Tag Archives: gun control

#StopGunViolence

Do you know what one of the most leading cause of premature death in the U.S is? Well, gun violence is one of the most leading cause of premature death in the U.S. Guns kill at least more than 38,000 people and cause nearly 85,000 injuries each year. There is this organization called APHA is a longtime supporter of violence prevention policies, especially with gun-related violence and APHA acknowledges an inclusive public health approach to addressing this growing crisis is necessary for good causes.

The issue of gun violence is complex and deeply rooted in our culture, which is why we must take a public health approach to ensure our families and communities are safe. We must focus more on the emphasis on improving gun injury and violence research. Conducting research will be a good first step in figuring out what is wrong in the present and how to prevent future ferocities. There would need to be ongoing work needed to ensure firearms do not fall into the wrong hands and to allow access to mental health services to the ones who need it most.

To represent and support the “March for Our Lives” rally in Washington, D.C., animator Alex Clark used a bit of humor to explain gun violence prevention and hopefully, it will lighten up the mood of this post, enjoy!:

The APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, speaks about the reasons why Congress needs to request and allow the CDC to research gun violence as a public health issue and treat it as such:

Number of Deaths in 2018
Map of Number of Deaths by Gun Violence in 2018 in the U.S.
In my opinion, guns should not be allowed anywhere int he U.S. because these kinds of weapons can be easily obtained and some people that have the right to carry or not commit suspicious or heinous acts.
To end this on a good not, guns should just go. Period.  #StopGunViolence
SENATE:

19 Years Later…had #enough yet?

19 years ago, I was sitting in a high school social studies class. My teacher told us about the Columbine school shooting. Little did I realize the magnitude of the problem of school and gun violence or how it would just be the beginning of so many more to come.

Our society has become so accustomed to tragedies, we move on, we forget.
B.J. Mendelson writes, “It’s like this all across America. Unless it’s tied to where people live and work, barring a threat to their safety or well-being, they don’t care. Not even if it’s 10 minutes away” Unless we are in the thick of it, we move on, we forget.

Today, there were protests, walk outs, vigils to remember the 13 slaughtered that terrible April day. 19 years later. We haven’t changed a thing. There are more gun incidents in school than ever before. 13 so far in 2018 alone. We need to stand up. We need to put our voices and selves out in the world. We need to fight this problem head on. We need to say #neveragain. I’ve had #enough. Have you? columbine pic

*photo credit thecleo.com

19 Years.

weapon-violence-children-child-52984.jpegToday marks 19 years since the Columbine High School shootings. But what was once shocking became a regular occurrence. How could we have ever known where this state of gun violence would end up?

In this final post in my three part series, I want to share my story with my peers, the rest of the Xenials/Millenials. A story of shock, inaction, repeated shock, inaction, indifference, and hope.

Columbine. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook.

I was a senior in high school when Eric Harris and Dylan Kliebold went on a 51 minute shooting spree in their high school that ended up with 13 dead and 21 injured. The school year was almost over and I was looking forward to graduation in June. Life was pretty great in our sheltered pre-9/11 world where my biggest concern was what dress to wear to prom.

And in less than an hour, that innocence was taken away. I’d lived through the Oklahoma City bombing and Operation Desert Storm, but this was different. This could have been me.

As most tragedies go, the focus sadly shifts from the victims to the shooters in a very short amount of time. Why did they do it? Was it video games? Goth culture? Were they outcasts taking revenge? Even I pushed aside what happened as the news shifted to the shooters and then, when the 20/20 specials ran out of new content, moved on.

Several years later, with Virginia Tech, the same thing happened to me. Shock, anger, obsession, apathy. Then Sandy Hook, then countless others, and I stopped even being shocked.

My generation failed, big time. We could have been the ones who said enough with the thoughts and prayers. Do something. Stop this now. But we forgot. Moved on.

And then an old friend of mine got shot last year in Las Vegas. When he healed, I still did nothing.

Today kids walked out of class in solidarity to ask for gun reform. This culture of gun violence that gets normalized by the older generations with the thoughts and prayers has stopped with them. Why now? What makes them take action where their parents didn’t?

I truly believe that in addition to seeing their peers murdered on a regular basis, that social media has played an enormous role in their movement. Scott says “Your smartphone is all you need” and mentions the importance of Facebook Live (pp. 305-306). Though his writing is more in regards to marketing and PR, it still holds true for social movements. This generation grew up on social media, and they don’t hesitate to use it. Videos that are happening now, that are current, that are anything but what their parents would do to promote a cause. These kids can’t help but see what’s happening live all over the country, and the messages that spread so rapidly can create an urgency to act now.

Today, remembering Columbine, I still can’t help but feel a sense of guilt about my generation’s inaction. And yet I feel pride and hope and inspiration in these kids who have done what we failed to do. It’s not too late to join the fight.

blog 7

 

In blog 5, I mentioned about a public issue that I was passionate about, which is proper parenting and “gun control”. My targeted audience in this blog would definitely have to be parents, or anyone who is planning/becoming a parent. The goal of the post is to spread awareness that your influence as a parent, aunt, and uncle plays a crucial role in any child’s life. Because kids pick up things so fast, it is easy to influence them, even when you didn’t think or plan it. This sounds ridiculous but i’m only sharing it because, this is as real as it gets. A few weeks back, I was babysitting my 3 years old twin cousins, which I do quite often. My little sister was recording me do a wall twerk on snapchat and, without realizing that my young cousins were watching, they copied my exact position and attempt to do it too. Kind of random, but, it’s an example. What I’m saying is, you never know when they’re paying attention, therefore, just be aware of what you’re doing and saying when around any child. Also, be aware of how you’re treating them. A lot of the reasons why kids become bullies is because of the lack of love and attention. Yes, we live in a world where if only one parent works, it’ll make it hard to make a living, let alone feed your kids. But it doesn’t mean you should let “working” be an excuse to why you can’t spend time with your child. The first stages of a child’s life is the most important, it is the foundation of who they will become. Don’t miss out on it, let alone, don’t let it go to waste. This could fall in 1.8: Behavioral Economics Theories. Where an environment can be affected to facilitate desirable behaviors. Attached is a link that showcases a study that claims second-born children are more likely to be trouble makers. THIS! I can vouch for. Not just the second child, I think that this can affect any child that is not the first or last. I am the fourth in my family, and I can guarantee you that all of us, after my older sister (first child) and my younger sister (last child) are trouble makers. I’m not sure why my other sibling are trouble makers, i’m not sure of their personal reasonings. But, in my case, all I can remember was wanting my parent’s love and attention. Like most parents now, my parents were immigrants, therefore, they had to work twice as hard. Especially since they had 6 extra mouths to feed, leaving my older to babysit us. My parents were always giving my older sister attention because she was the first to experience everything. Making her the more ambitious one like the article mentioned, “People like to say that first-born children are more motivated and more ambitious than their younger siblings, who, in turn, might end up more easygoing — possibly as a result of their mom and dad having loosened up on the parenting a bit after being super hands-on with their first kid” (Stuart, para. 2.) My parents were learning to be parents in America too, you may think, “parents in America?” but, parenting in America is far different from parenting from where my parents came from. My dad worked two jobs, my mom worked third shift. They never had time for us, not by choice, of course. But because I never got attention and “love” from them, I sought out acceptance from other people, such as my friends. One of my brother temporarily joined a gang, it was crazy. On the bright side, things eventually got better. We matured and figured out why our parents were never home, making us all appreciate them more. Not that I enjoyed growing up being extremely needy, but I like who I’ve become. And because life was such a struggle growing up, I never take my parents for granted. The environment you raise your child in plays a crucial role in their life. Like the theory model, I mentioned, behavioral economics, it talks more about the economics factors such as laws, regulations, and such, which I could correlate to my family’s situation too. Because, of the “parenting in America” I mentioned prior, it affected how my parents raised us, versus how they would’ve raised us if we were back in their homeland. But because they felt the need to have jobs in order to pay for utilities, rent, etc, it limited their time with us. Causing a domino affect on how we all grew up. My parents were young when they immigrated to the U.S. They were at most, in their early-mid twenties? They, themselves were growing up too. In Laos, you didn’t need “jobs.” You just needed land to grow your own food. According to my dad, you fed your own family. You went to the farm together, you ate together, you spent time together. In America, kids go to school (thankfully,) while parents work. In most immigrant cases, parents had to work harder for a longer time, all just for a small wage. So, I guess my audience would also be the government/congress, haha. Make it a law where all jobs are required to allow parents for a longer paid maternity leave to spend time with their kids. No child should lack their parent’s attention and love because of having to work just to keep a roof over their families heads, or meals on the table.

https://omgfacts.com/a-new-study-claims-second-born-children-are-more-likely-to-be-troublemakers/

Speaking Without Words

My audience for this blog series is anyone who is (or should be) concerned by the massive number of school shootings: students, parents, and anyone interested in safety and social justice. I will be focusing on the movements made by high school students who have been taking charge of the fight against gun violence. My goal is to make people think about how they can participate in this fight for life. 

25xp-Emma-master675
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

What Emma Gonzalez Said Without Words

Castells writes that “All forms of communication…are based on the production and consumption of signs. Thus there is no separation between ‘reality’ and symbolic representation” (p. 403). In the March for Our Lives, a movement that started online and moved to the streets and government building, symbols have played a huge role in creating a shared meaning that has kept the fight against gun violence moving and growing throughout our culture.

When Emma Gonzalez, a survivor of the Parkland Florida shootings, got up to the microphone at the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, it was her silence that spoke louder than words. Her silence, for 4 minutes and 26 seconds, resonated with people around the country. Her silence represented the time it took for 17 of her peers to be killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

4 minutes. 26 seconds.

Silence is uncomfortable. Silence is loud.

Gonzalez has become the face of March for Our Lives. Though already well known through her fiery speeches following the shooting at her school, without words she gave us that time to stop and think. With all of the arguments going on online and offline, complete silence with your thoughts can be really hard to take in.

With 1.3 million followers on Twitter, Gonzalez has a huge presence on social media that is vital to the fight against gun violence, but it is her use of mass media that is making her message that much louder.

We can all stand to learn a lesson about the importance of symbolic representation in getting our messages across. Whatever the platform, creating a shared meaning bridging cultures, media, and age groups is vital in creating a movement. If we don’t understand, if we can’t interpret, then what does it have to do with us?

But we all understand silence. A voice with no words. It’s uncomfortable.

And maybe that discomfort is exactly what we need to keep the movement going.

 

Walk Out or Walk Up?

My audience for this blog series is anyone who is (or should be) concerned by the massive number of school shootings: students, parents, and anyone interested in safety and social justice. I will be focusing on the movements made by high school students who have been taking charge of the fight against gun violence. My goal is to make people think about how they can participate in this fight for life.

walk out

If you’ve watched the news over the past few days you are probably aware of the  Walk Out by students across the country on Wednesday. Sick of nothing being done in Washington about gun violence, teens coordinated the first national student protest on this issue. They hoped to bring an awareness of their voices and of the political power that they will soon hold. And politicians should take note- these teens, users of social media for most of their lives, will soon be old enough to vote and make their voices known at the polls. Boomers and Generation X have so far not been as focused on this topic, and it may be because they were not affected by it personally. And millenials, still a voting minority, have not made much progress with it either in spite of being the Columbine generation. Living in daily fear of school violence is a way of life for students, unfortunately normalized by our political climate and dedication to 2nd Amendment rights. But why isn’t anything being done? Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough anymore, and these students want us all to know that.

But of course there are those with the alternative solution. A solution that so far hasn’t worked. Ryan Petty, a parent of a student recently killed in the Parkland shooting, tweeted that students should Walk Up not Walk Out. In his opinion, walking out is accomplishing nothing beyond the students getting some exercise. His proposed solution would include students “walking up” to loners and making them feel appreciated so they don’t turn into school shooters. This post was in turn shared by thousands of parents across the country who thought students walking out was pointless. But I ask- is this victim blaming? If you aren’t successful with converting this potential shooter and it results in violence, is it your fault? Walk Up shows how out of touch some parents still are with the fear that children are facing, and in this case even includes parents of victims.

Walk Up belittles the point of Walk Out. No one is saying that you can’t walk up to a lonely student and talk to them, but that can be done any other day. This walk out was about the fact that these students want to be heard. They want the adults to help them. They want laws to protect them. They want politicians to represent them. On Wednesday, they didn’t need hugs- they needed voices.

This movement reminds me of Castell’s writings about the Occupy Movement, and there are plenty of similarities. Occupy was “rooted in outrage” (p. 166) which resulted in the fast propagation across the country. Students are clearly outraged about their peers being shot, and that resulted in a successfully organized protest in less than a month after the Parkland, Florida shooting. Everyone needs to be wary of the power that these children will one day hold. Their world is built around social media, and they are not limited to classroom gossip anymore.

We need to listen. Really listen to what they are saying. We may not agree with everything that they are asking for, but with what they have been through, they deserve our ears. Instead of thoughts and prayers we need to think about what we can do to make their world a little safer. So don’t belittle their voices by saying that they should be doing something else instead. Listen.

They will not forget.

Blog 5

I think that a recent and public issue that I am passionate about is a mixture of proper parenting, and “gun control”. This correlates with the recent unfortunate event in February about the Parkland Shooting that occurred in Florida. I think that the misconception of the whole incident is not gun control but proper upbringing, and a stable morality in the household. A lot of what we do around kids can highly effect them and reflect who they could grow up to be. In the article, “‘He Was Being a Little Bully’: Video Shows Father Punishing his 10-Year-Old with Run in the Rain,” by The Washington Post, they highlight how the Virginia father, Bryan Thornhill, disciplined his son by having him run to school. Long story short, the son was being a bully on the bus, therefore he was unable to ride the bus for three days. Taking actions for his son’s behavior, the father made it his goal to teach his son the consequences of being a bully by running to school, even if it meant running in the rain (it was sprinkling.) The father also mentioned in his video that they only lived a mile away from the school, hence the punishment was reasonable and no harm to his son. He also mentions how it is his priority to teach his son now instead of letting his son grow up to think it’s okay to hurt others. In addition to that, he mentions how parents should be more involved in their child’s life cause it will reflect their growth and who they become. In result, the father says it has improved his son’s behavior at school and at home. Thornhill also emphasizes that parenting should be the importance on any child’s upbringing, not gun controlling. If you can control and properly raise your child to have ethical morals, there would be no need for gun control. He also quoted, “I can control guns easily forever. This, I’ve got to make sure I control now,” in his video. In the case of the shooter in Florida, his attorney was quick to blame it on a mental disorder. Claiming that Nikolas Cruz was a “troubled child,” as if it was an excuse to his behavior. Thornhill mentions in the interview that his son has ADHD, despite that, he also states, “I’m not going to let that define him and limit him. He’s going to have to take responsibility for his actions.  We can’t use our handicap as our excuses in life. We have to find a way to move on.”

In March of 2018, The Washington Post also posted an article about the Parkland shooter, literally illustrating the red flags from his early life up to the event of the shooting. Documenting his case of ADHD, his public announcement of plans to shoot up the school via his Instagram, medical negligence, and many more red flags indicating the lack of supervision and guidance he had throughout his life. In this article, they want their audience to see that Cruz has had red flags since the early stages of his life. Yes, there was contributing events, such as his father and mother’s death, that led him to be without proper care but, it truly shows how much a parent role influences their child’s behavior and actions. Therefore, be an actual parent. Don’t just bring them to the world and expect teachers or coaches to make them good people. Good upbringing starts at home, not at school. Being a parent is obviously challenging in varies scenarios, but don’t neglect it just because it’s hard. Being a parent means taking initiative that you’re responsible for actually raising another human being and teaching them right from wrong. Schools are not always responsible for that.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2018/03/06/he-was-being-a-little-bully-video-shows-father-punishing-his-10-year-old-with-run-in-the-rain/?utm_term=.e76777d4c960

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/national/timeline-parkland-shooter-nikolas-cruz/?utm_term=.326d5bc24dc1

Trump Media

https://www.8shit.net/donald-trump-ends-school-shootings-banning-schools/Trump1

In the news today with the internet there is a huge amount of fake media that surfaces around the internet media world. There is a huge nesscessity to be able to establish credibility with your sources of information.

In this article I found the media source did not have credibility and was giving false information to his audience. The article talked about the recent school shooting that had the United States public opinion talking about gun control. There were many different opinions the surfaced in this conversation. In this article the author stated that Trump had made a statement that he was going to stop all school shootings by banning all schools. This authors statement was false from what president Trump’s actually response statement was to the recent school shooting and gun control conversation. The author made no point to establish credibility and made a very irrational comment that logically makes no sense. I believe he should have did his research on what President Trump’s actually response was to the situation and not just making irrational statment that was false. The article creates attention because of the statement but loses the audiences favor because of the false information.

Armed teachers?

armed teacherI don’t often browse news websites in my free time so when trying to find an article to use for this assignment I looked at a few mainstream media organizations. The article that I ending up choosing is from the website USA Today. I researched online how accurate articles from this site are just out of curiosity and it was reported as being highly factual and used the least amount of biased sources. It did note that there is a slight left leaning editorial bias. This was pretty obvious by the article I chose. Credibility is interesting to think about when reading articles because people tend to have the assumption that news reports online have to be factual when almost more often than not there is a hidden agenda.

The article I ended up choosing is titled “Trump’s awful plan to arm teachers is straight from the NRA playbook.” I am not someone who is really knowledgable on or into politics but I am able to immediately tell that the title alone highlights the agenda of the article written by the columnist James, Alan Fox.

James starts off giving credit to Trump for meeting the grieving survivors of the recent Parkland, Florida shooting.  He then dives straight to his point by the specific choice of language he uses. He talks about Trump’s ‘cozy, political alliance with the National Rifle Association’. This assists in getting his opinion across to readers. He also mentions Trump feeling caught between the students demands for stricter gun laws and his supporters concern for their second amendment rights. Trump’s NRA backed ‘solution’ is to have armed teachers in schools. I think a good counter argument to Trump’s solution would be to mention that there was an armed security officer on site that didn’t even enter the school. He was someone who was trained his whole life with guns and wasn’t able to enter the school and stop the shooter. How could we then expect our teachers to especially on their $40,000 a year salary?

I think the author did a good job of criticizing Trump’s solution from a leftist perspective but he could have offered a perspective from the other side. What would someone who supported Trump’s solution have to say? Because this topic is so controversial and currently trending I have seen what the supporters, who are mostly parents on my Facebook news feed have to say. They said that they would feel safer bringing their kids to school with armed teachers. I am not a parent yet so I don’t know what I would feel comfortable with at this point but I think at least hearing the two perspectives could assist me in forming a more knowledgable opinion. What I do know is that arming teachers is not going to be the only solution dealing with such a complex issue.