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For the last few weeks, the phrase on everyone’s tongue has been gun control. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) of district 12 New Jersey shared her views on gun control, the obstacles faced in being able to regulate it and her stance and hopes as she greeted and answered questions from students who showed up to her town hall in the East Brunswick Community Center. Coleman shared her agenda and had a panel of speakers, which included Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, the superintendent of the New Jersey State police. Many students filled the seats of the auditorium and eventually lined up to ask the congresswoman questions, and she gratefully thanked them for their questions and answered each one asked.
Last Wednesday, students across the country took part in the national walkout in symbolic support of stricter gun laws. Naturally and reasonably, some people disagreed with the walkout for varying reasons. Instead of a walkout, some suggested, students should take part in a "walk up." Instead of a protest, the idea is that students would go up to kids who seem left out or alone and do something nice for them to make them feel welcome. In many respects, this is a good and necessary idea which should happen more often — but it is questionable with regard to the purpose at hand, which is to help solve the issue of gun violence in schools. Truthfully, neither demonstration will likely have a significant or direct impact on the issue.
With this Monday’s rollout of a new opioid plan from President Donald J. Trump's administration, I feel like it is necessary to talk about the advancements (or lack thereof) made on fighting the epidemic of opioid painkiller usage in the United States. Back in October, I wrote my first op-ed on this area called “Current response to opioid crisis is lacking,” which went into the ambivalent ways in which America racially divides who is worthy of medical rehabilitation and who deserves incarceration, as well as the lack of teeth to the Trump administration’s declaration of a public health emergency regarding opioids. From Trump’s announcement in New Hampshire, ambivalence has been declared a common theme across the months that the federal government has attempted to put an end to America’s epidemic of epidemics.
On Thursday Feb. 22, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services changed its mission statement to embody America’s new agenda. The federal agency in charge of handling immigration in the U.S. has removed the phrase that indicated America was a “nation of immigrants.” The new statement now reads, "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation's lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland and honoring our values."
Built in 1915 and one of Rutgers’ oldest landmarks, Ford Hall on the College Avenue campus is slated by the administration to be demolished. The building, which once acted as a dormitory, was constructed with a donation of $110,000 by former Board of Trustees member John Howard Ford and was designed by Bertram Goodhue, a historically renowned architect. Located across the street from the new Hillel House and not far from The Yard @ College Avenue, Ford Hall does well to bring the old feel of Voorhees Mall to the increasingly modernized College Avenue. In response to word of its intended destruction, a Change.org petition has been created to preserve the building, which has already garnered more than 300 signatures.
As the issue of gun control has continued to hold a prominent position in the national political discourse following last month’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, attempts at reform have been met with immense backlash from gun advocates who consider any further attempt at restricting access to guns to be antithetical to the Second Amendment. The most high-profile example of this comes from the National Rifle Association (NRA), who is filing a lawsuit against a new Florida law, which raises the minimum age to purchase a weapon from 18 to 21, claiming that it infringes on the Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights of those who are 18 to 20. Yet, the popular belief among gun enthusiasts that the Second Amendment prescribes an individual the inalienable right to possess a firearm is both an oversimplification and an inherent misunderstanding in terms of the amendment’s history and its interpretation up until today.
Our constant push-and-pull games regarding stricter gun control laws or the lack of desire to relinquish our right to bear arms has made our country the biggest possible parody of itself. With students facing potential disciplinary actions by staging walkouts because of their fear of becoming sitting ducks in a classroom in a world of assault rifles — when will it end?
At 5 p.m. on Monday, members of multiple University-affiliated groups took to the streets of New Brunswick to march in support of a “clean” Dream Act for undocumented students and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients that does not criminalize communities and separate families. The activists marched on the street from the Brower Commons steps all the way to the Douglass Student Center, holding banners that said things like, “#HERETOSTAY” and “NODREAMDEFERRED.” Considering the fact that this demonstration took place around rush hour, it resulted in a certain degree of traffic delays — which were likely frustrating to some. As with any demonstration, the point these protesters were making was meant to be heard, and as we have seen throughout history, being heard often times entails making somewhat of a ruckus. Regardless of if these protesters were in the right or wrong, what is not clear at first glance is if their march was in accordance with University policy.
It is the first thing many do in the morning. By way of groggy eyes, we all can admit to checking our screens for the day’s weather, news and occasional mind-numbing Instagram post at least once. Or twice. Or 86 times a day if you are between the ages of 18 and 24, according to recent data.
President Donald J. Trump last week announced steep new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from around the world, yet another step toward economic protectionism and away from free trade. With more general remarks in favor of reducing the country’s trade deficit, he signaled tariffs on more goods may be on the way.
Rutgers students will get to experience a little preemptive taste of spring break today as a result of the snow storm. To many students this may come as somewhat of a surprise, as this snow day is a rare occasion — something the University takes a lot of backlash for. The closing of all offices and cancellation of classes is in accordance with Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D-N.J.) declaration of a state of emergency, which is interesting because it seems it takes an extremely high standard of danger and inclement weather, such as the one we are presented with, for the administration to make the decision to close.
A man with a vision of unregulated growth and prosperity looked out at the self-proclaimed epoch of the business world to welcome a new era. His name was Don Regan, and he was the man who could openly tell a president that “You're gonna have to speed it up.” On March 28, 1985, Don Regan, former chairman of Merrill Lynch, stood at the bell in the New York Stock Exchange, while beside him, former President Ronald Reagan called “the bears back into hibernation” and “(turned) the bull loose.”
Before I left for Rutgers this past Sunday, I was watching the 90th Academy Awards with my parents at home. Although I only managed to catch Jimmy Kimmel’s satiric introduction and the announcement for Best Male Supporting Actor, the circumstances surrounding my experience were more or less serendipitous, to say the least.
New Brunswick and Rutgers police utilized a search warrant to raid an off-campus house on the College Avenue campus this past Saturday, in response to information that led them to believe the residents were in possession of assault weapons. The situation turned out to be a false alarm, as police found two imitation firearms — one resembling an assault rifle and the other a hand gun. At this time, no charges have been filed against the residents of the house. The information, according to the press release, came from people who had attended a party at the house in question earlier that day. Presumably, these individuals had noticed the weapons and then notified the police out of concern for the safety of the community. And after what happened in Parkland, Florida last month, in addition to the many other horrendous cases of that sort, it is reasonable for people to be on-edge about the real possibility of gun violence happening to them. With that said, the situation that unfolded here at Rutgers sparks some important questions.
The year was 1968, and I was a senior at Rutgers — a mere 50 years ago. Two of the greatest thrills that I experienced that year came in the form of an Art History class that I took as an elective and a research project that I chose as a chemistry major. Those Art History lectures were amazing — from Egyptian art, through Impressionism and all the way up to Modern Art. Only a few years ago, when visiting the Orvieto Cathedral in the Umbria region of Italy, the beauty of that Cathedral came back to me in a flash — just like when I first viewed it through my Janson's History of Art book 50 years ago.
Around this time last year, many of us took to the streets to protest President Donald J. Trump’s Executive Order 13769, commonly known as the "Muslim ban." While the public demonstrations have been somewhat successful in limiting the effects of the executive order, there have been quite a few negative implications caused by the ban including some casualties. One such casualty on our very own campus is the Graduate Muslim Student Association (GMSA).
I received an invitation to appear on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show to discuss a piece I wrote, which analyzed the correlation between toxic masculinity, gun culture and mass shootings. The Tucker Carlson Tonight show is a Fox News program which “brings you a fast-paced live hour of spirited debate, as (Tucker Carlson) holds those in power to account. Taking no prisoners and calling out the status quo in his signature style, Tucker takes you to every corner of America to cover the issues you care about,” according to the Fox News website.
Something that may still be unknown by many members of the Rutgers community is how closely intertwined their University is with America’s shameful past of slavery and the displacement of Native Americans. Not only was Henry Rutgers himself a slave owner, but so were multiple other significant and well-known University founders, professors and trustees, such as Frederick Frelinghuysen, John Neilson and Philip French. Several founders, including Henry Rutgers, were also active members of the American Colonization Society, which was an organization that advocated for the resettlement of freed slaves in Africa instead of allowing them to live freely in this country alongside white people.
Since the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, which took the lives of 17 teachers and students, the nation has embarked on a debate over guns, the Second Amendment and school safety. In the course of this national debate, some of the most heated criticisms have been thrown toward the National Rifle Association (NRA). Members of the NRA have been accused of buying politicians, have been called murderers and have seen businesses cut ties with them. I understand that politics gets heated especially in the wake of such an unimaginable tragedy, and no one wins an award for politeness. My complaint is not with criticizing the NRA, but rather with the reason the Left is criticizing it. In short, the NRA has been worsening as an organization, but not for the reasons gun control activists argue.
I am Leo Chiaet, and I am the Public Relations coordinator for Rutgers Students With Children. If you see fliers around campus advertising our group in the student centers, they are there because of me, and if you are interested in social justice I strongly recommend reaching out to us at email@example.com. We need your help.