Endless Terror?

Before you read this please know this might trigger you and you might not agree with everything I am saying. If you are uncomfortable with reading about school shootings please discard this blog and go watch The Notebook to make you feel better 🙂 Read to the end please if you are going to read this (bear with me).

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My question is: why now? Why now are people taking action against the terror that is going on within the country? Why now are people starting to revolt and stand up for what they believe in? What is different this time?

After 240 shootings since 2013, there are still no gun control laws that are sufficient enough to prevent these acts of terror. Is over 400 deaths not enough?

On February 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and killed 17 students/teachers.

Add that to the list too.

As I sat in class and heard the intercom, “Lock down, lock down, lock down.” The teacher informed us this was a drill. I knew what school shootings were and that it has happened before but I never knew how much until now. I was confused. Are there not laws put in place to protect us? Not according to recent events. Instead of creating new laws to prevent this, people have created websites to TRACK school shootings.

2018, a new year, a fresh start for everybody and we have ALREADY had at LEAST 12 school shootings.

As an Egyptian I would never have to deal with school shootings, ever. We do not have problems with guns, or alcohol for that matter. Yes, we do have other major problems going on in the country. School shootings however, are not one of them.

Screen Shot 2018-03-03 at 20.03.00

As I talk to the students around the school, some are scared, some are outraged, but all are used to this happening. It’s funny, when I’m asked if I think Egypt or the USA is safer I usually respond with Egypt. I know Egypt, I lived there all my life, I know and have seen all the terror that has happened there. It doesn’t help either that the news is uncensored. We all know what terror has happened in our country and we are all used to it. I think this is why people are taking a stand. After so many shootings seen on the news people are not fazed by what is happening and I think that scares them.

Now back to the most important question: what is happening now?

Image result for NRANational Rifle Association (NRA)-

The NRA was funded upon the Second Amendment which says:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

There are a lot of controversial discussions related to the Second Amendment.

Some say guns are needed to protect themselves and their family. I found this post done by Dr. Marshall St John who was a resident at Signal Mountain and he claims, “Owning a gun for self-defense is like having fire insurance or health insurance.” He also claims that owing a gun is “simply to preserve your rights as an American citizen.” He is referring to the Second Amendment. There are many people like Dr. Marshall that believe that owing a gun will make their community a safer place from gang violence, school shootings, and as he says in his post, international Islamic extremist terrorism. However, does this really make your community a safer place?

A study done by the Am J Public Health in 2013 found that states with higher rates of gun ownership had disproportionately large numbers of deaths from firearm-related homicides. The study shows that for each percentage point increase in gun ownership, the firearm homicide rate increased by 0.9%.

Another study in 2016 written by
Anthony Fabio PhD, MPH, Jessica Duell MPH, Kathleen Creppage MPH, Kerry O’Donnell, and Ron Laporte PhD (Original Research) analyzed data on 762 cases in which a gun was recovered by the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Firearm Tracking Unit (FTU). Descriptive analyses were conducted. Their data shows that guns recovered by police are rarely in the hands of their legal owners. So even if you have a license to own a gun, have taken safety courses on how to use a gun, and have had a background check done, there is a 79% that it will be stolen.

After recent events Trump suggests that teachers should be armed with concealed guns and I quote, “You give them a little bit of a bonus, so practically for free, you have now made the school into a hardened target.” Are we going to get to the point that we are paying teachers extra every time they kill a shooter now?

Trump said that he would devote federal money to training the teachers. How long would that process take? A couple of days? Weeks? Months? Will they have to go through the process of getting a permit (which is around 92-100 days) or will they take a few course and khalas (means that’s it)? Hopefully these answered questions will be answered soon.

I recently found out about something called a Ghost Gun, which is means that anyone, including criminals, can order a ghost gun off the web without a background check – a gun with no serial number that can’t be traced. There are websites available where I can legally buy a ghost gun and assemble it myself. There are Ar 15 to AKs to rifles available on the websites. They are also untraceable and do NOT have serial number. These are not only easy to access but extremely lethal. These ghost gun can be worth a $100 to $1,500. Not only school shooters use this but also common criminals and gang members.

According to NBC News the Sen. Chuck Schumer says, “We are going to try to pass legislation,” said Schumer. “The trouble is the NRA is so unreasonable and has such power in the Congress, you’d think this should pass like that, but it is going to be a long hard road.” They are expecting fierce opposition from the NRA and they did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Will it take a couple of months or years to create laws that prohibit ghost guns? More training? Less training? More background checks? Mental health background checks? What has to be done to stop this this endless terror ever stop?

*update – I don’t know what the right answer is and what should be done and I don’t think I ever will. Things are slightly clearer now than they were in beginning of the year but still very messy. I am still not sure how I feel about all this now. Obviously you can tell I was anger and fearful when I was writing this (which might/would make this blog bias) and I still am. I’m scared that this will happen to the school I am going to, that someone very dear to me will die. The same time I wrote this they had found ammunition in our school bathrooms, this is what triggered these feelings. I thought we were going to be next. Everyday going to school I would mentally prepare myself in case anything happened. I don’t know what should be done. Half the country (world really) is split and cannot meet in the middle.

I am still a student and I am still learning. Everyone has a different perspective of things and they are always welcome here. I enjoy hearing you opinion and thoughts, they help me better understand things from different point of views. I had a teacher tell me everyday during class that we are World Citizens and that it is our job to make the world a better place.

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This is Cairo signing off

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If you have any questions or suggestions please email me at anegyptianlivinginchattanooga@gmail.com

Stay tuned for my next blog

Sources:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-america-school-shootings-20180215-story.html
https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/02/us/school-shootings-2018-list-trnd/index.html
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/02/15/us/school-shootings-sandy-hook-parkland.html
https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/17/us/florida-student-emma-gonzalez-speech/index.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3828709/

https://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/gun-ownership-rates-by-state/37/
https://www.ammoland.com/2011/08/fifteen-reasons-you-should-own-a-gun/
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/charity-honor-philando-castile-pays-school-district-s-entire-lunch-n853046

 

 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. CogsOfKnowledge says:

    Hello Julia,

    I am a middle school teacher out in California and I stumbled across your blog: a very well written, well researched entry I must say. I’d like to take a chance at answering your underlying question “My question is: why now? Why now are people taking action against the terror that is going on within the country? Why now are people starting to revolt and stand up for what they believe in? What is different this time?”

    To be honest with you, I’ve lived in this country, here in California my entire life. I have never been in an active shooter lockdown and have never lost a student to gun violence. I have watched the news on every mass shooting since Columbine and for some unknown reason this one in Florida has hit me the hardest.

    I think the reason people are standing up now is because the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglass refuse to backdown. The students have decided that they are going to lead the change and that the adults better get in line. I think the adults, especially those of us who work with kids or have kids of our own are worried and scared and have had enough. The difference between this shooting and the previous shootings is fear. Real gut-wrenching terror that this has happened so many times in so little time and that the reality is that it is a problem and Americans are waking up to that fact.

    No matter the reason, Americans have decided it’s time to stand up and fight for our children’s safety and their right to be safe in school and for that, I am grateful.

    Thank you for your words,
    CogsOfKnowledge

    Like

    1. Julia Youssef says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me!

      During that week of the shooting I had such a culture shock, I couldn’t believe things like this was still going on. The fact alone that an unstable teenager had access to a gun is just shocking. So I am too am happy that people are demanding change and hopefully change will come soon!

      -Cairo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CogsOfKnowledge says:

        You’re lucky, I wish mass shootings would send me into culture shock, but sadly it’s just part of our current culture and climate in the U.S. I hope that change comes soon too.

        Like

  2. While I agree with the sentiment, the problem isn’t with the legal ownership but the illegal element in society.

    If you don’t recognise that you’ll end up like the UK.
    Here only the illegal carry and use weapons.
    With the law abiding reduced to active targets for the scum to practice on.

    Recently the murder rate in the UK topped that of NYC.
    None of the murders were carried out by the law abiding.
    None used ‘registered’ weapons.

    To defend yourself, your own, and others, needs the law abiding to have the weapons, training, and the protection of law.

    You’ll never stop the illegal element with more laws, greater controls, and banning weapons. To think so is supremely flawed.

    To make the illegal element understand that they won’t know who is armed or not is a powerful deterrent.

    Like

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