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December 3, 2022

 

The Buffalo Massacre of May 14, 2022

In the article, “A Nation Mourns with Buffalo” (Upfront, Smith 2022) I learn about the tragic racially targeted massacre that occurred on May 14, 2022.  This incident took ten lives of innocent people, all of which were African Americans.  The shooter, Payton S. Gendron, was only 18 years old when he committed one of the deadliest massacres to hit the American streets.  After the incident, it was revealed that Gendron had posted a long lengthy speech in which he expressed his appreciation for a white supremacist ideology that basically suggested and encouraged the concept of superiority amongst white people.  Additionally, there have been anterior situations where he was seen behaving oddly and rebelliously, including where he had to be taken to a hospital for a mental health evaluation after making a threatening statement.  Despite the concrete evidence presented against Gendron, he pleaded not guilty.

It is very unfortunate that lives were stripped away from ten innocent people who had a long life ahead of them because there are people in the world who believe in the ideologies of white supremacy and superiority in general.  It feels absolutely terrifying knowing that even with all the teaching and enforcing given out to help get rid of these types of situations, they are still bound to happen at some point.  We cannot fully get rid of these tragic incidents, however it is crucial that we know and learn how to prevent them.  The article had mentioned how an online post had been previously made leading up to the day of the shooting.  I believe if we had been more vigilant and had paid more attention to his behavior speech, the situation could have possibly been prevented.  Unfortunately, this is one of the many mass shootings that have been targeting a specific race or ethnic group.

What are some ways that we can help prevent these incidents?


Why children shouldn’t be expected to save the whole world

(Or why child protests ain’t really the best)

The fact that children are protesting is not a problem, per se. The real issue comes in two parts: That adults aren’t, and that nothing is changing. The real issue comes in the fact that children have to be protesting, that this generation is so thoroughly disillusioned by the future that they can no longer be and act as children. The real issue is that children are exposed to so much stress all the time.

I care about this issue because I am a child, and I am stressed and worried and damn near hopeless about the future. I wish I did not have to be, but the facts are that the climate is being wrecked, facism is on the rise, the wage gap is becoming fully unsurmountable, and so, so, so many other things are all happening at once. How can we not protest? 

Children are impacted by this issue the most. On the surface level, the protests themselves take them out of school, halting their learning, possibly lowering their grades, thus making school a little harder and a little more stressful. But digging deeper, the need to protest, the constant stress of knowing that you should be out there doing something is driving more and more children to drugs, and to getting depression or anxiety. The future is scary, and unlike most children’s fear of growing up, we have evidence to back us up.

Depression is on the rise in teens. But why? According to US News & World Report, “this generation knows all too well the fear of terrorism. Whether it be a lone shooter or mass terrorist attack, our nation’s youth have come to know and live with violence in their lives.” This is just one of the reasons, others including a lack of sleep, overstimulation, and other uncertain times, but the fact that even this exists is madness. Children live in fear of random violence in the US, and so we protest. We protest Parkland, we remember columbine, and we march for our lives. “I should be writing my college essay, not my will”. (Washington Post). And this is just one of the so, so many issues facing youth today. And yet, things haven’t changed. “There are a number of states where new measures are being discussed or debated, but few have signed any such measures into law.” (ABC News). Only 4 states have passed anything. Florida, where Parkland occurred, Oregon and Washington, both of them liberal pacific northwest states which have had 5 and 14 mass shootings in the last 20 years respectively, and Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union. The rest are either still debating, or not doing anything at all. Its disillusioning to see all these people protest, and then nothing happens. Why must children protest for their own lives and then be ignored? Why can people not realize that the only acceptable amount of children shot to death at school is ZERO? Other people need to talk, people with more pull, more resources, more influence than children. Other people need to speak up and say that none of us should be dying. None.

The fact that this is a fairly new problem means there really haven’t been any solutions attempted on the macro scale. These problems, some new like climate change, and some old like facism, are all happening at once, and we can know about all of it due to the widespread info pile that is the internet. On smaller scales, the general concept of mental health days, trying to limit your exposure to the news, and other such things have been suggested, but there’s not been a coordinated effort to limit the amount of stress children are under.

My idea for a solution would just be getting people to realize how much, truly how much stress kids are under these days. School steals hours upon hours of your day, sometimes more than a standard workday if you include homework. Kids are getting less sleep, and then on top of those the whole world is slowly dying and social progress is being rolled back at an ever-increasing rate. Getting people to realize this, and then possibly trying to reduce it in the ways we can, by limiting exposure to news & lessening homework amounts, could honestly do wonders.

More research I would need to do to further my understanding of this topic would be to just read more news about child protests in all areas of protest, and to look at the change in laws both locally and worldwide to see if I can form a correlation between the protests and actual change.

Feel free to add to the discussion in the comments below 🙂


Are the Current Gun Laws Sufficient?

The first thing I would like to say is that this is my opinion on the matter, and other people are entitled to their own opinions, whether it be for or against gun control. Gun control has been a very pressing matter in the media due to situations occurring that demonstrate a violent misuse of firearms. The issue of gun control isn’t an easy one to address or pick a side on. This is the case even for federal judges which you can read here. One primary issue is that many U.S. Citizens are basing their opinions on one thing they heard on one news source which shouldn’t be how we form our opinions. People should do research and form their own opinions about any particular topic.


Terrorism growing in our backyard

Homegrown terrorism or domestic terrorism is terrorism but coming out of people that are natives to The United States. This includes stuff like the Los Vegas shooting and the many shootings that take place in schools. This is a problem because when you think of terrorism most of us think of not good people that do terrible stuff and it’s not a comforting thought that there are people living among us that want to do harm to innocent people. There are lone wolf homegrown terrorists and groups of them. The lone wolf is the one we think of when we think of like a school shooting which means that they are not connected to a terrorist group. But there are also homegrown terrorist groups like the KKK or neo-Nazi groups. This is a problem for obvious reasons and I know we need to solve it with better gun laws and mental health awareness. If you want to hurt innocent people there is something very obviously mentally wrong with you and I think we could help these people instead of letting something tragic happen.


No Computer Privacy

Dear President,

 

Technological advances have brought some of the greatest things available to mankind, yet they have brought great loss to thousands of families all across the world. We aren’t living in a world where it would take months to schedule another 9/11, Orlando, Paris Attacks, or Belgium Bombing due to the lack of communication; no, it only takes a matter of seconds to communicate with another person half-way across the world. Recently, a man and his wife decided to attack the Inland Regional Center located in San Bernardino, California. Later during the day of investigation the police found an iPhone that belonged to the shooters and it was the FBI who really wanted bypass the lockscreen- intrigued by the idea that the device might have information leading back to ISIS.  

 

As a citizen of not just America but the modern world, computer privacy should not be a right. It is not because people do not deserve to have a sort of privacy but actually the fact that these terrorists use media to communicate with each other to bomb people and do mass shootings. For example, prior to the shooting in San Bernardino the Richard A. Serrano from Los Angeles Times stated in his article, “San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik sent at least two private messages on Facebook to a small group of Pakistani friends in 2012 and 2014, pledging her support for Islamic jihad and saying she hoped to join the fight one day”- Serrano How different would life have been present day if that incident had not occurred? As crazy as it may seem maybe one of those family members did not become a doctor anymore or a lawyer or an environmentalist. Think about it for a brief second, the plausible reasons that family member could not do what they wanted to be; it comes down to a domino effect, the member could have become depressed and be deprived of motivation from their loss. Essentially the FBI can careless if you are selling weed or doing things that are not in their major interest. People may have this misconception that the FBI is going to want to know what the person is doing at 3 in the morning or who you’re doing it with.
After so many of these attacks occurring, I have began to notice things that I thought would only ever see in Mexico. Things that are meant to make you feel safe, but do the very contrary they make me feel… unsafe; having officials with assault rifles at public places does just that.  Do we live in a safe place? America claims to be the safest place, that no other country can just come attack because we will be right on them and they “will find no safe haven”.  What good does it do to protect ourselves from other countries if America cannot protect itself from its own People. Protected, America can be but it is a matter of how. I believe the FBI should have the right to monitor all the messages going around world wide from any platform. With that being said, this has been a sensitive topic for the past couple months, it is truly unfair that many of these people are dying and they have not done anything to provoke the killer.

https://www.youthvoices.live/tag/mass-shootings/