Category: Default

Should we allow possession of arms on campus?

We have seen some of the worst mass shootings in America’s campuses in recent years. The massacre at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University which happened last April 2007 left 33 people dead.  The shooting spree in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut killed 27 people.  In light of these tragic events, college and university administrators and officials discussed ways to prevent campus attacks and protect the students, faculty, and staff.  One of the issues raised was allowing the possession of firearms inside campus premises.  This sparked much controversy and debate.      

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution keeps on being raised to justify support in the issue to possess and carry guns.  The Second Amendment says that “a well- regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  Some people believe that guns can prevent crime and they also have the right to arm themselves for protection against harm.  There are also efforts to push for state legislations that would allow carrying of firearms on campus.  On the other hand, some groups oppose possession of arms inside campus premises in the belief that it could only lead to more violence and death.  They believe that students, faculty, or staff carrying guns can increase crime rate and chances of confrontation leading to violent behavior.  The position of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, Inc. is that concealed carrying of arms did not necessarily make the campuses safer.  There were no significant evidence to show that it could reduce crime rate or could be used for defending one’s self.  The administrators were concerned because it would be reckless to allow students to carry guns that they could use to harm other people.   

We are against possession of arms in the campus.  Schools and campuses are safe places and considered a haven for learning wherein students and faculty freely interact and exchange ideas without fear of their safety.  Gun-free zones are safer because no one can harm another individual using guns.  We believe that we should entrust possession and use of arms to our police and security forces who are trained to ensure the protection of the people.  Guns are weapons that can be destructive once placed in the hands of irresponsible or immature individuals.  Our government should make sure that there is proper regulation on firearms and ammunition.   Heavy penalties should be imposed to those found violating the law.   

GENDER EQUALITY

Men and women are different biologically.  But does it mean that they should be treated differently?  History has shown us how men have largely been favored between the two.  Women were treated as inferior to men when it came to their status in society.  It might be inconceivable now but there used to be a time when women were not permitted to attend school and did not have a right to vote.  But we have come a long way from that dark period in history.  Or have we? Up to this moment, gender inequality remains to be a major social issue.  Even the recent United States presidential election was flogged by various gender concerns such as sexual assaults aside from the fact that it was a man versus a woman vying for the presidency of one of the most powerful nations in the world.   This prompted Newsweek to say that the presidential election was a referendum on gender and they claimed that women lost in that poll.   The United Nations Development Programme says that until today, gender inequality remains to be a major hindrance to human development.  Based on their study, we have yet to achieve gender equity and women continue to be discriminated against in health, politics, education, and labor force.  These factors open our eyes to the arduous journey that women continue to bear to achieve equality with men.      

We would like to believe that we have taken great strides in fighting for gender equality.  We have seen how women are now able to participate in social, political, economic, and educational activities in our country.  However, there is still much work to be done.  These rights and privileges are not yet enjoyed by women all over the world.  There should be a continuous support to educate others about the importance of gender equality.   The way we think about women and men shape our lives and the world we live in.  It determines the opportunities we unlock and spaces we open up to women and influences how far they can go in our society.  We should continue to empower women until they feel free and safe to show who they really are and what they want to be.  We should not give up until we reach that moment when we are able to transform and transcend gender relations and see each other as men and women, equals, with the same capacity to make a difference in this world.   

A PARTIAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

The mission of the United States Department of Justice is to enforce the law, defend the nation, and ensure fair and impartial management of justice for all its citizens. The blindfolded Lady Justice is one of its representation which symbolizes the department’s lack of prejudice and neutrality.  However, questions are raised in areas such as Texas where their judges are elected in partisan elections by the registered voters.  This manner of judicial selection is believed to be a democratic process that allows the people to choose the judges that they believe reflect their values.  But critics say that this paves the way for a partial justice system that leans in favor of those who have money and power.  Rich businessmen are oftentimes the biggest campaign contributors of these judges.  In return, the judges tend to protect the interest of their supporters and campaign funders.  Unfortunately, most of the time, their interests do not reflect nor favor the poor citizens.  They even put other people at a disadvantage when they have to appear in court.   If judges do not have the support of big donors, they will not stand a chance to win the elections.  This is also the reason why there is a lack of minority representation in the judiciary since they do not have the resources to rival those supported by rich businessmen and powerful politicians.    There are studies that show how state Supreme Court justices favor businesses that contributed to their campaigns. When this happens, you will begin to doubt the impartiality and credibility of the justice system.  Voters think that their having the same political values as the judges that they elect is all that matters.  They do not know the bigger picture of the judicial system and how the judges’ decisions on the different cases they handle affect their daily lives.  But all is not lost as the people still have the power to vote out judges that they think are not performing well.  Constant vigilance is needed to ensure accountability and independence of the judges when it comes to decisions and political will. 

Justice and Corrections

From Visually.