Sunday, December 4, 2011

Can I Call You "Mary"?

My ears have heard this question numerous times and to each person asking it, I respond with a..... "NO." That is not my name. You can say it, but I won't respond. But really, not answering to this one part of my name is like how I wouldn't answer to the name "Jennifer" or something.

I have many personalities (which makes me sound insane). MOODS. I have many moods. I want to be 5 different types of people at once. That is my reasoning for my two names. According to the rents though, they didn't want to confuse me with my aunt. Whatever, I like my understanding better.

I want to be funny, deep, interesting, engaging. But I feel boring sometimes, but my name is a merge of characteristics. It's two rather unremarkable names fused together. I wish I could be a fusion of many.
 I will make my joint name proud.


They should call college-- "Adaptation". College means an educational institution providing higher education or specialized professional or vocational training. In my and many other students' experience, this is not what college is. College is going to class, sometimes having biased professors, and having to adapt to exactly what they want. I realize that people are human and we can't revolutionize the teaching system to make it fair. However, we should maybe not grades and GPA's too seriously. Sometimes, you don't know how to appease the professor. At times, there is no way to win. But, if they had a bit more understanding when it comes to official grade reports, that would be nice. Which makes me sound like a whiny, privileged kid. Great.

People Kill People

When it comes to the Second Amendment, gun rights, and gun control everyone seems to have a fervent opinion. Usually the argument heard on the left is by those who want a peaceful America and that conservatives who wield guns are in favor of shooting people. And again, the bias on the right is that the government is slowly taking away citizens' American right to own and use a gun and that liberals are living in a fantasy world of no crime. This is a touchy issue because of the multiple campus shootings and muggings and I used to be in favor of gun control. But, by learning all of the disturbing, yet accurate, facts, I have since educated myself with the whole story.

First of all, in a non-violence based argument, guns aid Americans in our most basic need of food. Let's face it, Americans eat meat. And a lot of it. We will not suddenly change and become vegetarians. We need guns to hunt animals for venison. Hunters do not revel in killing animals, it is their livelihood. The hunters aren't soulless people that kill them for sport. They must eat, and to eat, they must hunt.

I doubt any native Americans were ever on trial for their killing of helpless and defenseless bison or buffalo. No, they had to hunt or they would starve. And in today's market of highly processed unidentifiable food, killing animals seems hurtful and mean. The most logical alternative to killing animals is to eat the processed junk that we churn out from factories. But, most of the food we eat from a fast food place is more harmful than if we ate it out of a garbage can.

Most of the information about gun control does not show that the people fighting for this right are those who are properly trained. All we ever see in defense of gun rights are gun toting, cowboy hat-wearing, country bumpkins. But those in favor this right, are often informed, intelligent citizens. If people are worried about those who have conceal and carry weapons, don't worry, these people aren't there to play cop. They are trained for a reason. They won't take the law into their own hands and suddenly go on a shooting spree of anyone they deem a criminal. They take this responsibility seriously and make themselves knowledgeable in terms of gun usage. Gun control would make those who are knowledgeable on the subject of guns yield to the ban, while the maniacs who actually do want to commit murder and violent attacks, would find a way to obtain a weapon illegally.

Because of the select few who choose to mistreat handguns and automatic weapons, people are forced to take action so that no further damage or killing is committed. Think of the campus shootings at Virginia Tech or Columbine. If there had been one person there with a conceal and carry license willing to stop the gunmen, much less devastation would have occurred. Often the ruling is that if there had been more gun control, these maniacs wouldn't have had the option of a school shooting, but this is false. If they truly are hell bent on inflicting so much pain and destruction, they will obtain the weapons necessary to their plan. But there can be a solution: conceal and carry. If those who can use a gun and stop these nut jobs that illegally acquire these semi-automatic weapons or handguns, they should. And words can only go so far, and are sometimes even futile.

If guns make murder easy, why does it take so much training to learn how to shoot and use it properly? Often society is not taught to fight violence with more violence. But when the first onslaught of violence is irrational, words will not cut it. If someone can physically take action, they should. A self-defense killing is not considered murder because they are protecting their life, not going off on a killing spree.

In two hypothetical situations, one where you and another are unarmed and are confronted by a criminal and another when one of you is armed and are confronted, which one would you be more willing to place yourself in? Obviously if you can defend yourself against murder, you can and should. But if that right of yours is taken away, you could be placed in such a situation where there is no hope or help.

People opposed to gun rights claim they do so because they don't support killing machines and we must strive for a more peaceful country. However with this logic in place, we should make cars illegal too. Think of all the damage accidents cause. A gun is a controlled piece of weaponry, but we allow any 16 year-old with adolescent judgement to be behind the wheel. If this is the kind of reason and judgement we find in our society today, it is extremely flawed.

Most of us wish that the world where school and campus shootings, murders, and violence do not exist, but it is not that simple. Living in a bubble of a utopian society where there is no violence is only being ignorant to the problem. If we are presented with the facts and they continue to point to this obvious solution, how much longer can the world ignore the truth?

Having the alarming, yet true facts will lead people to realize that the correct conclusion is one where those who are trained to carry guns, should. The only way to rid the world of these evil, sadistic killers is to be sure those who are properly equipped to use such a weapon have the means to do so. I admire those who truly believe in peace and an attainable utopia, but if we don't concern ourselves with the truth and adjust accordingly, others will be subject to the dangers of lunatics in their own community. Do not believe that we have to live in fear because of the jarring reality of today, believe that we have the right to arm ourselves in case that reality rears its ugly head tomorrow.

Take It Down A Notch

In today's society, the media bombards us with constant information in heated debates. Everyone disagrees. People have opinions and they are going to share them whether you like it or not. We are brainwashed to have opinions about politics, music, movies, and TV. If we aren't extremely passionate about each and every subdivisions we are reprimanded. We have to have extremist opinions about all politics and all of the issues that coalesce. Those who dominate in the media use an accusatory or snooty tone to talk down to their audience and infuse them with the correct way of thinking. In this day and age of the 24-hour news networks, a harsh tone is necessary. This type of speech which clouds our thoughts and burdens citizens must be removed immediately. Is it possible to have any news or media correspondent not talk like a political pundit? Or, more simply, is it even possible speak in a civil way and respect other's opinions?

We've all had multiple conversation with people who have their obvious opinions and blurt them out each chance that they can get. They will not let you get a word in, and, as a matter of fact, they don't want you to. They must prove how their belief is correct and yours is, well, ludicrous. We know, we understand, we get it. You have certain stances and convictions. But perhaps they aren't true? Will those people change their views if proven wrong? No, they are the ones that take the pundits and correspondents seriously. The media's word is truth and law. So, even if their arguments are determined as false, they won't give up their case because of their sense of pride. This is often the case with these people, too heated to be rational. They need to calm down, think, and become reasonable, which is often a strenuous task for them.

We must become a culture of civility and courtesy so that we won't be destroyed by the over zealous and pushy pundits of the biased media. We should not be subjected to a type of communication that is inciting fear into every broadcast. Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, had "The Rally to Restore Sanity" last October, which advocated such a position. This message of acting and reacting in a sane and rational manner when dealing with the radical and outrageous stances on governmental issues can also be applied to everyday life. If you have a problem with someone, try taking a calm approach and see which strategy they respond to more. A coolheaded campaign to an issue may be more popular than an emotional one. Most people do not understand why those that use unwarranted or unpredictable tactics have such a passionate reaction when it comes to subjects they may even not be effected by. We must learn to control our tone of how we say things and keep those who do not enjoy fervent arguments, pacified.

The overbearing source of our world acting in such a way is because we are trained to react just like the media tells us to. We are supposed to stand up for, what they claim to be, is right. And we should do this loudly. The media should recognize it's aggressive tactics to gain viewership and opinions close to their own, and change them. The newspapers, magazines, television programs, pundits, and multiple other news outlets need to present us with the basic facts and not use psychological methods to trick us into believing something is worse or better than it actually is. We just need to take action and start behaving in a way that is well-mannered and pleasant. This is not a call to rid the world of opinionated people, this is a plead to act in a way where everyone's voice can be heard. Do not think your being civil means that you have no opinions or passionate ideas. You do have these things, you are just being respectful and courteous to those who may have opinions they want to voice as well. The overly heated people should tone down their discourse and let the rational thinkers and speakers have a turn. Let's just make the world a bit more civil, shall we?

A Less Hostile Springtime for OU

To my fellow University of Oklahoma students, we all know when springtime comes to our gorgeous campus. The South Oval is covered with blossoming trees and optimistic peers. We find ourselves delighted to be walking to class in glorious weather after we have braved the windy, freezing, and unexpected weather of Oklahoma in wintertime. Now we are rewarded with the sun beaming on our faces, until it sheds light on the reoccurring horror that plagues our campus every spring semester: the loud evangelical religious beliefs that are smacked in our faces. I understand the first amendment and free speech rights, but when it is blatantly upsetting or cruel to the students is where I feel the University should draw the line.

One aspect of religion being presented in a harsh way is when the horrific abortion billboards are put up directly south of the library. These banners and billboards are massive depictions of the trauma that goes with abortion. Yes, this is a controversial topic that attracts many advocates but someone who has dealt with the pain of abortion may not react well to these posters. These pro-life advocates have a message of love, but proclaim it with such hatred and judgment that it is difficult to understand their hypocritical message. One who has been through a traumatizing experience such as this does not need to be reminded of what they've been through. They also don't need to see blown up pictures depicting their decisions. This type of message tells they them they are horrible people, which is information no one wants pushed in their face. Imagine you are walking to class and you see these representations. It would be like someone hit you across the head with a massive depiction of a traumatic and devastating personal experience. You would become upset, right? We must work together to remove such explicit and overwhelming material not only for our peers who have lived through that horror, but to make our campus a more pleasant one.

Besides being bombarded with images, we students are forced to listen to the over-zealous preachers rant as they spew out an opinion on their soap box. This action usually draws a huge crowd of onlookers in between classes. Being in a sorority, I walk down the South Oval often wearing a shirt from the Chi Omega house. I wear these shirts to support my sorority, but the evangelical preachers calling out girls in Greek Life deters me from wearing those shirts. I recall once hearing a preacher yelling at sorority girls, regarding them as "sluts" and other obscene and hurtful words. One preacher even went so far as to suggest that all of us engage in sexually explicit acts, then went into detail and described them. Who would want to listen to this? Because I am in a sorority I can guarantee that this is not how all sorority girls act. Most of us are respectable, classy women who want to make a difference in the University of Oklahoma community. These preachers only reiterate a bad reputation based upon stereotypes. They claim to be knowledgeable about issues, but if they took the time to understand that condemnation is not always appropriate, but rather is judgmental and often false, maybe they could practice the love and acceptance they apparently preach.

These two bombarding examples make me want to roll my eyes and shake my head disapprovingly for all of the negative energy they disperse on our campus. To remove them, we must take the action to voice our opinion to administrators and anyone else that has a higher say in this matter. Do you want to walk down the Oval and revel in the magnificent campus, only to see once again that a display of hatred clouds out your joy? Never again should we be forced to listen to why young adults are the downfall of morals and goodness. We are good, caring people that are just trying to live our lives and have the best college career possible. To my OU peers, let's start a petition to sponge away these brutal and harsh messages from our campus. And in the mean time, religious zealots, try not to waste your time screaming at us.