If I went to school in Colorado, I would not feel threatened by my fellow students being allowed to carry concealed handguns. After all, according to an opinion piece by attorney David Kopel that was published in The Washington Post last year, there has only been one incident related to concealed carry on campus in the state's history with the policy. An employee at a dental school accidentally fired her gun, but nobody was hurt.I would not personally pursue a concealed carry permit. I have much more confidence in cops, security guards and my own agility than on my ability to use a weapon.Whatever rocks your boat though. Besides, not that many college-kids can even get permits in Colorado since the minimum age for concealed carry is 21. The thing is, I don't go to school in Colorado. I attend a community college in Alabama. Most public colleges and universities in my state do not allow students and faculty to carry guns, concealed or otherwise.Not everyone is happy about this. Students for Concealed Carry at the University of South Alabama is planning a protest for early October. The demonstration will be similar to the one SCC staged in April, in which students wore empty holsters to draw attention to their cause. Again, concealed carry at Colorado colleges hasn't made them more dangerous places. One must , however, consider the differences between the two states' policies with regard to issuing permits. Kopel writes, " In Colorado, an applicant must be at least 21 years old, pass a fingerprint-based background check, and a safety-training class taught by a nationally-certified instructor. Even if a person meets all these conditions, the statute instructs the Sheriff to deny the application 'If the sheriff has a reasonable belief that documented previous behavior by the applicant makes it likely the applicant will present a danger to self or others.' In order to obtain a pistol permit in Alabama, which gives the bearer the right to carry a concealed pistol, one only has to have reached the age of 18 and have a clean history with regard to mental health and criminal behavior.No classes are required. Alabama is a "shall issue" state, meaning that the sheriff cannot deny a permit to someone who has passed a background check and met all other standards. Before we can make our gun laws more lenient, we need to make them tougher. Until then, the would-be vigilantes in my English composition class should take some advice from Johnny Cash. Leave your guns at home.
A gas leak was discovered in a Shelby County, Alabama pipeline last week. Effects on the ecosystem have been minimal. The economic effects, however, have raised concerns in the government and media. Prices rose by as much as +12 cents per gallon in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Nathan Deal, the governor of Georgia, encouraged his state's citizens to maintain their normal level of oil consumption so as to prevent a worsening of the crisis. All that I can hope for is that this lasts as long as possible. Look, I understand that it sucks to take more out of your wallet to get to work or school or wherever you go on a regular basis.Perhaps I don't have enough perspective seeing as how I don't currently pay my own gas bill and my family can afford two Priuses. Something I do know, however, is that we need to get the hell off of petroleum. Forget the impact that petrol and other fossil fuels have on the climate, something that the anti-intellectuals and the tin foil hatters cannot seem to wrap their minds around. Air pollution can have drastic health effects on people in urban areas.Many of the people being affected by these price increases were hurt by the 2010 BP oil spill or know someone who was. For any rational person, incidents like that should be reason enough to collectively and individually decrease our consumption of gasoline. Unfortunately, insecure jackasses all over America are perfectly content driving cars bigger than the road.Cultural differences aside, Europe's biking habits are probably linked to the fact that gas taxes are higher in most industrialized countries than in the United States. If state and federal gas taxes were raised, there would be more of an incentive to use less petroleum and for the private sector to focus on projects to find viable alternatives to petrol-fueled cars. Additionally ,revenue would be provided to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. There probably isn't enough political will to make such a move, but I'm not ready to give up on the planet just yet.
There is nothing that the GOP treasures more than helpless, innocent babies. And to show just how determined they are to protect little ones from harm, Republican members of congress poisoned a bill to fight Zika, a mosquitoe-spread virus that causes birth defects. The provisions that prompted Democrats to block the $1.1 billion funding bill targeted Planned Parenthood.And what's more, the amendments in question had nothing to do with the non-existent baby parts profiteering or abortion.Instead, they removed the women's health organization from the list of recipients who would be given funding to prevent the spread of Zika.Let's recap:In order to make a statement about protecting babies, GOP lawmakers took a bill meant to protect babies and destroyed its chances of passage by taking away potential Planned Parenthood funding to protect babies. Good job, Mitch McConnnell. Honest Abe would be proud.