It has become imperative in today's political climate for the younger generation to have their voices heard since so many policies affect our lives in various aspects. In particular, the second amendment has now become the forefront of policies affecting the country's youth. The pre-occupation of the 21st century's adults to bear arms is not what the 18th century amendment was meant for.  We are no longer talking about muskets and a well regulated militia but rather semi-automatic military grade weapons in the hands of civilians. Since January 1, 2018, there have been over 18 school related gun incidents, which means there has been at least one indecent a week in which a gun has been taken onto a school campus endangering the lives of students and faculty, and the fourth month of the year has only just begun. Lawmakers and public officials have taken no strides toward creating policy that will aid in making schools, children and faculty much safer, politicians only load the public with "thoughts and prayers" each time an incident happens. Every time I hear and see the phrase "Our thoughts and prayers are with you" I get triggered, what are thoughts and prayers doing for the public besides giving us the false hope that politicians will actually do something to help keep citizens safe.

The clear reluctance to produce any type legislation makes it obvious that the American people love their guns more than their own children and it is utterly ridiculous. No child should have to feel unsafe in a community built for learning and fostering a capable and sound future. In no way do I believe that the right to bear arms should be taken away, however, there should be gun control and regulation, semi automatic military grade weapons should not be in civilian society.  You don't need it to hunt, you don't need that much power for recreational use. So what do you need this firepower for? Honestly anyone who obtains a semi automatic military grade weapon should be placed on a watch list.

Gun restriction and reform must happen for the safety of us all,. Common sense policies exist in Canada where firearms are classified into specific categories, prohibited, restricted and non restricted, this form of gun control has resulted in Canada's homicide rate is 7 times lower than the US rate. In addition those who want to obtain a gun must go through a screening process which includes safety courses, and background checks. In Germany there is a requirement of having knowledge of weapons, technology, law and expertise in the use of a firearm; as well as a proven need for a weapon and background checks. I acknowledge that in the US we have a constitutional right that gives the right to bear arms, however these examples do not take away this right, they just make it harder to obtain an immensely dangerous military grade weapon which is exactly what the US needs. 

The fact that politicians think that bringing more guns into schools will solve anything is ridiculous. Guns in schools = Student and faculty deaths. That equation is not difficult to understand especially since there has been over 18 gun related school incidents since the beginning of the year. Are we speaking a different language? Do politicians not understand that slack gun laws are what got us into this mess in the first place? Apparently the same language is not being spoken, as politicians solution is to arm teachers. As a high school student I would not feel safer in school knowing that my teachers have guns. Students annoy teachers way too much for teachers to be armed and dangerous. Common sense gun regulation is necessary, Americans make up 4.4% of the worlds population, but own 42% of the worlds guns. Our government thinks it more prudent to sell arms to other countries than to protect their children from meaningless gun violence. 

It is simply time to take our voices public and be heard, on a national stage, as students have been showing much bravado in national protests. Courage and strength shown through the #enough movement is extraordinary I am truly inspired by the bravery shown by these young adults. This movement further solidifies the imminent movement of mass political protest as the voices taking to protest will be the next voters in national elections. I say take to the streets, brave the disastrous policies of the national and state governments- armed with voices of pragmatic reasoning. I say enough "thoughts and prayers", we need common sense gun control, we need action, we need change.

Representation Matters.

I've been seeing a thread on twitter that has really spoken to me called "The first time I saw me", this thread is about the lack of representation in shows today, pertaining to having characters of color on shows. In the past shows like The Proud Family, That's so Raven and many other tv shows on the Disney channel have portrayed people of various diffrent races in a positive light, however these shows have dissapeered over the years leaving shows with no diversity in its place. Now, not only are Disneys shows lacking in humor but also lack in representation from other ethnic groups. Children today are going to grow up without seeing themselves represented on television. Which makes one realize impressionable children won't be saying "I can" they will be asking "Can I?"

Disneys shows are lacking so much substance that shows in the past had, for example That's so Ravens episode on body positivity in a world that only sees the ideal as Caucasian and skinny was substance. Raven taught young minds not to take any crap from anyone and that you can do anything. The Proud Family depicted what is not often shown on television today, an African American family that had a mother and father and was not torn apart by disenfranchisement, incarceration and divorce. The Proud Family also taught young impressionable minds to be kind to other people of different ethnicities and to be proud of who you are. How many Disney shows these days are composed of : one blonde friend and one brunette friend crushing over the blandest boy, how many of today's Disney shows portray no diversity and when they do have actors that are people of color they aren't seen in the same light as other non-black characters. 

Is Disney not meant for children to grow up seeing other young people on tv and being inspired by that? The one African American actress leading a show on the Disney channel is no longer a child, and is a full blown adult. How is seeing an adult on the tv supposed to inspire young people, children cannot relate to a 20 year old playing a 16 year old because it sets impossible beauty standards for young children to reach. Disney channel should create more opportunity for children to play children on televison, so children can actually see that it is okay to be diffrent and be who you are. Children today are going to grow up not seeing themselves doing great things on the tv because of disneys white washing ways. Is it that hard to find people of color to add Diversity? It's the twenty first century - can we have diversity in our midst.  


Double Standards in Social Movements

"Its too dangerous here, lets go home" said police at a violent white nationalist riot on a University of Virginia campus in Charolettesville, Virgina. Lets be clear, these white nationalists are domestic terrorists and should not be allowed any rights as citizens in our country. We strip rights of canibus smokers, and minor offences by blacks and people of color in a heartbeat, making sure those rights are permenently stripped by facilitating lengthy prison sentences and undue bail practices by the masses. When Black Lives Matter protests they are demonized and criminalized, leading to violent responses by police in their own communities while in Charlottesville, VA. police allow a speeding car to maim and kill protestors that are protesting AGAINST nationalistic ideologies. When Black Lives Matter protest police gass and arrest masses of African Americans, how many arrests have been made in Virginia at this clearly violent protest? None. This racist double standard has to stop if we are to again assume a super power position in a global environment.  

In Germany it is illegal to waive the Nazi flag, why is it not illegal here when so many lives were lost to protect the lives of innocent people. While I understand the dogma of freedom of speech, white nationalist movements that create a violent atmosphere should be shut down with the speed of wind. Too many people have died in a country founded on the economics of slavery. Why are we even facilitating the advancement of white nationalist groups in America, have we not come far enough only to take several steps backward? 

The face of terrorism has changed on a grand scale and America seems to be oblivious to the fact that 73% of mass killings in the US  since 1983 have been commited  by white men, they are the face of terrorism in America. The United States has continually treated white supremacists with more sympathy and respect than folks standing up for civil rights. When are we going to realize that freedom of speech that leads to violence perpetrated on another because of their race, ethniity, religious beiefs and sexual orientation is a gross injustice instead of saying ..."Its too dangerous here, lets go home".

No one is born haing another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. Peole must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. -Nelson Mandela

And furthermore Unversity of Virgina, and any college promoting bigotry you will NOT be getting my application fee.