Statistics show that at least 160,000 fatalities occurred due to accidental shootings in 2016, the third ranking cause of death that year. This past NBA All-Star weekend, there were 25 recorded accidental shootings in the Chicagoland Area. There are many opinions on this topic; most of these opinions lead to the topic of gun control. Speaking on this subject, Sophomore students at Roosevelt University, both born and raised in Indiana, Kerry Zeese and Noah Mathias, had similar opinions when asked what they believe can be done to help stop accidental shootings from becoming such a significant statistic. Zeese says that he “really doesn’t think anything can be done. [I] honestly think the only true way to get rid of accidental deaths from shootings is, literally, getting rid of guns. But, that’s never going to happen.” This is an unfortunate reality that many have faced as families of victims or victims themselves. Noah Mathias has a similar opinion, saying that he believes that “there’s no real solution because if it’s accidental, it can happen at any place at any time. And there’s no way to prevent people from shooting guns in the first place”. There are accidental shootings defined as “unintentional discharge” and simply being caught in a crossfire. Unintentional discharge occurs when the firearm is discharged at a time that was not intended by the carrier. The 25 recorded accidental shootings that occurred in the Chicagoland Area this past weekend were cases of someone being in the wrong place at the wrong time. These incidents would not occur if the gun wasn’t being fired in the first place; many would still be alive today.
Love the (Second) Skin You're In
Societal norms have claimed the confidence of many people globally. We can’t say this, we can’t say that. We can’t go here, we can’t go there. But, most recently, one of the most popular standards in our society attempts to dictate what we can and can’t wear; we can’t wear this and we can’t wear that. Who’s to tell anyone what they can be confident in wearing, if that person feels confident themselves. Fashion is such an expressive form of confidence, authenticity, and even communication. Everyone has experienced a time where they see what someone’s wearing and our instantly drawn to them, instantly intimidated or sometimes instantly intrigued—whether that be negative or positive. Although, yes, times have definitely changed and the world has found a way to become more radical in terms of the fashion of today compared to the very conservative and modest fashion in a time like the 1950’s. However, there are still people who don’t believe that emotions and confidence should be expressed through their fashion—people who don’t believe that fashion can be used expressively. When asked who they dress for, Caroline Rice from Murrieta, California and Becky Grieve from Montgomery, Illinois—both Freshmen at Roosevelt University—they replied with the same exact answer, “Myself”. The two young women dress for themselves and nobody else, no matter how “out there” their outfits may be. Grieve says that if society’s fashion standards were more relaxed and were loosened up a bit, she would “branch out a little bit more with the types of clothes I wear—I definitely would wear more fun pants”. There are also those like Brooke VanHoutte, a Senior at Roosevelt University from Geneseo, Illinois, who say that they would “probably be dressing the same just because it’s more comfortable”. And, even though she would dress more comfortably than a more noticeable garb, when she is wearing something out of her comfort zone her confidence levels “depend on if I feel comfortable and super confident in what I’m wearing. But, other times I’m like, ‘Don’t look at me!’ even though I’m wearing something eye catching”. In a perfect world, society would allow its citizens to be who they want to be and to be comfortable not only in the skin they’re in, but their second skin as well; their clothing. Unfortunately, human beings scientifically crave the approval of others. Exuding a certain confidence and energy automatically wins the approval of many, but without the ability to gain this confidence, how will anybody be comfortable enough to walk around in public, in fear of being judged or shamed? These people should be allowed to walk around in whatever they want to wear, without the need of approval from strangers on the street and the only way to do this is to accept what’s being expressed and love that second skin.
The two freshmen from Roosevelt University Caroline Rice and Becky Gaines (pictured together on the left) pose sweetly for a picture. Brooke VanHoutte (pictured on the right), a senior at Roosevelt University shows her confidence in her outfit, laughing candidly at the camera.
OPINION: Ixnay on the NRA
Guns will never be abolished or completely banned from existence, and unfortunately, that’s the reality this country has to face. Does that mean that the right to carry an assault rifle strapped to your back at your local Starbucks should be allowed? No, it doesn’t, and that’s just the fact of it all. The NRA has too much power for guns to ever be abolished in America. The difference in owning a gun with a proper, rigorous background check and going to Walmart to buy a gun to go commit a mass murder is completely obvious. To put this into perspective, anybody can purchase a gun. If you haven’t noticed, most shootings occur and the shooter pleads “guilty but insane or mentally ill”. Insane. Yes, there are people who like to hunt game for fun, so they have rifles in their garage. However, do you need an AR-15 to shoot a deer? No. So why do they have them? For funsies? See, that’s where I draw the line. In February 2017, President Trump reversed a bill signed by his predecessor, stating that tighter background checks are required and the Social Security Administration were required to submit records of mentally disabled people to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. He reversed that bill. You never know when someone can snap. And, hey, maybe they won’t, but I find it hard to even think about living in a home with assault rifles—let alone guns—stored in my garage, or anywhere accessible. There is an obvious trend in the past and current mass shootings that have occurred in this country, as well as a trend with their perpetrators. In 2018, there were 340 mass shootings. That statistic alone should be enough for someone to stop and think, “Hey, wait a minute, more than 300 mass shootings in just this year alone?”. Something is wrong here, and we, as a country, have a hard time believing this. Stricter gun laws, stricter background checks, and stricter gun sale regulations. It’s time to face the facts and do something about it.
Generation X How To: Generate Votes How this generation expects voter participation to be the highest it's ever been & how this election has left an impact on their lives
Tyler Bearden, 19, shows off her "I Voted!" bracelet in an Instagram post.
In a generation filled with widely ranged and new technology, right and left-wing news being broadcast by the minute and many young students left in eternal debt, the 2020 election has seen a high increase in voter participation within the younger demographic of our country.
During the 2018 midterms, Gen X and Gen Z outvoted the Boomer generation, according to the most recent Census Bureau data. With that being said, many people of Gen X who are old enough to vote are often too young to understand what’s really happening in our democracy, have never been taught what the primaries, caucuses and election mean to our well-being or deem the Presidential Election a waste of their time. However, there are still young and hopeful voters out there who believe this generation can and will make a difference in who will be elected as the President of The United States for the next four years.
After having to get the chance to have a conversation about the current state of this country’s political climate, Tyler Bearden, Senior at Roosevelt University studying Integrated Marketing & Communications said that “the 2020 election will be the first presidential I’m legally allowed to vote in, so naturally I wanted to be as involved as possible to make an informed decision. Like many other Americans, I was eager to find a suitable replacement for the current administration that many would deem as abhorrent”. With a strong opinion on the country’s current President, Donald Trump, Bearden has been making it a priority to do what she can as a citizen of The United States of America to remove Trump from his role in the government. Many other Americans have felt was Bearden is feeling, as well. A Junior who studies Economics at DePaul University, Maddy Leary also got the opportunity to be eligible for the first time during this year’s primaries. Both students believe that it is absolutely necessary to vote when you’re eligible and that voter participation is extremely important. Leary states that voter participation is “critical in the United States mainly because it’s a right to citizens”. All American citizens have the right to vote in the United States. Leary mentions important issues in the United States such as “historically disenfranchised and underrepresented groups” deserving a chance to be heard in the country.
Starting in the middle of March, many Americans—and citizens globally—were, in a rapid set of unfortunate events, forced to quarantine. COVID-19, or the “Coronavirus”, has swept through our country at a rapid pace, sadly killing 68 thousand people in the process, out of about 1 million cases reported since May 5th, 2020. COVID-19 has left a huge percentage of the country unemployed, with every state seeing major increases in workers who have filed for unemployment claims. A lot of these people don’t know how they’ll survive even the week, with no money to buy their families food, pay for their rent, etc. The government has made moves in order to ease the lives of those struggling with unemployment. Bearden says in her opinion that, “Bernie Sander’s coronavirus response was exactly what America deserved”. She references the beginning of the virus crisis reminding us that Sanders “he stopped taking campaign donations and funneled those funds into COVID-19 relief, as well as ultimately suspending his run for President so he could put all his energy behind tackling this pandemic”. As mentioned previously, Bearden also voted for Sanders. Leary also backed her support for the way Sanders approached the pandemic, stating that even though she was “sad to hear of his campaign suspension” she found light in the fact that “his campaign suspension will help to lessen party divides and hopefully allow democrats to unit their votes”. There isn’t a lot we, as American citizens, can do during this time. But, we can definitely abide the Shelter in Place order and stay at home, wear masks in public and stay six feet apart.
When asked who they voted for in this year’s primaries, most people would become uncomfortable with the topic. I was always taught from an early age that there are two things you are not supposed to ask an adult; “How much money do you make?” and “Who did you vote for?”. In this day in age, however, it seems as though voters respond unapologetically with who they voted for and why. When you ask someone who they voted for in today’s day and age, especially of the younger generation, they become passionate about the subject, fired up, almost emotional. And for some, it is extremely emotional and who they voted for really hits home for them. Caitlyn Santiago, a Senior at Roosevelt University studying Biology, says that this election “weighs heavy” for her; that “the current political climate seems to diminish and belittle populations of our country, and that is not something I want to support”. Santiago voted for the Democratic Party’s Bernie Sanders. Although Santiago states that, logistically, she “wasn’t entirely sure how he would get some of his legislation passed” she still believes he would be best fit to govern our country as Mr. President. On the other side of the political spectrum, there are others who remain the same as they have voted to re-elect current President, Mr. Donald Trump. Nicholas Simak, a Junior at Roosevelt University studying Economics, says that he voted for Trump’s re-election, referring to him as “our President” when asked who he voted for, following up with “yes, everyone has the same one”. Simak had no discomfort in answering this question, knowing what backlash he could face for answering the question in such a blunt manner. “It’s not that I bow down to the guy,” Simak says referring to Mr. Trump, “I believe that just because someone doesn’t like who’s in office, doesn’t mean that person isn’t their President. He is, no matter what you believe. And I’ll stand by that statement for the next guy, and the next guy, and the next guy, too.”