Man, But I Have A Boyfriend

Dating men and being a feminist are not mutually exclusive.
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Contrary to some misguided folks, men and women are NOT equal, being a feminist does NOT mean you hate men, and dating men and being a feminist are not mutually exclusive.

Feminists can date whoever the hell they want, and dating a man is in no way correlated to your status as a feminist.

If you're a feminist who dates men, it can be difficult. You'll encounter men who want to argue that men and women are totally equal (because he would know, right?). You'll find that some men agree with the "feminist agenda" of making men and women equal, but he doesn't want to use the label "feminist". He'd rather be called a "humanist" or "egalitarian.

One thing I have realized is that anyone can be a feminist, but not everyone is as outspoken about it as a lot of us are. Some people are simply not as politically-fueled as us, as much as you may want them to be. However, this does not mean they are less of a feminist. My boyfriend is a feminist, but he doesn't parade around campus in a "feminist" sweatshirt or with buttons on his backpack illustrating his political views like me. It's simply not his personality, but his understated support still matters.

There are also men who believe going around and bragging about being a feminist is going to get them laid, so just be careful. Use your gut.

Being a feminist means realizing that you don't need a man to be successful, but you're still allowed to love one.

Media often portrays women as being incomplete without a man. This is simply not true, and is damaging to impressionable, young girls. Women can be happy and successful regardless of whether or not they have a man. There is no rule stating that men are off-limits if you're a feminist (who also happens to be attracted to men). Go on and date men if that's what you want to do.

Be empowered in knowing that a man does not complete you, but can be part of your happiness if you so choose.

Cover Image Credit: Liz Lemon / Flickr

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