Weapons in America

Its a pun, get it??

“ I have a right to bear arms” seems like a quote from a Texan ranch owner or Kentucky mountain person, but I believe has a place in this country. Debates over the proper restrictiveness of gun control laws are ongoing, with both sides making concrete  reasoning behind why guns should or should not be available to the public. With the amount of public shootings, be them in schools, malls, or any other numerous locations give good reason to be afraid of firearms. But for each horror story I have heard ones of a man with a gun stopping a shooting, saving multiple peoples lives. The truth I believe lies somewhere in between.

Balance is the hardest thing for humans to maintain in their lives. Be that eating correctly, exercising, and getting enough sleep. These flaws in humanity reach over to politics. With weapons and public use of them people want the whole hog or none of it. As citizens of a liberal democracy it goes against us fundamentally to deny something, that in good faith and with responsibility, can be a constructive tool.  In John Stuart Mills novel On Liberty he discusses the idea of what is in the bounds of actions of a man. “men should be free to act upon their opinions—to carry these out in their lives, without hindrance, either physical or moral, from their fellow-men, so long as it is at their own risk and peril.”(Chpt 3, Mill). Men are free to carry a weapon on them, they take responsibility for the weapon and everything that comes from it once in their

Does this scare you? Good.

possession. No single person has the right to impede someone else of that ability, but, their is a catch. If the responsibilities of a weapon are taken upon by someone there needs to be a sense of discipline, with its use and upkeep for “ It may be better to be a John Knox than an Alcibiades, but it is better to be a Pericles than either; nor would a Pericles, if we had one in these days, be without anything good which belonged to John Knox.” (Chpt 3, Mill). Basically in layman’s terms he is saying that it is better to be self disciplined and self sacrificing, not own a gun or think about it(John Knox), then to have a gun and be irresponsible with it(Alcibiades). But the best option would to be a Pericles, this would be someone who wants a gun even with the pressures of how terrible they are, and is responsible for it. Here is where the government begins to play a role. Liberalism plays a huge role in Mills writing, and would seem to be a solution to this gun problem. This line of thought gives enough birth to allow people of sound mind and good intention to own a weapon, but should stop those who would use them for harm. Be that background checks and a cool of period, guns should stay out of the hands that are a danger, but if someone wants large rounds, or high powered rifles for their own use, or to get certified to carry a weapon with them and is responsible they should be able to. It is there right, nd it should be upheld.

Weapons are a dangerous topic. People want to protect their families from them, and others want to with them. Both sides should have needs meant. With proper balance and control, guns should be allowed into the streets and hands of responsible citizens willing to bare the weight that comes with owning a firearm.

There is no right or wrong on this topic, but maybe one day we can all love each other!

Dividing Sports

One of the biggest company to televise sports in the nation.

With over 400,000 NCAA collegiate athletes from all divisions, millions of people running local 5 ks every year, and  the NFL grossing around 9 billion dollars in 2013, it is safe to say we live in a competitive culture. Such a heavy focus on athletics and competition probably brings to many of these contestants minds ” What is fair?”. Where skill level and ability come in as much variety as the people who partake in such events, it can’t be expected that everyone should be measured using the same tape. But debate in recent years have been how to make distinctions between deciding who gets an award for being in a special “league”. Should there be  separation based on age? Race? Gender? Disability? Some claim that even weight should have its own category in such things as 5ks, and earn their own awards.

I believe that sports should not be divided by god given talent alone,  but the ability to progress in a chosen area, to improve oneself and go beyond what believed was possible. For this purpose no one should be segregated by a situation they cannot control directly. Such things as one’s race they are born with. Cultural ties with ethnicity should be something perpetuated and celebrated, when different countries compete together in the same stadium, rink, track, etc, its helps build a global community where races are not just recognized, but differences are championed and accepted.  Debates over

1900’s women in the traditional tennis outfit.

what people “deserve” in sports has been at the forefront of many competitors minds, especially in collegiate athletics. In many cases acknowledgement of differences are a truer form of equality, such as in gender. Most women will agree, that on a whole, competing against men in any given sport would be unfair. Science has shown men on average have a larger muscle mass and cardiovascular capacity, giving a huge advantage in an taxing physical activity. With the enactment of Title IX in 1972 many believe it to be ” women’s lack of interest in competitive sports as a reason why strictly proportional equity in college sports” (Mika, 1) as an excuse to not provide women with proper funding and ability to excel in their chosen sport. Societal norms have stigmatized womens involvement in competition for hundreds of years, and without  media support  have had little to no chance to grow as an institution. For most cases “The history of the politics of women’s sports has been written competently by others.”(Mika,4). Unable to be directly involved in commemorating their own history causes an inability for one to influence the future because the past is not their own. With the old aphorism of “History repeating itself” ringing in many female athletes ears they must push on, hurdling the numerous obstacles blocking their path. Societal blockades to those in a minority are all harmful, but I do believe they most influential on those who are disabled.

World record holder for the wheelchair marathon was set in 2012 at Boston by Ernst Van Dyk in an hour eighteen minutes and twenty-seven seconds.  I am a runner, and being able to move yourself twenty six miles in that amount of time is far from “disabled”. The NYC marathon recently incurred much controversy over its treatment of disabled runners. “the police

routinely but randomly stopped wheelchair participants—sometimes for up to forty minutes—so that elite runners could pass.”(Mika,135)

Ernest Van Dyke, world record holder n the wheelchair marathon.

. These actions undermine the pursuit of excellence these runners are trying to achieve, by putting the race of athletes not in a wheelchair as precedence to those in one. In such a case the question of equality or justice never really arose because of many question surrounding the definitive answer of what is “disabled”. What sports would those with disabilities be allowed to play? Who determines if someone is “disabled enough” to qualify for a specific league? No matter the answer some group will feel ostracized, giving a tricking definition for true equality among athletes. Despite the difficulties, society should strive as a whole to make everyones dreams possible, acutely summarized by the following quote :“ a liberal democratic state ensures that you have a right to pursue a job (external good) but no entitlement to one (internal good)”(Mika,136). Having the ability to have ones excellence recognized, wheelchair or not, is an external good that should be instituted by a democratic state. Every citizen not disabled has the this, so when you deny something to the minority that is available to the majority is undeniable against the fundamentals of this country and needs to be changed.

Millions of hours are put into training, preparing, and honing a skill that can only be demonstrated in the midst of competition. Pushing one’s physical realms to their outer realms and even beyond has been a celebrated pastime even to ancient Greece, and denying someone that privilege, the rush of victory, and bitterness is against the very spirit of competition itself. Athletes should be put into fair competition where hard work and commitment should be the only determining factors, and when emerging a winner, be recognized to its fullest extent.

What do test scores really mean?

With a graduation rate peaking above 80 percent for the first time in history, the united states seems to be emerging from its educational slump of the past decade. With test scores lagging behind those of our neighboring countries, officials, citizens, and the community alike are still worried for the  future. What many claim as ‘falling behind’, I view as something else. Being on the cutting edge of state development since our founding, I believe that the United States is in the midst of pioneering the next stage of development of first world development.

Continue reading

Contracts We Sign

Long nights in libraries, cafeteria food, and binge drinking constitute the average college experience in most cases. Thousands of students across the globe pack their bags and head to their University without much of a fleeting concern.

Central Campus

Living where you are forced to eat second rate food, walk for miles on end in what could possible be horrid weather, deprived of sleep, and forced to learn seems sadistic at best. Each of us are engaging in a contract with the university, whether we like it or not, essentially controlling how we act, where we sleep, and spend our free time.  But we accept such terms on one condition, we receive a quality education. I believe these conditions of compensation  entail a social contact, not just monetarily, but that of a social context which one can compare and contrast with known contracts to conclude which is suitable to describe what all collegiate student is engaged in.

Continue reading

Football Town (Edit)

The Big House

“Hail to the Victors!” echoes throughout a packed stadium. Being a freshman and a first time  collegiate football game attendee, the grandeur of the University of Michigan’s stadium, tradition, and pride was a bit overwhelming. As the season progressed and the number of losses kept ticking higher and higher, something changed among the students. People were unhappy. They were more than unhappy. People were pissed. Continue reading