So it’s that time again... Seniors narrowing down on possible colleges, Juniors beginning to study and prepare for the college entrance tests, and Sophomores and Freshman exploring possible areas of study... but are you ready?
Every student, in every town, in every state, goes through this process. Parents and teachers encouraging you to explore your options, and maintain that GPA, raise that SAT/ACT score, give it your all on the field, join a new club, start your first job, but are you able to juggle all of these tasks? Are you on track to make that dream application? Are you ready to jump from the nest, to soar onward towards excellence, or are you worried you’ll fall out of the nest into a downward spiral?
This tedious process is what you have spent your entire life striving for. That day in third grade where you cried in front of the class because you didn't know the answer to that seemingly simple addition problem on the chalkboard, or that research paragraph you failed in fourth grade because instead of providing facts about a bee, you got caught up trying to draw the proper stripes of the bee on that over-sized notebook paper. These moments changed you. They made you grow, stretch, scream, until you were forced out of your comfort zones and into the process of maturation.
You went from that shy kid in the kindergarten class who hid underneath the table when asked to introduce yourself. You went from that naughty kid in sixth grade whose traffic light was almost always on red. You matured. But are you ready?
Everyday you continue to grow. You meet a World War II veteran while volunteering at the local hospital, and he shares with you that at age 16 he joined the armed forces to fight for the freedoms that you are just beginning to comprehend and cherish. You make a new friend who shares his experience living without his mother who had died in a drunk driving accident while he was just two. You grow beyond what the textbooks have taught you. You see the world no longer from the surface. You begin to absorb the rich soil and the nutrients that life has to offer. You grow.
Growing doesn’t happen without pain, in fact pain is required to grow. You see the full cycle of life before your very eyes. Your brother gets married, and together they bring a baby into the world. You become an Uncle. Your Grandmother gets diagnosed with cancer. You become broken. You see your life beyond the textbook. Beyond the grade. Beyond the score. You feel pain.
The pain is good. The growing is good. The process... is the process. Do you fight it? Do you give up on that class that you just can't seem to pay attention in? Do you settle for a lower score than your original goal? Do you walk past the kid that is sitting all alone at lunch? Do you let the pain, the struggle, dissuade you? Or do you fight, pushing onward? Life is full of pain, but pain is good. It is time to focus, to believe, to dream, and to never settle. Are you ready?
BY: RYAN YOUNG
Streams of vapor with nicotine and cancer causing chemicals in the guise of sweet sounding flavors can be seen puffed into the air by teens in schools across the country. It seems students are taking puffs as frequently as reaching for a piece of gum, yet the risks have yet to be exposed and openly discussed. The consequences of vaping could be tragic for teens who deserve to know.
The Greater Latrobe School District has acknowledged the serious addiction problem that is inflicting harm on teens across the country and admit that it is taking place in our community.
“We have had a number of kids this year that we have caught,” GLHS principal Jeff Ingel said. “I won't give you the number but there are quite a few that we have caught.”
A 2016 report by the U.S. Surgeon General shows a 900% increase in vaping by high school students since 2011. While many in the community would like to believe that vaping does not affect GLSD, the reality is unfortunate. Students at Greater Latrobe and all across the country are dealing with the presence of e-cigarettes in their schools.
The most common form of e-cigarette present on campus and popular to teens is the Juul. This vape device resembles a flash drive and has the capability to be charged into the USB port of a computer. Due to its disguised design and small size, students across the country are sneaking these seemingly innocent devices on campus.
While the Juul was created to help adult smokers fight their addiction, the product has landed into the hands of young adolescents seeking popularity with this new “recreation.”
The Juul comes in many flavors such as mango, mint, cucumber, and creme brulee that entice teens and creates a false appearance of “confectionary comfort.”
“Yeah they make it fruity so that way We, the younger generation, are drawn to it,” said a junior at GLHS who admits to juuling on a regular basis.
Ingel added, “The Juul company is now trying to backtrack and make some changes to what they did, because they realize the effects that it’s having. This is an epidemic with teenagers. It really is.”
While the media and government worked hard to inform citizens and especially youth of the effects of smoking-- with graphic commercials that depict the changes over time to the lungs--some believe vaping has yet to be publicly examined.
A Greater Latrobe senior who admits to juuling during school said, “ I don't think the media has done any ad campaigns or alerted the public like they have for smoking side effects.”
Juuling has side effects, GLHS senior added, “Juuling will have side effects later but not now….Late 30’s is when the side effects will start showing up, like maybe cancer but only for people who do it heavily.”
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently announced results of their newest report which found 1 in 11 students have used e- cigarettes to vape marijuana.
GLHS is in the process of scheduling special guest speakers to come and speak to the student body about possible risks that have yet to be fully discussed. The administration is working hard to get in front of this epidemic by alerting the students and being clear about the consequence of possession.
“If we find a student with the Juul cigarette in possession or actually in the process of juuling obviously they're brought to the office. The cigarette itself is confiscated. Parents are called. There could be a three day suspension, and they could have up to five hours of community service,” Ingel explains. “They will also receive what is called a Smokeless Saturday which is a three hour class that costs $50 dollars that obviously has to be paid by the guilty student. If they don't take the class than charges are filed with the magistrate for possession of tobacco in school, and that could be up to a $300 dollar fine.”
While the consequences are severe if caught in possession, the health and substance information have yet to be shared.
In reality a single Juul “Pod”-- that holds roughly 200 puffs-- contains not only the equivalent amount of nicotine as a pack of cigarettes, but also numerous chemicals that have been reported to cause deleterious side effects.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found, “The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful substances, including nicotine, ultrafine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs, flavoring such as diacetyl-- a chemical linked to a serious lung disease, volatile organic compounds, cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead.”
With students uninformed of these serious health risks, this trending addiction is rapidly spreading across the country.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, In 2016 alone, 2.6 million students had admitted to using e-cigarettes in a 30 day span.
Many might wonder how students have been able to obtain these nicotine devices so easily.
The FDA on September 12, 2018 released its findings from the largest coordinated enforcement effort in its history. The agency sent over 1,300 letters that warned shops across the country of their illegal sale of Juul’s and other e-cigarettes. Through an undercover operation, the FDA was able to potentially stop the sale of illegal substances to minors by threatening possible fines.
While many would like to believe that this new form of addiction is not taking place in their community, a deeper evaluation will reveal that it is a serious issue young teens are dealing with throughout America.
Local communities, school districts, and government agencies at both the state and federal level need to alert students of these major risks. With the nation’s focus on ending the opioid epidemic, there should be a deeper focus on educating and informing the next generation of adults. Teens need to be informed of these serious risks. We should not sit idly by while the next generation of adults become addicts. Greater Latrobe is taking the necessary and proper steps to be at the forefront of education about vaping and prevention of addiction.
By: Ryan Young
With the midterms officially over and the House majority now held by the Democrats, it is important that our country begins to work together and listen to one another without shouting or engaging in name calling. Civilization requires civility. In an era where false accusations can destroy a person’s career, where a single tweet can cause the death of a depressed soul, where a malicious lie can destroy an entire family’s reputation, where a victim of sexual assault can be viewed a liar, it is more important than ever to regain basic decency and end the divisiveness hurting our country.
When did it become acceptable to hurt another person by creating lies or spreading rumors? When did it become acceptable to attack a person’s reputation? When did it become acceptable to bring another person down in an effort to raise oneself up? Anger and gridlock are not the answers. We must learn to coexist and listen to one another.
Our country was founded upon truth, upon decency, upon respect for one another, yet we no longer are able to have a civil conversation. We see elected representatives such as Ted Cruz, Sarah Sanders and Nancy Pelosi being followed and shouted down at restaurants. We see hate groups espousing evil ideologies such as ISIS and the Alt Right. We see cruel acts of brutality taking place under the veil of peace such as Antifa. We see students on both college and high school campuses unable to engage in a discourse free from name calling. We see our country becoming polarized and hateful. We see civility dying in our daily lives.
What is civility? It seems people have forgotten what it means to be civil. They no longer understand what the word means because it is becoming less and less “popular.” According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, civility is defined as civilized conduct especially politeness, courtesy, or a polite act or expression. I personally like to define it as the manner in which a person or group of people communicate with a basic level of respect and decency towards the other person.
America is the place where a person regardless of race, religion, creed, or background, can be free to believe, to pursue, and to contribute. It is the place where people can debate and discuss important issues that impact the entire world. Why then are we silencing one another? Why are we denying ourselves the freedom this country has to engage in a civil conversation that brings people together to overcome an obstacle taking place in the world?
It is because we refuse to listen to one another, we refuse to admit that we are wrong, and we are unable to step out of our own preconceived beliefs and ideas. We are our party, and we refuse to think for ourselves or look at both sides of an argument. We rush to judgment and refuse to analyze and interpret the information and facts presented.
The case of Justice Brett Kavanaugh is a prime example.
A well-respected judge in public service for decades was nominated to the highest court in the land, only to become a high profile target in a political war. Both Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who was forced into the public light to become his accuser, were harmed in the process that played out before the world on live television. When Ford’s allegations of attempted sexual assault were released in violation of a confidentiality agreement, she was forced to stand before the Senate Judiciary Committee to present an account of an event in high school that could not be corroborated or explained with the specificity necessary to convince many people of its truth. While it seemed clear Dr. Ford suffered, she was unable to establish that her suffering was at the hands of the highly esteemed nominee to the United States Supreme Court.
For his part, Kavanaugh was compelled to defend himself -- without being given the most basic presumption of innocence. A heart-broken Kavanaugh unequivocally denied the charges, and provided lengthy testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee about his life and his dedication to honoring God and respecting women.
“I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. You've tried hard. You've given it your all. No one can question your effort, but your coordinated and well-funded effort to destroy my good name and to destroy my family will not drive me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. You may defeat me in the final vote, but you'll never get me to quit. Never,” Kavanaugh said.
Throughout his testimony viewers witnessed the shame and pain these accusations had placed on Kavanaugh’s entire family. Viewers watched as a God fearing and truth seeking man was forced to discuss his sexual activity as a teen, his childhood inside jokes, and his definition of sexual assault. Teary eyed and full of emotion, Kavanaugh poured out his heart.
While senators used this humiliating situation to grandstand in an effort to advance their own political agenda or prospects for reelection before the midterms, both Ford and Kavanaugh were humiliated.
Similarly, a local high school male teen was accused of sexual assault by five females in his high school in Butler County PA. According to the parents of the accused who have filed a federal lawsuit, these girls created false allegations and presented false statements to the school and law enforcement. One of the girls accused the young man of sexually assaulting her at the local community pool where he was the lifeguard. This young man was fired from his job and labeled a predator by the students at his school. Later, he was accused again for sexual assault, this time resulting in him being physically removed out of the school in cuffs to a Juvenile Detention Center. This young man lost his job, was publically humiliated, kicked off his baseball team, and removed from his school. Multiple accusers are coming forward and admitting that they lied.
These two examples depict the consequence of false accusations or coerced testimony. Worse than the immediate damage caused on the falsely accused or coerced victim, is the major impact it has on future victims. Sexual assault is a serious issue that can harm a victim for a lifetime, and these false accusations cast disbelief on legitimate claims that deserve prosecution.
So with the end of the midterm election and the start of a divided government lets come together as Americans regardless of political party, race, gender, or social class to unite our divided government. Lets begin to listen to one another by showing civility and engaging in a civil discourse that actually focuses on solving problems and reaching solutions. Let's think for ourselves without rushing to judgment. It is time to unite our divided country.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
An advertisement released by Nike to air during the NFL’s season opener that exemplifies Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem has caused hundreds of people to boycott Nike, and even some to burn Nike gear in viral videos across the internet.
Former Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, Kaepernick has entered the media spotlight once again, this time as the newest spokesperson for Nike’s 30th anniversary of the Just Do It campaign.
After accusing the NFL of colluding to keep him from the field after his National Anthem protest led to all time low ratings, Kaepernick has emerged again in a similar divisive role.
Nike’s ad features Kaepernick with a slogan that reads, “Believe in something, Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
Kaepernick has claimed that his protest of the National Anthem was to bring attention to the abuse of the black community from police officers nationwide, yet many view his kneeling as an act of disrespect to the men and women who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice their lives for America’s freedom.
The NFL, in an effort to regain viewership and to strengthen their support for America, recently ruled that players must stand for the National Anthem or face team fines.
Now at the start of the 2018 NFL season, Kaepernick and the National Anthem protests reignite, this time centered around the most valuable sports brand.
Immediately after the release of the advertisement, Nike’s stock began to fall. In less 24 hours Nike lost nearly four billion dollars in market cap alone, while thousands of fans are petitioning to boycott all Nike goods.
Nike’s favorability rating dropped from 69% to 39% after the advertisement featuring Kaepernick was released.
Once again the American people are forced to decide whether they will “stand up” for America by boycotting something that has been cherished for decades.
Picture this… The year is 1962 and the Civil Rights Movement is forming as President Kennedy works with leaders across the country to form indeed, “a more perfect union.” With segregation and cruel acts of racism and bigotry still prevalent across America, the true story’s main character is ready to embark on a concert tour in the deep south. As an African-American piano player and intellectual genius, Dr. Don Shirley is eager to earn respect as an equal, and as an accomplished pianist. Searching for a driver that will also provide protection on the harrowing journey, Shirley finds an unlikely match; from the heart of the Bronx, Tony “Lip” an Italian-American tough guy takes on the challenge.
The two very unique individuals from completely different cultures and walks of life form an unforeseeable bond that connects with the hearts of all people. On a two month journey through the south, the two men learn about each other and overcome perceived stereotypes and severe racism.
Filled with humor and authentic conversation of issues that question the heart and character of mankind, the remarkable true story provides valuable life lessons and individual moral self introspection.
Deeply enthralling and pleasantly enjoyable the powerful portrayal of true equality and mutual respect connects with the audience at a poignant time for our nation.
“The Green Book” is a transformational film that should have a lasting impact on its own. Truly Oscar worthy for both the acting, story-telling, and phenomenal cinematography.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
In the last couple of weeks, two well-known celebrities took their own lives after feeling it was the only way to relieve their pain.
Kate Spade, a beloved fashion designer out of New York known for her cheerful and fun designs, felt that there was no other way than to end her life.
Anthony Bourdain a fun television host that traveled the world tasting food and experiencing different cultures was left feeling the same hopeless pain.
These two famous individuals were known for their outward lives of fun and happiness yet their inward lives were full of pain and anguish.
These tragedies have become a way to common phenomenon.
Many might ask themselves how could such a fun person with a job that everyone wished they had feel so hopeless?
In society today there has become a strong emphasis on pleasing oneself and amassing as big of a fortune as possible. Society continues to reject fundamental Christian values and any moral foundation.
These cherished individuals lacked the most important structure for one’s life— a relationship with Almighty God and a belief that they are never alone.
With technology readily available and the increase in cyber bullying via social media, it is more and more important to have a strong foundation of faith.
If you believe that amassing a fortune, earning a special degree, or driving a specific car will bring you complete happiness, examine the tragedies that are taking place every day with people that supposedly have it all.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
Disaster just cannot seem to go away with the recent hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, horrible earthquakes in Mexico, the fires in California, the Las Vegas Massacre and most recently the horrible church shooting in Texas. Though these disasters have caused people to suffer, it has also brought people together in unification.
Many Americans and people worldwide have sacrificed their time, talent and treasure to help rebuild communities that have been devastated by natural disasters and crippled by terrorist attacks.
To date, more than $300 million has been donated to the Red Cross for hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Many other organizations have been a viable place for donations such as United Way and Samaritan’s Purse.
Celebrities have donated to multiple organizations and have started their own funds to help with relief efforts, including actor Kevin Hart, who challenged other celebrities via social media to donate to the relief efforts, and Houston Texans linebacker J.J. Watt, who started a campaign also through social media that raised $27 million. These charitable acts are true signs of Americanism.
Among the celebrities that donated money to the relief were actors Leonardo DiCaprio, who donated $1 million to the United Way Harvey Recovery Fund; Sandra Bullock, who donated $1 million to the Red Cross; and Arnold Schwarzenegger who donated $100,000 to Watt’s campaign. These celebrities with very different points of views are coming together.
We should all follow what these celebrities have done and help out in any way we can, whether that means spending time rebuilding communities, giving money, donating blood or even being kind to the families that are going through a hard time.
Not only have celebrities contributed in this time of despair, but also churches nationwide from big to small have helped to rebuild communities. In Houston alone, hundreds of volunteers from multiple churches, including Christ the Redeemer Church with more than 800 volunteers, donate and help clean homes destroyed by Hurricane Harvey.
Also, major companies across the country have donated their materials and money for relief, including Wal-Mart, Bank of America, Home Depot, Starbucks and PetSmart.
After a tragedy, people can feel isolated, depressed and angered, but it is important for everyone to come together and show love to the people who lost so much. These celebrities and companies in many cases do not agree on a number of things yet they are able to get past their differences and come together.
Locally on the Carmel High School campus many teachers have started funds to help with relief, as well as in the school’s library which hosted a Donkey Kong game to raise money. After the horrible mass murder in Las Vegas many people were able to donate blood and give money to help those who were hurt or provide comfort to the relatives that lost a loved one. Most recently people have come together to rebuild the communities that have been devastated by the fires that have spread across California, which have left families without homes and people separated from loved ones.
Now it is time for all Americans to come together and bring comfort to the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas.
In a time when people are so divisive and alienating, these disasters have brought back what Americanism really is. People have responded from all walks of life, regardless of race, religion or political persuasion. Neighbors are helping neighbors, organizers and workers are using their talents, and people from everywhere are sending in their treasure.
President Donald Trump gave a speech in which he called for unity: “In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one—and it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us—our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.”
It is time for all Americans to get past the things that separate us and instead back to showing love for our country and the great people that live in it and help to make it prosper and grow.
With all the tragic events that keep taking place in our communities, it may seem hard to find anything positive to look to, but the unity that has been taking place in the last couple of months has reminded me this is what Americanism truly is.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
When consumers go to any grocery store or convenience store in California, they are forced to decide if they want to purchase a paper bag for 10 cents of bring their own reusable bag. But how did this issue begin?
Senate Bill 270 was passed on Sept. 30, 2014, banning plastic bags from most stores and creating a 10-cent bag tax for any consumers wanting a bag. This bill was passed by the senate and approved by the governor without a single Californian voting for it.
About two years later, Proposition 67 was put on the ballot to ban the sale of plastic bags and create the 10-cent tax in all of California. The choice for voters was to vote yes on Proposition 67 or to vote no and keep Senate Bill 270, but there was no option for voters to remove Senate Bill 270, which they had never voted for. On Nov. 8, 2016, California passed Proposition 67 and became the first state to ban the sale of plastic bags.
This new law became known as the “bag tax.” In order to have a bag for one’s groceries, one would have to pay 10 cents per bag. However, the 10 cents that each individual pays per bag does not go to any environmental initiative as one might assume, but instead to the company required to sell the bag. As stated in the law, “stores are allowed to keep the resulting revenue.”
This law created to discourage the use of paper bags by taxing the consumer with a 10-cent fee started with the classic plastic grocery bag. They were easy to make and cheap to produce; however, over the years these, plastic bags began to fill the streets and pollute the ocean.
One problem that plastic bags have are that they are not biodegradable, which means that they are unable to break down.
“Plastic can do much more harm in the ecosystem,” comments Joseph Mello, a chemistry and biology teacher at Carmel High School. “It never goes away. It does not ‘break down’ into naturally occurring matter as a paper bag will.”
“Plastic bags are also extremely light and easily carried and blown into the ocean where animals ingest them,” junior Elijah Smith says. “Although they are inexpensive, they are not environmentally friendly. “
Surprisingly, the solution that many people believe solves the plastic problem—paper—is questioned by some.
“In a dry landfill, paper bags don’t degrade any faster than plastic bags,” notes garbologist Bill Rathje, director of The Garbage Project, of the Archaeology Center of Stanford University. “In a normal, well-run landfill, paper bags do not biodegrade any faster over at least 40 years than plastic.”
Also, paper bags weigh roughly 10 times more than plastic grocery bags, which take up a lot more space in the landfill, according to the Grocery Industry Committee on Solid Waste. Paper bags easily rip and cannot withstand the rain.
Paper bags were once the answer to problems with the plastic in the environment. They were argued to be biodegradable and easily recycled. But with the emergence of the reusable bag, paper was instantly ruled out.
Many people go to the grocery store with their reusable bags now. But how many uses of a reusable bag justify the environmental impact?
According to a study done by Claire Thompson, a Stanford graduate, one would have to use a cotton bag 131 times to make an environmental impact when compared to plastic. Her thinking is that in order to make a reusable bag, it requires a lot more resources and energy than that of a thin plastic grocery bag.
BY: RYAN YOUNG
With both major political parties debating over a proper solution for gun violence, and with the recent massacre in Parkland, Florida, local gun owners of Monterey County have strong opinions on what they believe should be done to prevent future school shootings.
After the mass shooting in Parkland, shook the nation, many Americans came to the realization that something drastically needs to change in order to prevent future attacks on innocent children. The Republican Party focused its efforts on increasing background checks, arming teachers and addressing mental health concerns.
“Changes that should be made to protect students in schools are to train and issue firearms to teachers or administrators if they are willing,” says Hunter Garrison, executive director of the Monterey County Republican Party and a CHS graduate. “If I was to have a child in school and there was a shooter on campus I would feel much safer knowing there are multiple adults on campus trained to use a firearm and able to address a hostile scene. This is a common sense action school districts can take to insure the safety of their students.”
Currently, President Donald Trump has met with students, teachers and community leaders, formed multiple commissions in order to study the option of raising the minimum age for buying a gun to 21 and increasing background checks, as well as discussing expanding and reforming mental health programs.
On the other side of the aisle, the Democratic Party proposed a ban on AR-15 assault rifles and raising the age to purchase a gun to 21.
“We support a common-sense ban on deadly assault weapons and devices used to turn rifles into automatic weapons such as bump-stocks, as well as the expansion of universal background checks,” says former CHS librarian Elena Loomis, the current vice chair of the Monterey County Democratic Party. “We also support keeping firearms out of dangerous hands by expanding firearm prohibitions to those who, based on past behavior or condition, are deemed at risk of acts of violence.”
Multiple Democratic senators and lawmakers are supporting rallies and protests advocating for stricter gun laws, as well as participating i bipartisan discussions on the proper solutions that need to be reached.
But what do gun owners think?
“I think whenever mass shootings occur they are quick to politicize it and say that all gun owners are bad,” says CHS junior Kristofer Kimes, whose parents own guns. “They quickly say that the government should take guns away from law-abiding citizens, which is wrong and unconstitutional. When 9/11 happened we didn’t blame the planes, did we? Or when the Boston bombing happened, we didn’t blame the bombs? No, we blamed the people behind the weapons. I don’t think you should blame the gun, but instead the person using it to commit horrible atrocities.”
A possible solution being discussed on both sides of the aisle is the possibility of raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21.
“I think that between 18 and 21 people can change a lot, and honestly that change can prevent someone from being violent and possibly hurting others,” says Marianne Tucker, a local gun owner and mother of CHS senior William Tucker.
A common theme expressed on the Democratic side is the idea that the weapon used in the Parkland shooting is part of the problem, and that a ban on assault rifles is one of the many solutions for gun violence. However, many gun owners say otherwise.
“I believe blaming guns for the horrible shootings taking place is a reflection of a misguided societal shift to a sensation and emotional response rather than an intellectual and fact-based approach,” says Chris Curtiss, a local gun owner and father of CHS junior Noah Bernal.
Tucker’s son, William, also disagrees with the proposed ban on assault rifles.
“I completely disagree with the proposed ban on assault rifles,” William says. “Virginia Tech shooting killed 33 people and that was done with two pistols. The Fort Hood shooting killed just about as many people as Parkland, and that was done with one pistol. A pistol in many cases can do as much damage as an assault rifle.”
With many gun owners speaking up and making it clear that the proposed ban on AR-15 assault rifles is not the proper solution, there are also some who are suggesting other methods as well as the ban.
“Number one is to have more extensive background checks,” says CHS sophomore Hana Kamler, whose parents also own guns. “I don’t think anyone should just be eligible for guns. I think we could look at a potential banning of semi-automatic weapons as well. Lastly, and most importantly, is to just be more aware as a society in general. If you see a person who looks alone, we should try to comfort that person and try to help them fit in. If there are any signs that that person is going to shoot up the school, it needs to be reported. We could have armed school police too. Just increasing security around schools in general will help.”
Curtiss’ son, Noah, is less concerned about the type of gun and more concerned about the inaction of law enforcement.
“I think that there needs to be less focus on the fact that an AR-15 was used, and more focus on why certain criminals were allowed to continue their plan without interference,” Bernal says. “Pertaining to the Parkland shooting, the FBI knew what he was saying on social media, Instagram knew what he was posting, the local police department had already received 18 calls pertaining to the criminal, only 16 of which were reported, and the list goes on. Why aren’t we focused on the FBI and why they didn’t do something?”
The FBI had multiple reports from people who knew the killer, Nikolas Cruz, but did not follow the proper protocol or take the necessary steps to preventing the horrible massacre in Parkland. The FBI, local law enforcement and the on-campus police officer have come under fire by the president for their inaction.
“When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage, or something happened,” President Trump said. “But he certainly did a poor job, there’s no question about that.”
Many people in the Republican Party believe that arming teachers and putting trained officers on campus will prevent future school shootings, and while the armed school officer was unable to step up in Parkland, just weeks ago a school officer in Maryland was able to stop a school shooter before any casualties took place.
Ric Swanson, a local gun owner and U.S. Marine whose son Jonathan Swanson is a junior at CHS, proposes a unique proposition that he believes will not only help prevent future school shootings, but also provide jobs for veterans.
“Seeing as many of my family members and myself have served in the military and seen firsthand what happens to our veterans when they arrive home, I say that we should employ the homeless and jobless veterans as armed guards on our campus,” Swanson says. “Two birds, one stone. Because nothing is more valuable than the lives of our children. I think we owe it to our veterans, they’ve sacrificed so much for this country already, it is only right that we take care of them the way they have taken care of us.”
BY: RYAN YOUNG
The sunny weather, the waves crashing on the shore, the smell of hot dogs at a baseball game—what could possibly be wrong with California? While California is a nice place to live in terms of the weather, that is literally the only benefit.
Right now the state of California is being sued by the federal government and 13 other states for obstructing justice and allowing illegal immigrants to roam free and commit crimes with little to no punishment.
Governor Jerry Brown recently pardoned five convicted illegal immigrants. These immigrants were not innocent family members trying to provide a better life for themselves and their family; instead, they were convicted of horrible crimes such as assault, kidnapping, robbery, drug dealing and abusing their families. Governor Brown, in an effort to remain popular with the open-border leftists, has now threatened the lives of all inhabitants of California, by putting the lives of convicted criminals above those he was sworn to protect.
Not far behind Governor Brown is Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, who warned the entire Bay Area of an impending Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation. Schaaf prevented ICE from deporting hundreds of convicted criminals who were hiding in California. Not only did she obstruct justice, but she threatened the lives of ICE agents who were tasked with confronting and preventing future crimes.
The level of lawlessness taking place in California is unimaginable. State laws prevent local police from cooperating with ICE officials and force all employers to warn their employees if ICE makes a request for paperwork.
Many people in California believe that what President Trump is doing is racist and that he is comparing immigrants to criminals, but what is being forgotten is that if you enter America illegally, it is in fact a crime.
Currently, counties in California are also standing up to the state’s sanctuary policy. Orange County recently voted unanimously to join President Trump’s lawsuit against California’s sanctuary policies.
“We cannot let the state begin cherry-picking which federal laws it decides to follow,” Orange County board supervisor Shawn Nelson said at a March 7 public meeting. “As supervisors of this county, we all took oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States and bear true faith and allegiance to it against all enemies.”
With the state fighting internally and against the country, it is only a matter time before all hell breaks loose, and sanctuary policies are not the only downfall of California.
With liberal ideals and philosophies controlling the state, it must be a good place to live, right?
California’s income tax rate for the wealthy is the highest in the nation, yet California has the highest poverty rate in America. Not only does California have the highest income tax rate, but it has the highest sales tax, and the state of California has been ranked the worst state for business for 12 years in a row.
California also has the highest gas tax in the nation and continually increases registration fees for drivers, yet California’s roads are ranked 49th in quality, while traffic is ranked the worst in the country.
The fact of the matter is California has been taken over by liberal agendas and illogical reasoning. It has become virtually impossible to raise a family, buy a house or have any extra spending money here.
Since Trump became president, the majority of elected officials in California have done everything in their power to stop him from establishing the rule of law. The state has threatened to secede from the union and form their own “socialist paradise” of high taxes and open borders.
Many Californians have had enough of their state being taken over with liberal agendas that have only crippled the state and caused devastation. A movement to form a new state and break away from California has emerged. The “New California” state has received support from people all across the country. With 37 of the 58 counties in California approved to join the state, and with the possibility of a California three-state initiative being put on the 2018 ballot, conflict will soon ensue.