Day 1 Blog 12/8/16
"Pizzagate gunman refuses to dismiss online conspiracy theory."
This is Edgar Maddison being arrested, after he surrendered. .
A man named Edgar Maddison read about the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory online. Which claims that the Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria is somehow related to Hillary Clinton, and is running a child sex ring. Source. Edgar then decided to check out the situation for himself. He ended up entering the pizzeria and firing an AR-15, then being arrested. He then said that he "regrets how he handled the situation," while refusing to deny the claims.
In my opinion he was just another crazy conspiracy theorist, and I doubt that the business was engaged in illegal activity. However I also wonder how he gained access to the rifle, since he has been convicted of driving drunk, along with other drug charges. But at least he was arrested before anyone was hurt. But since he shot a firearm in a restaurant, he is up for charges of assault with a deadly weapon. Which if he is convicted, he could be charged with a felony. And if he is charged with a felony, he will then no longer be able to purchase or own a firearm. Which in my opinion would likely be the best thing to do.
Reno Officer Shooting 12/9/16
Front of the Reno, Nevada High School.
A school police officer shot a student who was wielding two knives at the Reno High School. The 14 year old student was being bullied according to his father. The father then claimed to have supported his sons actions, claiming he was trying to defend himself. Source. The boy is being prepared for a psychiatric evaluation. A father of one of the boys friends, claims that "there are alternatives. Mace for one." As well as saying "they should actually be writing formal apologies to every single students parents there for putting all their children in danger." The shooting reportedly happened after the student was involved in a fight, then drew the knives. He refused orders from a police officer to drop the knives, while threatening nearby students. One parent that commented on the situation said "I'm glad the situation got handled the way it did." Source.
From what I know right now, on December 9th at 1:46, the situation seems to have been handled properly. I do feel for the student that was bullied, but bringing knives to school and trying to harm students does not solve the issue. I also find it disgusting that the father of the affected student defended his sons actions. His father was defending an extreme response that could have easily ended in severe harm to multiple students. And the attorneys claims that the student was "trying to protect himself" do not make too much sense. In the video, the student was waving the knives around and lunging towards students. It passed an act of self defense at the point in which he threatened students that were not involved in the fight. He also went about defending himself in a terrible manner. He simply brought weapons to school, planning for something to happen, and then after the fight, took out two knives and threatened nearby students. Another thing I would like to address. The father of the boys friend, claimed that the cop put other students in danger by shooting the student. But, hollow point ammunition is used commonly by police, so it is safe to assume that the officer was using hollow point ammunition. And hollow point ammunition was designed to reduce over penetration, which is when a bullet goes through it's intended target. So the chances are that the cop was using a hollow point, and shot the student. The odds of another student being harmed were relatively low, and seem to take thought away from the boys actions. It is terrible that he was bullied, but he went about fixing it in a way that endangered himself, and everyone else around him.
Day three blog Heroin addicted babies 12/12/16
Currently there is a rise in babies being born addicted to opioids, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome. The rate of babies being born with neonatal abstinence syndrome has increased from 12.9% to 21.2% in rural areas. These babies often struggle with lack of sleep, vomiting, and sometimes seizures. Along with this, the rate of opioid use in rural areas of the country has increased. While the rate of opioid use in urban areas has been stabilizing.
In my opinion, I don't understand why opioids are prescribed so often in America. I don't know much about medicine, but after I got my wisdom teeth out, I was prescribed an opioid, for three weeks. But I only took it for the first four days. Afterwards the pain wasn't all that bad. And then with how highly addictive opioids can be, I feel like it would be best if at all possible, prescribing opioids was avoided.
Day 4 blog 6 Police officers shot in 6 days 12/13/16
In the above image, officer Nicholas Ryan Smarr is being laid to rest.
According to CNN, in the past six days, six police officers have been shot. Two of the shootings have been fatal. The two officers that died were both lifelong friends, and responded to the same call of domestic abuse. One officer, Nicholas Ryan Smarr, was killed at the scene. The other officer, Jody Smith, his lifelong friends was critically injured, and then later died of his wounds. Two more police officers were shot, both non-fatally, were performing a drug raid. The last two officers were shot, while responding to a stolen car, they pulled the driver over, and he opened fire.
In my opinion, it is actions like these, against police officers, that causes our police to be fearful for their lives everyday even on routine stops. Which is really a terrible thing that those who serve us, and protect us, have to fear for their lives everyday.
Day 5 blog 12/14/16
A glacier breaking off into the ocean.
NASA satellites show how fast the glaciers are melting. Currently, glaciers hold about 69% of the world's freshwater. While sea levels are locked rising at approximately 3 feet each year, according to NASA. And as our polar ice caps are at record low levels, our oceans will continue to rise. Which will cause over 216 million people to lose their homes, and millions more to have to relocate.
In my opinion, I don't understand how someone could possibly deny climate change. But I think it's very important for people to realize that by using fossil fuels, we are adding mercury to our water table, acidifying the oceans, and other water sources, and will inevitably cause another mass extinction if we continue to use fossil fuels for a prolonged time. The earlier we get away from fossil fuels the better off we will be. Then another issue, is that while places like India, and Africa develop, they go through their own industrial revolution, in which they use what is cheap and available to them, usually coal. So we should do our best to deter these countries from using the fossil fuels, so we do not further speed up the rate of climate change.
Day 6 blog 12/15/16
Student stress levels
Over 27% of teens claim to have "extreme" levels of stress in their lives. With another 55% complaining of moderate stress. Studies also suggest that bad coping habits learned early on, will likely carry on into adulthood. Which in turn will lower their overall lifespans if they do not reverse their habits. Some of the habits are poor eating habits such as skipping meals, and a lack of sleep and exercise.
Well I don't exactly understand why so many kids have such high stress levels related to school. I am currently taking two AP classes, and despite it being a very large workload, I usually do 4-7 hours of homework a night, excluding daily study. I do manage my time relatively well, which seems to be something many kids lack. However, most kids I know that are very stressed out are not taking any AP classes, and they only have maybe an hour or two of homework each night. I think they are stressed out because they procrastinate, turn in work late, mess around constantly in class, and other similar behavior. I think their stress is mainly due to them not doing what they should be doing. For example many kids in my Spanish II are freaking out because they are doing poorly in class. However, there is a catch, they don't do their homework, they do not pay attention in class, and they do not study. Then they act surprised they do poorly on the test, and several directly blame the teacher. In my opinion, your stress levels are due to how hard you try. If you do not put in any effort, and are failing, you should not be surprised.
Day 7 blog 12/16/16
China steals US Navy drone
From BBC, this is where the US drone was seized.
According to BBC, the Chinese Navy seized a US drone while it was in international waters. This is a part of China's growing influence in the Pacific Ocean, in which they are claiming islands that are not theirs, and taking land, and water territory from other countries. The Chinese military has been destroying coral reefs, and islands, to build military installations, many of which have fighter jets, and anti-aircraft missiles. A Chinese ship approached within 500 yards of the US ship, then launched a small boat and seized the drone. The US ship made radio contact with the Chinese ship, demanding the immediate return of the drone, only to be ignored.
In my opinion, more countries need to take direct action against the Chinese. I think that an attack on the Chinese would be idiotic, but there are few things we can do to stop the Chinese. We could however boycott all goods made in China. Ever since China started expanding it's military, they have only looked to expand their land. In the 1950's the Chinese invaded Tibet, since then they have only expanded their lands. If we do nothing, they will continue to ruin the environment, and pollute every land they touch, and do no good, since they have no respect for international law.
Day 8 blog 12/19/16
Russian ambassador assassinated
Picture taken in Ankara, Turkey.
Russia's ambassador to Turkey was assassinated by Melvut Mert Altintas, an off duty police officer. The officer was born in Turkey, and yelled "do not forget Aleppo." The attack was likely a protest to the Russian and Syrian bombings of Syrians in Aleppo, in which many innocent people have been killed.
In my opinion, I see why the shooter was so upset about the killing, but his actions only make the governments participating in the bombing feel even more justified. Because when they see barbaric acts against them such as this, they will only use it to fuel further conflict, rather than sit back and think, "hey should I maybe stop." In my opinion, his actions will likely make the situation with Syria worse, not any better.
Day 9 blog, 12/20/16
More Liberals in the US are buying guns
According to BBC, in the US, more Liberals are buying guns. This is believed to be caused by the election of Donald Trump, causing a rise in hate crimes. In return, minority groups feel less safe, and are opting to buy firearms to defend themselves. This mentality has been dominated mostly by those that are right of center politically. Minorities such as those that are homosexual, have been buying firearms at an increased rate since the Orlando shooting, in which a gay-nightclub was shot up. Gwendolyn Patton, a member of the Pink Pistols, a club for gun owners that are gay, lesbian, or transgender, said that they are for the most part "welcomed with open arms by the shooting community."
I do not see any negatives to this, as long as the firearms are only being used for legal uses. If anything, I see this as benefiting both sides. Gun owners will have more support, and be less alienated in society, and those that feel they are in danger, will have a more effective means of protecting themselves. This will also put pressure on more states to have less restrictive laws for issuing conceal and carry permits. States that use a "may issue" policy" may face law suits for denying people their license if they qualify, if more people agree with carrying a firearm for self defense.
Day 10 blog 12/21/16
European Union approves tougher gun control
According to CNN, the European Union, on December 21st has agreed to make gun regulations even more strict. The European Union is banning the sale of "the most dangerous semi-automatic firearms, and to make it much harder to buy other weapons." Along with this, the EU is making communication of sales, and denials easier to access between countries. The proposed regulations included a complete ban on all semi-automatic firearms, along with even stricter regulations on purchasing a firearm. Since these new regulations have been passed in response to terror attacks, Firearms United, a gun rights group in Europe is arguing that "restricting legal gun ownership will not stop terrorism." Firearms United argued against the new regulations, and their petition got 330,000 signatures.
So I think it is absolutely ridiculous that after every major terror attack, the EU proposes stricter regulations on legal firearm ownership. At least to me, when people illegally buy a firearm, that could not even be legally purchased in the EU, or the US, my solution would not be "hey lets make it harder for the average person to buy a gun." Along with this, the regulations in Europe were already ridiculously strict, you had to spend several months in training, pass a written test, then you had to get it approved by the local police, your home would be searched at any time by the police, you could only purchase so much ammunition at a certain time, several week long waiting lists, and you cannot use a firearm for self defense. In Europe I am unaware of any laws, or rights to self defense. In fact, you cannot carry ANY weapon/tool for self defense, even pepper spray in most European countries. In the end, I think this was an immensely stupid decision from the EU, and I do not understand how they can justify this.
Day 11 blog 12/22/16
An image of Mr. McKinney, taken from CNN.
Man given $75 after spending over half of his life imprisoned for a crime he did not do.
After being wrongly accused of rape, and burglary charges in 1977, Lawrence McKinney was sentenced to 115 years in prison. In 2008 DNA proved his innocence, and he was released in 2009. Mr. McKinney is asking for $1,000,000 from the state of Tennessee, and has only received $75 so far.
I think it's ridiculous that he was held for so long, without DNA evidence, but I also don't know what other evidence they had. $1,000,000 also seems like a lot, but it is terrible that he was imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, for most of his life. So I guess that is justified. But regardless, only $75 is practically an insult to Mr. McKinney, and the fact that he could not cash it for several months due to him not having any ID makes it seem even worse. I find it amazing that he is not angry for being imprisoned, because I am sure that I would be.