Tragedy Averted… America, We Have an Issue.

Featured Image courtesy of CBS News

BREAKING NEWS:

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Santa Fe High School 5.18.18 – Photo Courtesy of Yahoo

May 18th 2018.  7:45 a.m: A shooter opened fire on students at Santa Fe High School today killing over 8 individuals and injuring many others.  

May 18th 2017.  7:45 a.m: A shooter opened fire on students at Santa Fe High School today KILLING OVER 8 individuals  and injuring many others.  

May 18th 2017

7:45 a.m

Shooter.

Santa Fe High School.

KILLING.

OVER 8.

Santa Fe Independent School District has confirmed via Facebook that there were injuries sustained in an active shooter situation which has recently been contained with two suspects identified. One in custody the other detained.  The district has not confirmed the fatalities however it was mentioned that there could be anywhere from 8-10 deceased.

 

BREAKING NEWS:

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Dixon High School 5.16.18  – Photo Courtesy of ABC News

May 16th 2018.  Wednesday morning.  19-year-old former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle to open fire near the auditorium of Dixon High School in Illinois.  Mark Dallas shot and wounded the gunman. Tragedy averted.

May 16th 2018.  Wednesday morning.  19-year-old former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle to open fire near the auditorium of Dixon High School in Illinois.  Mark Dallas shot and wounded the gunman. Tragedy averted.

May 16th 2018.

Wednesday morning.

Former student used a 9mm semiautomatic rifle

Suspect Matthew Milby opened fire near a graduation ceremony rehearsal.  The suspect was quickly identified and chased by Mark Dallas, Dixon Police Officer.  Milby and Dallas exchanged fire at one another until Officer Dallas shot and wounded Matthew Milby, the 19-year-old former student in possession of a 9mm semiautomatic rifle.  

Tragedy averted…. or was it.  

 

Fatalities do not mark a tragedy.  

 

The gun culture in America is a tragedy in itself encompassing, “behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs about firearms and their usage”.  To obtain a firearm federal law requires an individual to be at least 21 to purchase a handgun, and only 18 to purchase a long gun. Specific states however have decided to bypass these federal laws and allow children as old as 15 to purchase a firearm with no parental consent.  Many individuals may argue these laws are harmless and the matter of the transactions are carefully monitored and professional. This is the root of the problem. Americans are addicted to their guns and they don’t want to face this fact.

 

Unfortunately many elected officials are not helping the cause. Understanding the extent of their political abilities, their continued inaction on the legislation that could potentially prevent these inhumane acts have only opened doors for more to occur.

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Gun Control Debate – Photo Courtesy of The American View

Individuals are missing the mark, we need gun control.  Eradicating guns is unlikely, and unnecessary, we need to monitor and control the transaction, trade, and behavior of gun owners, sellers, buyers etc.  As a community we need to ensure that the background checks and mental examinations of individuals with possession of firearms are strengthened and religiously utilized.   

 

Understanding the mental stability of the individual plays a significant factor in the recently observed violence and damage,  the loosely followed laws and lack of frequent background/ update checks allow for these potentially mentally unstable individuals to obtain these firearms.  

 

While taking into mind that many mass shooters obtain their weapons through a family member or through legal purchase it is important that any individuals with firearms in their household or in an accessible place undergo examination or background checks, and that any suspicious behavior is documented and reported by friends and families.  The phrase, “If you see something, say something” cannot be stressed enough.  

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Background Check – Photo Courtesy of Dr. Deb

In comparison to other nations, the protocol to obtain firearms in the United States is seemingly inadequate.  Understanding no background check can truly identify the intended use of the firearms or the early warning signs of a potential mass shooter, psychological exams as proposed by Utah cops and lawmakers may prove extremely beneficial.  

 

Konrad Chen stated he thinks its a, “good idea to make sure that [gun owners] are sane and that they are capable mentally to handle firearms”  further Chen mentioned that if, “there were any signs of issues that they could go ahead and take care of that before issuing a firearm”. The conversation continued with Chen further stating that these psychological exams could also ensure that the prospective gun owner knows how to safely use the firearm.  

 

The issue lies in the fact that many gun owners are hesitant when approached with the idea that their ownership of a firearm may be jeopardized due to increased legal action ensuring the safety of all.  It is important for individuals to understand that increasing the security and monitoring of the transaction of firearms is imperative to ensure that firearms are being obtained by stable, and mentally capable individuals.  

 

It is our hope that individuals continue to take action and speak out against the lack of action taken in order to alleviate the pain and suffering the lack of gun control has caused.  We cannot afford to remain silent in the midst of the chaos present.

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March For Our Lives – Photo Courtesy of CNN

 

“ If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor”

– Desmond Tutu

The Hate U Give Book Review

FEATURED IMAGE COURTESY OF AMAZON.COM 

 

Damn. My first thought as I delved into the book I got whilst shopping with friends.

The Hate U Give

T     H      U  G     Thug.

This book, written by Angie Thomas, was the best book I’ve read-maybe in my entire life. Besides the fact that this book was incredibly written, has great wording and descriptions, plus makes real connections with the emotions that the main character feels, this book will make you feel things, I can promise you that. This book should make you want to get up and scream for justice!

THUG follows 16-year-old Starr Carter as she struggles to keep her two lives separate. Her life in Garden Heights, her ‘black’ neighbourhood, and her life at Williamson, the, mainly white, private school she goes to. She finds herself at a party with her friend, who she hasn’t spoken to in months, Khalil Harris. When cops try to break up the party, Khalil says he’ll drive her out of there, and they never quite make it home.

Khalil gets fatally shot by a white police officer while he was unarmed and simply cooperating, and Starr’s two worlds collide forever. People at Williamson constantly talk about him, unaware of the companionship he and Starr had in her early childhood. The people of the neighbourhood wouldn’t even talk to Starr about him, yet riots would break out on the streets. A movement.

The Hate U Give is a phenomenal punch to the gut of those who fight against Black Lives Matter. It really exemplifies what it’s like to be one of the only people of colour in a primarily white school with such raw emotion and in depth detail. “I’m cool by default because I’m one of the only black kids here.” or another great quote which I personally relate to on a whole new level, “Funny how it works with white kids though. It’s dope to be black until it’s hard to be black.” 

This book screams for social justice and equality for all, with an echo of the pride Starr has at the end of the book for her race. This book is all about teaching people that everyone deserves to live, that there is another side of the story that the media won’t tell, that no matter what there will always be that one person to drag you down but it doesn’t matter because you will have at least one more person to bring you all the way up to the clouds to get you away from the one person who’ll drag you down. It talks about how you will always be seen as a certain thing, like Star was seen as ‘the witness’ ‘the black kid’ ‘Big Mav’s daughter’ and many other things, until at the end she sees herself as a powerful young woman, with a hopeful future in activism, she is seen as Starr.

This novel is a must read for any teenager, young adult, adult, elder, absolutely anyone, no matter your race, sexuality, gender, or age, get your hands on this book as soon as you can!

Khalil, while talking about what Tupac has said and his current relevance, said, “Listen! The Hate U-the letter U-Give Little Infants F**ks Everybody, T-H-U-G  L-I-F-E. Meaning what society gives us as youth, it bites them in the ass when we wild out.” And if what we give kids in their youth affects how they act when they’re older and how they impact the world, then we should give them this book as soon as we can, or at least teach them even a sliver of what this book can teach others.

I’ve always said that us minorities can scream until our throats are bleeding and we can’t scream anymore, but those with the privilege can whisper and be heard better than us, and this book proves that in an insanely amazing way. This book will truly inspire you to take action, and you’ll be forever glad that you read it.