Open your eyes.
Is this what you wanted all along?
Four score and seven years ago,
you thought you’d forever be free.
Is this liberty to you?
Open your eyes
and tell me what you see is just.
Dead children in school hallways,
cartridge cases underneath bar stools,
mothers too exhausted to cry
because they had to outlive their children.
Open your eyes
and tell me again
that this is just for us all.
We are not primitive,
we need no weapons to defend our honor,
no death to feel alive and safe.
Your thoughts and prayers are with us
and your gun is pointed at our chests.
Think and pray if you think that helps.
To amend means to change,
not to rely on for eternity
disregarding how many lives must go.
Open your eyes
and tell me
the blood in the hallways isn’t on your hands,
the cartridge cases aren’t yours.
Change must happen, if only you’d see.
Please, for the people,
open your eyes.
“Fight fire with fire.”
Despite everything that is going on in the US lately, I highly doubt this phrase was ever supposed to refer to gunfire.
There have been over 30 mass shootings in the US since the beginning of 2018. There have been at least 12 school shootings within the past two months. That means, on average, about 1.5 times a week this year children had to literally fear for their life, run, hide, and not make one noise because that could mean their death. Over 20 people have died from school shootings. More than 60 people overall were killed from mass shootings this year. More than 60 souls.
And you still want to convince me that we need guns to protect ourselves? I understand that the second amendment allows Americans to bear arms, and it is in your patriotic pride to protect that right. But until 1865, slavery wasn’t against the law either, and we managed to change that, too. Times change, bad things happen, that’s how we’re supposed to learn.
In 1999 the Columbine shooting happened. We still talk about it, we study it in school, we still send our prayers and wishes to the victims’ families and friends, but god forbid we actually do anything about it, god forbid we learn from our mistakes.
Nineteen years later, no rules have changed, the same tragedy keeps happening, over and over again. February 14th, Valentines day, Florida. 17 people were killed. Prayers were sent. Nothing happened.
Now, a “brilliant” idea to arm the teachers has come about. Because that makes more sense than not making guns accessible to literally anyone and everyone? “If you want to give a gun to your son or daughter or you want to sell it to your neighbors and friends, there is no background check required,” said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., during the Senate floor debate. Anyone, really anyone, can easily access a deadly weapons these days, and still, many don’t see the flaws in gun laws.
It would be unreasonable to forbid gun ownership entirely, that’s not my point. But I don’t understand why there are barely any qualifications for purchasing an object that is literally designed to kill. I don’t understand why we have to watch shooting after shooting, watch children fear for their lives when going to school, watch families mourn after their dead brothers and sisters, and still decide to keep everything the way it is, just because that is how it’s always been.
There are many things in this world that I don’t quite understand. But this. I don’t understand a bit of it.
The Los Angeles Times is a source to the public that provides news stories, media stories, and something called the Homicide Report. The Homicide Report is a blog/database that can help people find entries on certain homicide reports by category. The category options are: “race/ethnicity,” “gender,” “cause,” “officer-involved/not officer-involved,” and “year.”
In the year of 2014, there have been several controversial officer-involved shootings. Many of these have been directed towards black or hispanic victims. Officer-involved shootings have occurred in places like Bellflower, CA., Florence, SC., Inglewood, CA., Compton, CA. and, as many have heard recently, Ferguson, MO.
Within the Homicide Report database, there are twenty-two deaths in 2014 that fit the guidelines of a black or latino male killed in an officer-involved shooting. Switch those categories to a white male killed in an officer-involved shooting? Three deaths. Coincidence? I think not. Many of the officers reported in these shootings have been white as well. With facts like these, it’s difficult not to think of these deaths as acts of bias reasoning or racism.
After the death of Michael Brown on a Sunday at 2:15, unarmed and shot multiple times, news announcer Lawrence O’Donnell conducted an interview with eyewitness Tiffany Mitchell on what she saw that day.
During this interview Mitchell brings up the point that cop cars should, and most do, have operating dashboard cameras that could have, in this situation, captured some footage that could confirm what happened. When Mitchell points this out, O’Donnell seems to change and disregard the subject. A little suspicious maybe?
Due to the new release of Grand Theft Auto V, the fifth part of a huge franchise well known for its irrational amount of violence, anti-gamers from all around the world have risen to social media to protest.
Their purpose is to stop violent video games from entering the hands of the so anticipating gamers. Their argument? Video games turn people into violent murder machines. However, considering that the most violent thought I get while playing this game or any other is how brutally I wish to devour a pack of Doritos, it is safe to assume that a large portion of gamers are not influenced in real life by actions performed in-game.
But how about those who are? For example, Andres Breivik, a Norwegian mass killer guilty of murdering 69 people and setting bombs in government facilities was linked to the extended use of violent video games. However, Breivik was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia and was also abusing illegal substances. Also, his motive for the attack was Islamophobia, which is not preached in any video game. Anyhow, Breivik did refer to games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as training tools that helped him sharpen his aim.
After the massacre, some video game retailers in Norway banned violent video games temporarily. Blaming video games for the actions of a criminally insane man is as ridiculous as blaming the car for the actions of a drunk driver, or even blaming alcohol.
So, as I’m writing this, I’m finishing watching the excruciatingly long “Django Unchained“. Before this movie, I’ve been somewhat okay with Quentin Tarantino’s overly violent films, but this one is just absolutely ridiculous. However, the reason I didn’t like it wasn’t because the script was written by a five year old or because the acting was probably the worst I have ever seen, it was because of the unfathomably ultra-violent content.
Just watch this scene from Django Unchained and tell me if it doesn’t make you a little uneasy.
I can’t begin to imagine why anyone would be into movies like Django, Saw or any of the other modern movies that rely on violence to draw a crowd. Movies like Django are only memorable because you see gunfights where the blood rains down in the scene and makes it impossible to see what’s happening, or scenes where naked hillbillies get their junk blown off.