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This Juneteenth

By Lydia Holt 

You can’t talk about Juneteenth without first talking about the Emancipation Proclamation. Abraham Lincoln was primarily looking to “stick it” to the South by signing this document. It proclaimed all slaves in the rebelling states free. Read more...

Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Government's Response

By Sheryl Wright

Bradley Manning, the army private accused of releasing government documents to WikiLeaks, is facing 22 additional charges, including "aiding the enemy...through indirect means.” I agree with those quoted in the article who believe that this particular charge is setting up a dangerous precedent.

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Roundtable: America—Sweden’s Sweatshop

Sheryl: In a bit of irony, the U.S. is developing an unexpected reputation within the corporate world. Recent stories about an Ikea plant in Virginia indicate the United States—much like Bangladesh, Vietnam, China, and Honduras—is now seen as a preferred destination for corporations in search of lower production costs. Read more...

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Entries in gun control (1)

Saturday
Jul212012

Military Weapons for All?

By Lucinda Holt

I grew up in Texas—a state proud of its gun culture and steeped in the belief that one is not truly free unless one has the right to protect him-or herself with a gun. But I’ve never fired a gun or even held one in my hand. I’ve heard family stories of my grandmother or great-aunt wielding a pistol after some man has done her wrong. These are stories of guns taken up in the heat of passion, which is probably not the time to be using a gun in my opinion. But these stories have been told and retold with pride—pride in a woman’s ability to stand up for herself and not take stuff from anybody. Feminine, gun-wielding power not withstanding, I doubt I ever will touch a gun. I have no desire to be near a gun, and I pray that I’m never in a situation involving a gun.  

While I feel strongly about not wanting to use or own a gun, I completely understand that some of my fellow citizens want to own guns. We all have that right guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Specific laws about guns vary from state to state, but if you want to use a gun for hunting or own a gun for protection, you can do that. But after the most recent senseless shooting in Aurora, Colorado at a movie theater, I can’t understand why we aren’t calling for stronger gun control laws.

While the investigation into the shooting is ongoing, it has been reported that James Holmes walked into the movie theater with four legally purchased guns: two glocks, a shotgun and an AR-15 assault rifle. The assault rifle had an ammunition magazine in it that would allow the shooter to get off 50 or 60 rounds in a minute. Should ordinary citizens be able to purchase weapons and ammunition with this kind of power? Holmes was able to kill 12 people and injure 60 others in a very short period of time all because he had a very powerful weapon. These weapons were designed for the military. I can’t imagine why a civilian would need the capacity to shoot 50 or 60 rounds in a minute. Is that necessary for hunting? If an intruder broke into your home, you wouldn’t need 50 or 60 rounds to take him down.

It’s clear to me that we need better gun control laws, but there have only been a few tepid calls for stronger gun control laws after this most recent tragic shooting. Those calls have been met with silence from elected officials. I know no one wants to anger the National Rifle Association, especially in an election year, but we will continue to have horrific shootings when just about anyone can walk into a gun shop and legally purchase semi-automatic rifles and order high-capacity ammunition magazines online.