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Stop the Killing: Pass Gun Control Legislation Now

A study by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that the rate of firearm death of children 14 and under is nearly twelve times higher in the U.S. than in 25 other industrialized nations. When comparing the high U.S. gun murder rate to that of other nations, it is vital to realize that the U.S. is also unique in one other relevant way: lax gun ownership restrictions. Almost all industrialized nations have more stringent regulations on weapons possession than the United States, and not surprisingly, all of them have a lower murder rate. Many people are finally beginning to recognize the rather significant correlation between high firearm murder rates and high accessibility of guns. Although an overwhelming majority of Americans recognize the need for stricter gun control laws (including 80 percent polled in New Jersey this year), conflict still exists, especially in the world of politics. Many politicians still insist that gun control is not the answer to gun violence, echoing the sentiments of Republican Presidential frontrunner George W. Bush, who blames recent firearm-related deaths not on guns but on “a wave of evil passing through America.” What they must realize is that while there may be some “evil” involved, malevolent intentions are harmless in the absence of the sufficient means to execute them. Guns provide these means, and the results are unfortunately instantaneous and irreversible.

Fact: In 1997 alone, 32,436 Americans were killed with firearms. This is about 1,000 fewer than the number of Americans killed in the Korean War and more than half the number killed in Vietnam.

Fact: In 1997, over 11 children and teens (ages 19 and under) were killed with guns each and every day in the U.S.

Fact: Guns kept…

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…antage of this opportunity have been few and weak, immeasurably affected by the money and lobbying of the socially irresponsible NRA. If Congresspersons either refused to submit to NRA pressures or passed stricter campaign finance rules, there is no limit to the progress that could be made. Background checks at gun shows would be only the beginning of the beginning. There could be a licensing system for all gun owners. There could be even stricter limits on who can own a gun. After all, 90 percent of adult murderers have a previous adult criminal record; how about preventing anyone with a criminal record from owning a gun? There is no limit to what can be done, but as for now, we are at a standstill. There are still many kinds of assault weapons for legal sale. It is up to us to do everything we can to force Congress to do what it was meant to do: serve the people.

Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues – Same-sex Marriage is Inevitable

Same-sex Marriage is Inevitable

For many parents, the marriage of their child is a very happy and proud time. Most parents expect their children to get married and have children. But what if their child is gay or lesbian? Their child may have met the perfect person to spend their life with, but their child cannot get legally married. Same-sex couples can hold wedding ceremonies, but the law does not recognize these unions. Many heterosexuals take for granted the benefits that are extended to their spouse by way of legal marriage. These benefits do not extend to homosexual couples, because there is not a law that recognizes same-sex marriage. Gay marriage is not legal because of state and federal laws, as well as the traditional views of the American public.

There are many state laws that prevent gay marriage. An interesting background to the gay marriage issue is the issue of interracial marriage. In 1967, the state of Virginia had the case, Loving v. Virginia, go to the US Supreme Court that dealt with interracial marriage. The ruling in this case entailed that Virginia’s prohibition of different-race marriage was a violation of both the equal protection and due process clauses. Why not the same for gay marriage? Furthermore, many states have sodomy statutes. While most sodomy laws apply to both heterosexuals and gay people, they are primarily used to deny lesbians and gay men a range of other rights. Sodomy laws were once on the books in all fifty states, but they have been repealed or struck down by courts in over half the states. In Texas, heterosexual sodomy laws have been repealed in recent years, but same-sex sodomy laws remain. (Bull 39,44) Sodomy is defined in most places as oral and anal intercours…

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… looks back at the ridiculousness of sex and race-based discrimination.

Works Cited

Bull, Chris. Scene of the Crime. The Advocate. October 27, 1998.

Cloud, John. For Better or Worse. Time Magazine. October 26, 1998. page 43.

Eskridge, William N., Jr. The Case for Same-Sex Marriage. New York: The Free Press, 1996.

Foley, Daniel R. The State of Gay Marriage. Family Advocate v20 n1 p39. Summer 1997

Kramer, Larry.Same-sex marriage, conflict of laws, and the unconstitutional public policy exception. Yale Law Journal. May 1997, v.106, n7, 1965-2008

Strasser, Mark. Legally Wed. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 1997. pp. 50-52

United States. Congress. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Defense of Marriage Act : report together with dissenting views (to accompany H.R. 3396).U.S. DOCS. NO. Y 1.1/8:104-664

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