OPINION: Mass Shootings

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Earlier this week a 19-year-old child used a semi-automatic weapon to kill 17 people injuring a dozen more.

Unfortunately, as a 33-year-old woman, this type of news has become “normal” to me and as it is always sad, I’ve become extremely frustrated with the ongoing, cyclical rhetoric surrounding the issue. While waiting for my car’s oil change this morning, I scrolled through Facebook and immediately regretted it.

My newsfeed, like many of yours, is filled with snark and sarcasm instead of debate, ideas, and answers. What baffles me is that everyone seems to be so passionate when these incidents happen, but quickly we forget, we move on, and we just begin to complain about the weather and post videos of people cooking things in crock-pots again.

One of the reasons this blog is important to me is because I got tired of sitting on the sidelines and watching the degradation of our culture and communication. We’ve replaced action with passive aggressive comments, whit with sarcasm, common sense with ignorance, compassion with heart emojis.

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OPINION: Respect

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As a teenager in the early 2000s, I had political “opinions”. Well, I thought I had political opinions, but really they were just regurgitations of things I’d picked up at home mixed with some basic feelings on social issues.

One time, my uncle came to visit and called me out on these “opinions” and I became upset because, in all honesty, I didn’t really have any foundation to base these opinions on. I didn’t know much about the government or politics at the time and most of my “opinions” came from strong feelings. These feelings register now as just a general sense of social awareness and became the foundation for my interest in politics.

However, these weak “opinions” and my unease when attempting to defend them taught me a few very important lessons:

  1. If you don’t know something, say so.
  2. Research your side and defend it.
  3. Be open to civil discourse.
  4. Respect your opponent.

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DACA, The Budget, & A Wall

DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era legislation that was passed in 2012 which allows for children brought to the U.S. illegally to remain in the country provided that they meet a set of minimum requirements set in place by the government (Meckler, 2018). These young people are referred to throughout the media and government as #Dreamers.

This debate was re-ignited last year when the president repealed the protections for these individuals and set a deadline for their deportation of March 5, 2018 (Lind, 2017). So, those in Congress who are actively trying to save the Dreamers and keep our promise to these young people, don’t have a lot of time to do so.

Additionally, the government is currently operating on a limited spending budget that was passed in January which allowed the government to keep running for three weeks in order to give Congress time to collaborate and find a spending solution for the year (Golshan, 2018). At stake in these negotiations is the fate of the Dreamers, the fate of government workers, and the fate of the Trump administration’s ability to keep the doors open. No one, on either side of the aisle, wants another shutdown like 2013 which lasted 17 days and resulted in over 120,000 jobs lost (Amadeo, 2018).

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