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The Trendsetter Staff Speaks on Gun Violence, Sexual Assault

ASIA NICOLE ALCORN

Asia Nicole Alcorn
Photo credit: Maya Palavali

Gun Violence

In 2020, over 45,000 people in the U.S. died because of a gun-related injury, according to the CDC. And over 19,000 of those deaths were murders. I would hate to see this year’s numbers.

We have to take in consideration all the communities that have or could be affected. People are still hurting from the Sandy Hook shooting, and now, the Uvalde shooting. When is it going to end? How many lives is it going to take for our government to start taking this seriously? There are ways for people to have guns and not be involved in gun violence. I mean, look at other countries like Canada or the UK. They are prime examples of how we should consider reforming our gun laws in order to protect our people.

Sexual Assault

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one in five women and one in four men experience sexual assault.

I personally have zero tolerance for it. It’s sickening, heartbreaking and no one should have to go through it. It has sadly become a common thing overtime, and the fact that some people have the audacity to say someone is lying about being assaulted absolutely enrages me. This isn’t something you lie about, trust me.

As a college student you quickly learn about “rape culture” and hazing amongst sororities and fraternities. And it’s not a lie, it’s really something people experience.

Make sure you go to functions with a group, and never leave anyone behind. And never leave a drink unattended. I encourage all survivors to stand strong and speak up no matter what. There are plenty of people who deserve to be in jail for their actions. And you never know, your story might inspire someone else to share theirs.

ANGELINA LIU

ANGELINA LIU
Photo credit: Maya Palavali

Gun Violence

The current situation we face with gun control in the United States is concerning, and honestly frightening as a young adult. With mass shootings becoming an increasingly regular occurrence, lawmakers are still hesitant to pass critical gun reform laws that could save hundreds of lives. In light of the most recent school-related mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, we are once again reminded of how tragically simple, yet seemingly unattainable, preventing mass shootings is.

While the right to bear arms is listed as a constitutional right, it should be noted that the Bill of Rights was drafted in 1789, which saw a starkly different America than where we are now. With modern advancements in technology, medicine and general society, it is strange we are still adhering to laws that were created almost 300 years ago. There is no justifiable reason why a private citizen would require the use of assault weapons in resemblance to those used in the military. While I disagree with the necessity of banning guns entirely, I argue purchasing a gun should be an extensive process that includes background and mental health checks, making it harder for people to access weapons possibly leading to shootings.

Sexual Assault

In recent years, sexual assault has become a topic that is no longer taboo, and this has allowed many victims of this heinous crime to come forward and share their stories with the world. With increasing media coverage on the topic, women and men have been able to recognize instances of sexual assault within their own relationships, not just with strangers. This is beneficial because in the past, sexual assault was a broad term people frowned upon speaking openly about. I am glad recent social media movements such as the #MeToo movement have allowed many people to share their experiences and stories with the world, as a way to spread awareness on the topic. and destigmatize the ideas surrounding survivors. While majority of sexual assault victims are women, it is important to realize men can be victims as well. Believing and affirming men’s stories are equally important.

KENDALL GAYLE WASHINGTON

Kendall Gayle Washington
Photo credit: Maya Palavali

Gun Violence

As a student, I am concerned with gun control laws due to the amount of school shootings that have taken place over the last couple years. Now in America, guns have more protection than women. As of July 2022, there have been 314 mass shootings, and we are only half-way through the year. It is disappointing The United States Government is divided on a topic that puts lives in danger. The feeling of being safe has been stripped away from students when attending school, and that is unfair. Kids can no longer just be kids, and that is disheartening.

Sexual Assault

In this new age, people have become more accepting of sexual assault victims, and their pain is taken seriously. While people have been speaking out recently, sexual assault has been common for a long time. At a young age, my mom taught me how to never let my drink leave my hand, and if it does, to get a new one. I did not understand what she meant then, but I do now. I am excited to embark on my new journey of being a college student next year, yet a small part of me is afraid. About 1 in 5 college women are sexually assaulted, per Forbes Magazine. I know it’s never the victim’s fault, but the statistics are heartbreaking. Many future college students like myself share the same fear. So, it’s up to us, Gen-Z, to break the cycle.

INIYA NATHAN

Gun Violence

INIYA V. NATHAN
Photo credit: Maya Palavali

Guns are not the answer to gun violence. The question should not be, “If someone has a gun and starts to open fire on everyone around them, how do I protect myself?” It instead should be, “How do we make sure that no one has the opportunity to unnecessarily hurt someone with a firearm?” Children are being shot in classrooms.

Should children be carrying guns to protect themselves?

Of course not. Should teachers?

Schools are supposed to be a safe place for children to learn, not a place where they might fear for their lives. I don’t want to be afraid when I’m learning at school.

I don’t want my teacher to be afraid when their only concern should be whether me and my peers are understanding the lesson we are supposed to learn. I want to feel safe, and someone carrying a gun around me, friend or foe, does not make me feel safe.

Sexual Assault

The way sexual assault cases are handled put too much pressure on the victim. Most questions like “What were you wearing,” “Did you know the person who assaulted you,” “Were you drinking” and “Are you sure that really happened” are all aimed at the victim like sharp knives, as if what they were wearing mattered, or if the fact that they knew the person would change the outcome. Perpetrators of sexual assault are already hard to catch, so the process should not be made worse by quizzing the victims as if this were a class final, not a violation of their rights.

MAYA PALAVALI

Maya Palavali
Photo credit: Maya Palavali

Gun Violence

The way younger people are introduced to the topic is detrimental to both their mental health and understanding. Currently, the only way kids who don’t actively research learn

about gun violence is through breaking news, social media and word of mouth. There is so much fear mongering and misinformation proving nothing positive is being absorbed, causing their perception to be warped.

Sexual Assault

The way society is structured makes sexual assault very easy to get away with, for both genders. But the amount of sexual assault on males is overlooked. It’s rare we ever hear about a case of sexual assault on males, and, when we do, it’s usually dismissed with common myths like, “He probably enjoyed it anyway,” or other variations. When the same scenarios that are taken more seriously have reversed genders, there is a completely different public reaction.

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