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Viewpoint: The Danger of Becoming Numb

There have already been nearly a dozen mass shootings in the first month of 2018. Is America becoming numb to the tragedies?

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Just days ago, 16 students were shot in their high school. Two fifteen year olds lost their lives in this incident at the hands of a classmate of the same age. This scene is all too familiar in the United States. But the reaction to this particular event has seemed far too quiet.

In comparison to the recent horrific events in Las Vegas that left 59 people dead and over 500 injured, this shooting was a blip on the radar. But there is a real danger that comes with comparing tragedies. It’s not normal to brush off the fact that there have been almost a dozen mass shootings in the first month of 2018 alone. Though it has become common for blood to be shed in school hallways, movie theaters and concerts, it will never be normal. It’s up to the people to prove to political leaders that enough is enough because the shock and horror of the seemingly constant mass shootings and violence.

The exact definition of what qualifies as a mass shooting varies. Some definitions say that four people must be shot in order for it to classify as an official mass shooting. But the fact remains that technicalities should not dictate our reaction to tragedies. It’s true that the modern news cycle is faster than ever, but it’s important to never lose a sense of humanity when it comes to the world around us. It may seem that these shootings are normal, but the world is damaged by indifference towards this horrendous violence.

Until the powerful National Rifle Association is disbanded, politicians will profit off this mass violence. This is why so many elected officials don’t care. Their campaign pockets are lined with money from a group that perpetuates death for their own greedy gain.

It would be unproductive to argue in favor of banning all guns. It’s clear the public opinion is heavily against such a law and nothing will change overnight. But something still must be done to stop the blood. The grieving families deserve to have their pain supported rather than brushed aside by the next news story of the week.

It won’t be simple to conquer gun violence. But the 2018 midterms will be a start. Candidates beholden to the NRA have no place in government. It has become more than clear that the organization seeks to manipulate those in power to further their own cause and enable further acts of violence. It may take years to get concrete, sensible legislation passed, but electing officials who know right from wrong is incredibly important. Without this, the two sides of the argument will go back and forth just as they have since Columbine, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas and all of the other tragic shootings.

But on a more human level, society can react to these incidents with compassion rather than indifference. This isn’t something to be shrugged off as common because being exposed to constant death and violence is not healthy. Someday there will come a time when this horrific violence is just a memory, but it is up to us to create the world in which this is no longer common.

Lauren Grimaldi is a senior political science student at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Roosevelt Torch, the school's student run newspaper. When she graduates in May, she hopes to find work in policy reform, political campaigns, or political writing. Follow her on Twitter @laurengrimaldi_.

MeToo

Viewpoint: There is No Problem with the #MeToo Movement

#MeToo is here to change America: Empowering survivors and giving their voice a platform.

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Recently The Atlantic posted a short video of writer Caitlin Flanagan explain what was wrong with the #MeToo Agenda.

Her first point was that it covered too much as it “descends the ladder from rape to bad dates making it a category big enough to be meaningless.” But there is an obvious difference between rape and a bad date and there is a huge gray area in between and the line is drawn with consent. I know too many men and women who are survivors of sexual violence. But I also know people who have had bad dates (myself included). A bad date is someone who’s rude or narcissistic or just not someone you’re interested in, Rape and assault are crimes. The difference is clear and no one tweets #MeToo over a bad date, they just “girl me too” to a friend.

Flanagan also mentions men who are unfairly caught in the crossfire among accusations of powerful men being brought to justice. She cites Matt Damon who said “groping someone’s butt was different than sexually molesting a child.” While Damon was correct from a legal standpoint, and that these two acts are different, both acts are acts of sexual assault or violence.

There is no excuse for assault or violence on any scale. The fact that Damon doesn’t realize this is a perfect example of how microaggressions find their way into our common media. Any act of unwanted sexual advances made by anyone is unacceptable.

To Flanagan, Damon is misinformed and part of the problem. But most of that comes from the fact that he was misinformed.

She criticizes women for thinking male power structure is part of the problem and suddenly smashing the patriarchy being added to the list of goals for the #MeToo Movement. You can only do so much good targeting individual offenders who have taken advantage of the unfair power structure stacked in their favor. Soon enough you need to address the root of the problem, and it often lies in our history of male centered power structures.

While we can’t undo history, we can work towards equal representation and allowing each individual to be able to thrive under a power structure instead of allowing the people at the top take advantage of everyone below.

Flanagan notes, “It seemed as though almost every woman had some sort of goal she wanted to add to the agenda. No problem was too small or too vague to be included–So long was a man was to blame.”

Have you stopped to think that there actually is a problem? If every woman can identify at least one time in their life where someone has made unwanted passes at them this is clearly a problem that needs to be handled.

Perpetrators needs to face justice and survivors need to heal.

This isn’t just a women’s issue: sexual violence affects everyone: More than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

The #MeToo movement is about bringing those guilty to justice. Not attacking men.

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Campus Crime

Student Jailed for Sexually Assaulting Sleeping Frat Brothers Shown No Leniency

The former Albright College student argued that his sentence should be reduced.

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Former Albright College student Robert Convery Jr. shown in a booking photo. (Handout)

A Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Friday that a student who committed multiple acts of sexual assault on his fraternity brothers while they slept does not deserve a break on his sentence.

Robert Convery Jr., a former Albright College student, was sentenced to 13-to-30-years behind bars in 2016. He had argued at his trial that the sex was consensual, but a jury disagreed.

PennLive reported that the assaults were committed in 2013 and 2015:

Both of the victims were his friends as well as his Pi Kappa Phi frat brothers… Convery assaulted one of them twice, and apologized afterward.

All three assaults followed the same pattern. The victims fell asleep after drinking and awoke to find Convery performing oral sex on them.

Convery appeared in court seeking a reduction in his sentence. His attorney argued that his harsh sentence was a punishment for taking the case to trial instead of negotiating a plea deal or admitting guilt.

Judge Mary Jane Bowes found there was no evidence that Convery was punished for going to trial.

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Apps

There’s Another iOS bug Crashing iPhones, iMessage and Other Apps

Looks like we’ve got a few new bad Apples.

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A bug discovered earlier this week is capable of crashing iPhones, iMessages and various messaging apps, like Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. The news was first reported by Italian blog Mobile World,

The bug is an Indian language (Telugu) character that can be sent through messaging platforms on any Apple product that runs iOS 11 or macOS. Apple users will be unable to open their message app once the bug has been sent.

According to The Verge, the only way for users to recover their message app is to have someone send another message, try to access messages and delete the thread of messages with the special character.

This discovery comes after Apple found multiple software issues before the end of 2017. Apple plans to address the new bug with a new iOS update before the spring release of iOS 11.3. While the bug crashes iMessages with iOS11 or 11.2, those with the beta version of iOS1.3 are immune to the issue.

Apple products encountered similar problems in past experiences thanks to other special characters, links or videos. 2015 brought a small string of text that would shut an iPhone down, in 2016 there was a 5-second video that crashed iPhones and 2017 had a link that would freeze an iPhone completely.

Apple will address these issues soon with an updated version of iOS 11.2.

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