Tomorrow, voters across the nation will make the biggest decision of the year. Will it be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? Citizens have been been preparing for this day for quite some time now, and now is the time for them to make a decision that will change America forever. What some people might not know is that the results of this year's election are expected to come down to one thing, and that is the issue of gun violence. Researchers are saying that the winner of the election will be the person that the nation finds to have a better policy on gun violence.
What better time to hope for change than during an election? Well, this is exactly what the mindset is for many American voters heading into Election Day. This is especially true for the issue of gun violence. There is no doubt that the 2016 presidential election cycle has proved to be a critical point for guns in the United States, due to the hundreds of thousands of gun related deaths since the last presidential election, which took place in 2012. Since then, we have had perhaps the most gun violence related incidents in a four year span that our country has ever seen. Since that November day in 2012, our nation has seen the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Orlando nightclub massacre that claimed 50 lives, and a major shooting in San Bernardino, California, but this is only just a few of many mass murders that have happened since our last election. Now, our nation wants something. We want a solution to this problem.
The people of America just want their country to be safer from gun violence. This election will be one of the first to highlight this issue. In fact, the candidates have made these issues priorities in their campaigns. For months, they have been trying to persuade citizens that their plan for gun violence is the best in the nation. Tomorrow, we will get a chance to see who the people of the nation agreed with most.
After writing a blog post weekly for the past ten weeks, I have found that this issue is even bigger than I had thought. It occurs more often than we even think. There are so many things, such as elections, that feed directly from issues such as gun violence. I think that eventually we will get this problem straightened out, though I do not know how long it will take. I hope that whoever is elected as the next President of the United States does something to help out with this issue.
Researchers have recently found some devastating news regarding the ongoing issue of gun violence in the United States. Investigators at Boston University have discovered that exactly 99.85% percent of Americans will know at least one person in their lives who is affected by gun violence. This is alarming news, really, for all Americans. This information was based from roughly 30,000 gun related deaths each year, as well as 80,000 non-fatal injuries from gun violence. This 99.85% is up slightly from the last time there was research done on this topic, which was not quite as high.
As it was previously stated, researchers from Boston University provided the research for this topic. Their investigation team included Bindu Kalesan, Janice Weinberg, and Sandro Galea. The trio claim that they began this project with an effort to inform the American public about just how bad gun violence is in the United States. The team stated that the issue with gun violence is not quite understood throughout the country. Their report was the first of its kind to show just how much gun violence affects the average citizen. On a positive note, it was found that most people will end up knowing a survivor of gun violence, rather than someone who died from it.
While conducting the research for this project, the group from Boston University had to make some estimates and assumptions. First off, they had to take a rough estimate of the amount of victims of the violence. They also took into account that gun violence can happen at any random time, so therefore, in their research, all people face the same amount of risk for violent situations with guns. In actuality, minorities usually have a higher risk when it comes to gun violence. Lastly, it was assumed that each citizen maintained a constant number of relationships during their lifetime.
I found this information to be very surprising. I never would have expected to find that 99% of people in this country will either know someone who is killed or injured in an act of gun violence. At the same time, I think that these numbers actually do make sense. As of right now, I do not know of anyone on a personal level who has been affected by gun violence, but now I know that there is a very good chance that I may at some point in my life. To me, this information is actually very sad, and I hope that these numbers will go down in the years to come.
Like most college athletes, Mustapha Heron wants to make a difference. The only difference is that Heron not only wants to make a difference on the basketball court, but also in the community. The five star recruit has expressed interest in adding an orange patch to the Auburn men's basketball team's jerseys. He is planning on speaking with school officials about the issue as soon as possible. He has made it clear that he hopes he can get this patch on the school's jerseys before his time at Auburn is up.
The idea of using the orange patch originated last year in the New York AAU program, with a team known as the Rens. Last year, Heron and his half brother were members of that team. Orange become a part of the program's uniforms after a members of the team had been shot by a gun in New York City. Orange is usually the color that is most identified with gun violence and for spreading awareness against it. The players, ranging from the third grade through the eleventh grade, were the ones who thought of the idea of spreading awareness for gun violence. Their coaches embraced their idea with open arms.
Mustapha hopes to bring "wear orange" campaign to the school after he gets settled in the Auburn student body. Originally, it was started two years ago with some students from Chicago, and has now spread to other places due to the popularity of the Rens' message. The Rens are now affiliated with two gun violence prevention groups, Everytown USA and Sandy Hook Promise. Members of the team have been educated all about gun violence, and have even incorporated lessons into their practices.
I really like what the Rens have done with this issue in their community. I think that their message must have strongly impacted Mustapha Heron. I hope that Mustapha can accomplish his goal of of getting the patch on Auburn's jersey. I think that others schools and organizations should take a look at what this kid is doing and at what the Rens have done, and follow in their footsteps by taking action on this issue. I believe that Auburn will accept Heron's proposition. I think that this is one way that sports can help people in this country through major issues that we have to go through.
A recent study has found that Connecticut is now one of the safest states in the country. This is major news due to the fact that one of the largest mass shootings, the Newtown School Massacre, occurred in the state of Connecticut roughly four years ago. This national study found that Connecticut was within the top four safest states in the United States. This is great news for the people of Connecticut. The only states that ranked higher than Connecticut in the study were New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, which ranked as the safest state.
Late in 2012, on December 14, 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot and killed 26 students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary. Lanza also murdered his mother, Nancy, at their home in Newtown. Lanza used his deceased mother's car to get to the school. The reason why Adam Lanza chose to attack Sandy Hook Elementary is unknown. The shooter, Lanza, committed suicide by shooting himself in the head as soon as first responders arrived on the scene. This was the deadliest mass shooting in any school in the United States.
This report found that states that had passed laws banning assault rifles had significantly fewer gun related deaths. In the cases of gun related deaths and other violence in the state of Connecticut that did occur, statistics found that the gun was usually bought in a different state. It has been determined that the state of Connecticut has the second toughest laws pertaining to guns and weapons in the country. The Governor of Connecticut stated that the reason for the sudden drop in gun violence after the shooting at Sandy Hook was most likely due to the tougher gun laws passed soon after the event. While Connecticut was recently found as one of the safest states in the country, Louisiana, Alaska, and Mississippi were also found as the most dangerous states with the most gun violence.
I am glad to see the state of Connecticut recover so quickly from such a terrible event. I hope to see the state continue its progress. I think that what Adam Lanza did is one of the worst possible things that anyone can possibly do, and I hope that we see fewer and fewer of these incidents every year. I would like to see other areas that have recently had major gun violence issues, such as Chicago, Illinois or Ferguson, Missouri, to also see improvements with this issue. I think that we might have to improve laws to help fix this problem, but I believe that it would be necessary.
On January 8, 2011, nobody knew if Gabrielle Giffords would live to see another day. On that day, she was innocently shot in her hometown of Tucson, Arizona by a 22-year-old man, who had opposed her political stances, at a constituent meeting in a supermarket parking lot. Gabby was shot in the head at point-blank range, and was left critically injured, but she did survive. Giffords, along with fifteen others, were injured in the shooting. Six people died during the incident, including 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green and chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Arizona, John Roll.
Today, Gabby Giffords is alive and well, and now she is spreading awareness for gun violence. She is currently on a tour traveling to fourteen different U.S. states to push for gun control reforms. Giffords has titled her campaign "The Vocal Majority Tour", and looks to make a difference. She's also bringing her husband, Mark Kelly, along with her on the six-week tour that will be stopping in a total of forty-three cities across the nation. While on the road, she has also show support for Hillary Clinton as her choice for the next President of United States, as she stated that "Speaking is difficult for me, but come January, I want to say these two words; Madam President". Giffords believes that Clinton will provide the change that this country needs on the issue of gun violence.
The Vocal Majority Tour kicked off on September 27 in none other than Orlando, Florida. States that Gabby will be traveling to include Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, New York, Maine, and Virginia, but many others will also be included. At a recent rally, Mrs. Giffords stated that now, more than ever, is the time that we must come together. She believes that this is an issue that both Republicans and Democrats must come together on. How does Gabby Giffords think we can overcome this issue of gun violence in the U.S? Well, in her words, we must "fight, fight, fight".
I think that Gabby Giffords is a very strong human being. There are not very many people who are able to speak out about such an important issue, let alone go through the terrible things that she has. I think that what she is fighting for is very important for the future of our nation. I think that this is the type of issue that members of all political parties will eventually agree on. I hope that we can soon see a change in this country about the issue of gun violence, for the sake of both people like Gabby Giffords, and the rest of the United States.
As Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton squared off, head to head, for the first time at Monday night's first presidential debate of the year, it was clear that gun violence took front stage. The two of them clashed for ninety-five minutes at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York about why they would be our best option for President of the United States. Naturally, they were asked many questions about current issues in our nation. And though the two candidates don't usually agree on much, they certainly did agree on one thing. This issue, as anyone could probably guess, was gun control.
On Monday night, the focus was specifically on the city of Chicago, Illinois. Chicago, which has one of the highest crime rates in the nation, is known to have many shootings each year and was even compared by Republican candidate to a "war-torn country". Both Clinton and Trump gave ideas on how to fix the issue of violence in the city. Trump said that he would want to take guns away from those who are felons and who have dangerous histories with violence. He also also said that he would consider implementing a stop-and frisk act into the city. Hillary Clinton said that stop-and-frisks has been tested before, and that they have provided little change. Clinton later called for our government's money to be used to retrain United States police officers.
Donald Trump, who is endorsed by the NRA, was not expected to support gun control during this, but he did. Usually, Trump sticks to the basics of gun ownership in the United States by stating that it is a personal right. Many supporters of a Trump candidacy were even surprised by his words on Monday night. In the past, he has said that he doesn't support things like stronger background checks or a ban on assault weapons. This was the first time that Donald Trump advocated for gun control.
I think that whoever wins this year's presidential election has to do something about this issue of gun violence in our country, as well as in the city of Chicago. I know that this city has struggled for years on this issue so it would be nice to finally see things improve for the people of Chicago. I hope that come next year, the newly elected president will identify this issue and speak more on how they can resolve the conflict in the city. I believe that we will make progress on this issue not only in Chicago, but across the country. This is not an issue that we can fix overnight, but with time, we can make great strides toward success in creating safer neighborhoods for people in the United States.
Our country has seen many different shootings over the years. Most of the time, these shootings claim the life of one victim. Occasionally though, shootings take the lives of many people. These events are know as "mass shootings". Typically, a mass shooting involves at least four people being killed, not including the person responsible for the assassination.
The deadliest shooting on U.S. soil took place this past June. On June 12, 2016, a man named Omar Mateen killed 49 people in an Orlando, Florida nightclub. The nightclub, known as Pulse, is known to be popular in the LGBT community. Because of this, it is believed that this shooting was a hate crime against members of the LGBT community. On the day that the shooting occurred, it was Latin Night at Pulse. As a result, the majority of the victims were Latino.
In addition to the 49 people that died during this attack, there were 53 others that faced non-fatal injuries. This statistic alone has made it the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since the attacks on September 11, 2001. The shooter, an Islamic extremist, proclaimed that he was an ISIS supporter during a 9-1-1 call that took place just after the shooting began. This has caused this tragedy to be classified as a terroristic attack.
After a standoff lasting about three hours, Omar Mateen was shot by the Orlando Police Department. He died on the scene.
I think that shootings like this one are happening too often right now. At this point in the year, there have already been 286 cases classified as mass shooting, though none have been quite as big as this one. I know that this has become a huge problem in our country. I just hope that we can find a way to stop this unnecessary violence. If we don't do something, we could see an increase in cases like this one throughout the country.
"Hands Up, Don't Shoot". This phrase alone has become synonymous with the issue of Gun Violence in our country. We've heard about this being chanted in streets, being demonstrated at national sporting events, and it is constantly being talked about in our country. But what does this statement even mean? What does it stand for?
The origin of the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" movement began shortly after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. The slogan was developed to protest against police violence, and it eventually spread nationwide. Officer Darren Wilson said that he shot Michael Brown when he became fearful of his safety while the two of them were walking on the sidewalk. Eyewitnesses have said that before he was shot, Brown raised both of his hands. Many protestors have shown support for Michael Brown by doing just what he allegedly did, raising their hands, hence the term "Hands Up, Don't Shoot".
"Hands Up, Don't Shoot" and other similar slogans, such as "I Can't Breathe", have been used often on the national scene. On November 30, 2014, five members of the NFL's St. Louis Rams walked onto the field in the Edward Jones Dome with their hands up, in protest of the death of Michael Brown. The players (Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, and Chris Givens) did this without the knowledge of their coach, who later stated that his players "were exercising their right to free speech". These five players were later criticized by members of the St. Louis Police Department, and some of the players even received death threats online. Another similar protest also included professional athletes in professional sports. During the 2014-2015 season, prominent athletes in the NBA wore shirts that read "I Can't Breathe", in reference to. Players such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant wore the shirts. The players were never fined, though many felt that the players should have faced punishment.
I think that the issue that is being protested is very important in our society. However, I sometimes feel that protests done by members of Black Lives Matter or other groups fighting for important issues in our society go too far. For example, in December of 2015, the Mall of America was shut down for an entire day due to a Black Lives Matter protest, causing many people to lose a day of shopping right before Christmas. The group has also caused highways to shut down by blocking off entire roads. I feel like these incidents are pointless, and that they don't help out the issue that they are fighting at all. I think that when events like these happen, it causes people to only see negative aspects of the activist movement. If they could find ways to protest without disrupting innocent lives, I think that they would be viewed better by the general public.
Though many people believe that there is an issue with gun violence in our country, there are just as many that believe that guns are not the problem. Instead, they believe that the issue is the person operating the gun, not the gun itself. Some people fear that if these laws are changed, their legal rights will be violated. The real issue here is that we have people in this country that should not be eligible to attain these machines. This, right here, is a big reason as to why the amount of gun violence is so great in our country.
One thing that our country can do to minimize the issue of gun violence in our country is to have better background checks on all gun sales. Citizens buying guns could be checked to see if they have a history of criminal charges relating to guns. Their pasts would also most likely be examined to see if they have any felonies. Our government already prohibits people with certain mental illnesses from possessing guns, but we could soon see an increase in the amount of mental illnesses on that list. These bans usually differ state to state.
Another possible solution to gun violence could be "smart" guns. Smart guns are not on the market at this time, but they are a concept gun being thrown around by organizations such as the NRA, iGun Technology, and TriggerSmart. Smart guns are being developed to have a safety feature that would only allow the owner to fire it. This feature is hoped to prevent shootings, misfires, gun thefts, and other violence with guns. These proposed guns use many different ways to identify that they are being operated by their owner. These ways include fingerprint recognition and special chips. The idea of smart guns has been both criticized and praised by officials, as well as everyday citizens.
One last solution is an overall ban on guns in the United States. Though controversial, it certainly has a following. According to the website Debate.org, 39% of Americans would support a total ban on guns in the country. This idea is often protested by people in our country. While this would be a last resort for our government, it could certainly decrease the amount of deaths by guns throughout the country.
It is only a matter of time before we get see what our nation's leaders decide to do about gun violence. Until then, we will just have to wait.
For the past few years now, gun violence has been a major topic on our news platforms. You can't turn a television on or open up social media without seeing some sort of headline dealing with this issue. Thousands of people, all over the country, are affected by this issue each year. Gun violence has become one of our nation's biggest problems.
Perhaps the biggest issue dealing with gun violence in today's world is police officers accused of wrongfully gunning down minorities, specifically African Americans. In recent years, there have been many mainstream cases of this. Examples of these killings would include the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Freddie Gray in Baltimore, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Each of these cases, as well as many others, have had strong support from U.S. citizens.
The death of Trayvon Martin is thought to have been one of the biggest cases of gun violence in recent U.S. history. Martin was killed by a man named George Zimmerman while walking down the street. Following the 17 year old's death, Black Lives Matter was essentially created. Black Lives Matter is an activist group that campaigns against violence against African Americans.
I believe that we as a nation can, and will fix this issue. I understand that we will continue to see cases like Trayvon Martin's or Michael Brown's for quite some time, but I do believe there there is light at the end of the tunnel. I think that first, people must understand the impact that this issue has on our country before we can to fix it.