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How the Internet Affects Our Society

How the Internet Affects Our Society

Nearly 70 million American adults access the Internet on a regular basis. They use it to conduct business, communicate, and just pass time. The Internet provides information that is sent and received at the speed of light. It helps bridge time, distance, and cultural barriers, but that is just part of the paradox that even though the internet may expand the world in which we live, we still have to virtually isolate ourselves to access it. (Greenfield) It may seem to be a great invention, and it may connect us to almost anywhere in the world, but at what cost? Increased use of the Internet means that one would give up, to some extent, communication with living beings and other technologies. This overuse of the internet can lead to decline in work performance, use of other media, and face to face interactions.

I lived in an off-campus dorm my freshman year in college. We had a computer room in the building next door, and my roommate and I also had a computer in our room, but it was not hooked up to the Internet. Even when I just had to type a paper, I headed over to the lab, thinking that if I got bored with the paper, I could just “surf” the net for a little while. One night, that little while of “surfing” turned into 5 hours in a chat room. When I realized how long I had been there, it scared me. I found that I had been spending more time in that computer lab than I did in the outside world. My only friend was my roommate, and she was hardly ever home. I did not have a job at the time, so I could not meet people that way, and I was very home sick, so I thought my only release was through the computer because I had become bored with watching television. I would lock myself away in the secluded lab, where I was alone for most of the time. Sometimes, I would not talk to a living human for more than 2 to 3 hours a day, and most of those hours were spent talking to my friends and family in Houston. I became a very lonely person, and I even felt for a while that I did not care if I ever talked to people again.

The NRA Killed Gun Control Legislation

The NRA Killed Gun Control Legislation

By the year 2003, it is expected that firearms will cause the most injury-related deaths in the United States, surpassing even automobile accidents. Poll after poll have revealed that most Americans favor stricter gun control laws. Five recent suburban school shootings have demonstrated that when guns and kids mix, tragedy results. Yet gun control legislation remains at a standstill.

The battle for stricter gun-control laws has not been without victories. In 1968, Congress passed the Gun Control Act in the wake of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., President John F. Kennedy, and Senator Robert Kennedy. The law mandated stricter licensing requirements, prohibited the sale of handguns to out-of-state residents, and banned mail-order gun sales and the import of guns not “suitable or readily adaptable to sporting purposes.” The 1984 Crime Control Act lengthened the minimum mandatory sentences given to those who carry and use armor-piercing bullets to commit violent crimes. In 1993, the Brady Bill was approved by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The law, named after James Brady, who was shot and paralyzed in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan, requires a five-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns. The “Assault Weapons” ban of 1994, passed despite a massive campaign by the National Rifle Association (NRA), banned nineteen assault-type weapons, including the Street Sweeper, a 12-gauge shotgun that can be fully discharged in three seconds. The ban also covered many semiautomatic firearms. The NRA’s bid to repeal the law was stymied in 1995, with the explosion of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 peopl…

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…gun’s owner may be required before the gun will fire; another technology would allow an owner to activate and deactivate his or her gun via remote control. If S.113 were to become law, it would be much more difficult for children and young adults under eighteen years of age to fire their parents’, relatives’, or friends’ guns. New Jersey’s S.113 sits presently in the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee – there are not enough votes to get the bill out of committee.

Although the NRA boasts several millions members and a great deal of money, polls show that they hold the minority view. The fact that they have helped prevent the passage of federal and state legislation that would promote more gun-control laws shows that the NRA’s minority is a vocal one. If the majority becomes half as vocal, tragedies such as the school shootings can be avoided in the future.

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