I am 38 years old. I have been incarcerated almost 15 years now. I have a sentence of LWOP (life without parole) plus 25 to life for a first-degree murder with drive-by enhancement. I was raised in the Bay Area on the Oakland side of the water. My family was big. Dad’s side was Mexican, mom’s side was white.
If a pile of dead children in a schoolroom could not change the debate, what would?
“91%: A Film About Guns In America” focuses on the majority of Americans who support comprehensive background checks.
In the aftermath of the deadly shooting last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., intense public debate has focused on protecting students – and the role of student resource officers (SROs), in particular – in the event of future shooting sprees. Generally, school resource officers are local law enforcement officers appointed to patrol schools and handle juvenile disciplinary issues. The effectiveness of SROs is highly debated. A National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO) report claims the presence of SROs has reduced juvenile arrests in some schools by nearly 50 percent. On the other hand, the Justice Policy Institute issued a report that found SROs had little effect on curbing criminal activity in schools, and may even lead to inflated, and potentially unnecessary, juvenile arrests.
Last Friday 20 children aged six and seven were systematically executed by a young man, who has been politely defined as suffering from a personality disorder, but who in another time would simply have been referred to as a mad man. His baby-killing arsenal included a Glock 9-mm handgun, a Sig Sauer 9-mm handgun and a Bushmaster 223-cal semi-automatic rifle. Our president brushing tears from his eyes, said, “The majority of those who died today were children — beautiful, little kids … They had their entire lives ahead of them — birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.”
“Our hearts are broken.”
The president wept. We, as a nation, mourned. But we as a nation have tolerated a country where gun-related homicide deaths are 20 times greater than any other Western nation.
On Saturday, Newtown, Conn. officials released the names of the 20 children and six adults slain in last Friday’s shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School. According to initial reports, all of the children killed in the attack were between 6 or 7 years old. State police say 12 of the young victims were female and eight were boys. All six of the slain adults were female.
Via a popular online service, cocaine, prescription pills and heroin may just be a mouse click away from reaching your child
There is a scene in Steven Soderbergh’s 2000 film Traffic in which a teenage girl says something that has become, for the most part, a generally recognized truth about high school. “For someone my age,” the character says, “it’s a lot easier to get drugs than it is to get alcohol.”
Indeed, typing the term “easier to get drugs than alcohol” into a Google search box returns more than 12,000 pages, with thousands upon thousands of Internet users stating what many parents fear – that for their children, obtaining illegal drugs is anything but a challenge. What most parents are unaware of, however, is how the Internet is potentially making it even easier for youth to obtain drugs. In the 21st century, teens do not necessarily have to seek out dealers to procure marijuana or cocaine; in fact, scoring illicit substances these days could be as simple as turning on a monitor and making a few mouse clicks. At first glance, the Silk Road – a popular online marketplace – looks like any other website; just passing by, one likely wouldn’t be able to distinguish the service from eBay, Craigslist or any of the myriad other electronic bazaars on the Internet.
Georgia is one of nine states with proposals to allow guns on college campuses. Some states are even considering lifting their gun bans at K-12 public schools. HB 55 would allow gun owners to carry their weapons at colleges in Georgia. It is currently before the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee. A spate of lawsuits filed by gun-rights groups have opened the door to new debate about campus guns in Utah and Colorado, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Kansas and Arizona, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.