Archive for December, 2012

As most individuals in the United States, and perhaps around the world, already know: On December 14, 2012 a man killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut (source). Adam Lanza, 20, killed his mother and then killed 20 students and 6 members of faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School (source).

Let me begin by expressing how terrible sorry I am about the loss of these amazing people, most of whom had bright futures and most of their lives still in front of them. With that said, this tragedy has left most individuals in America questioning various aspects of American life and culture. The most controversial subject has been gun control. Among other controversies are issues about video games, race, and mental illness.

In the 1970’s the National Rifle Association, along with other corporations, began to argue that the second amendment allowed citizens to carry guns (source). The NRA argued that every citizen had a “right” to own a gun. Since then, most Americans have accepted the freedom of citizens to own guns. But recent events have prompted many Americans to hit the streets and go online, using sites like Tumblr and Facebook, to protest current gun regulations and some have called for a ban on gun ownership of citizens all together.

I personally have very little knowledge about gun regulation, but, from what I’ve been reading and researching, I agree with most Americans: there needs to be more emphasis on gun control and regulation. Whereas most states in the U.S. are “shall-issue” states, I think that the government needs to implement laws that make it much harder then a simple background check and a gun safety course (source). At the same time, I don’t think that gun ownership should be completely outlawed. I think that most people arguing or protesting for/against gun control are ignoring the complexities.

One of the main reasons individuals carry guns is self defense. I have personally often thought about taser guns as a replacement for guns as far as security issues go. Another argument I have encountered many times by individuals that are pro-guns is that the state and government can have total power if they limit the individual citizens’ right to bear arms. As for this second argument, I think that in a crisis between state and citizen, citizens will find a way to obtain guns.

Again, I don’t think that gun ownership should be outlawed completely. I do believe that gun ownership should be a lot more difficult and a longer process then it currently is. One system of gun control and regulation that has been popping up is Israeli gun control. Some regulations of the Israeli gun laws, as explained in the article Israeli Gun Control (by Ben Hartman), are:

  • Must be 21 years old
  • Must go through a mental and physical health exam
  • Pass shooting exams and courses at a licensed gun range
  • background checks by the Public Security Ministry, which is in charge of the Israel police.
  • Once they order their firearm from a gun store, they are allowed to take the firearm home with a one-time supply of 50 bullets, which they cannot renew.
  • The gun owner then must come back for a new license exam and testing at the gun range every three years. As of this January, Amit said a new law will go into effect requiring gun owners to prove that they have a safe at home to keep their firearm in.

The Israeli government also has strict laws about hunting licences. I personally call for the ban of ALL hunting licenses in the United States. I believe that hunting harms the environment and it is morally wrong to kill animals for personal sport and enjoyment (but that’s another article/post entirely).

TO BE CONTINUED: (RACE, MENTAL ILLNESS).

MORE READINGS:

Some more on gun regulation and history

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Where I’m From (Amina Masood)

I am from High ceilings
from porcelain dolls and broken mud banks
I am from grassy land and open skies
and old clothes with loosening threads that you put in sheds and attics but cannot throw away
I am from mango trees
whose tall roots reached for the stars and then drooped down, defeated
I am from _paper dolls with paper homes and paper families that were easily made but hard to replace
from Mohammed and Masood
I am from happiness and love that consumes
and from values that teach about the world
from values that make it hard to be anything other than that which I am
I am from  لا إله إلا الله
I am from Adam and Ishmael
from fresh, unpasteurized milk and unprocessed food
from the time of war and eulogies
and from  the time of reconciliation and finding home
a car crash and pain and loss
Resurrected by miraculous joy, I am from the people that loved me and love me still, from the ones that came in my life and never left, from the ones that did leave, I am from everything I ever was or ever wanted to be.

Write You Own–> (more…)

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** A literary critique of poet Bhau Kapil’s text, Humanimal by AMINA MASOOD**

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Humanimal: A Proposal for Hybridity

I slip my arms into yours, to become four-limbed
I slip my arms into the sleeves of your shirt
To write this, the memoir of your body
– Bhanu Kapil (Location 94).

There is a place where all things meet and merge- allowing the existence of hybridity. In her book, Humanimal, Bhanu Kapil explores the idea of a hybrid space that allows binaries to be broken down. The title’s “an” exists as this space between hum“an” and “an”imal. Kapil examines the ways in which language and poetry can play a role in creating this hybrid space where humans can understand each other as well as the natural world. In doing so, her book becomes a “project for future children” (Kapil, Location 35). She suggests that if we take action trying to erase dualisms, such as the dualisms between man and woman, human and nature, human and animal, then future children can come into a world that is free of the dualist structure. Kapil stresses the importance of an anti-dualist world because hybridity necessitates understanding, whereas dualism creates structures of opposition.

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