HHS students write on issues

Over the course of the past three weeks, the students, who I have the pleasure of working with every day, in my freshmen language arts classes have been studying opinion/editorial writing as part of our argument writing unit. They have been reading example editorials, scouring news sites, researching data from government and educational institutions, reading others’ stories, talking with friends and family, reflecting upon their own experiences and much more in order to craft short — never have students sought to write more! — editorials about issues they care about. Each topic is their own. Their voices are their own. And, as I was reminded, as I am every day and every year, their voices are powerful, thoughtful, and insightful. Their voices matter.

Sean Campbell

Language Arts teacher

Homer High School

Dreamers should keep DACA status

With the recent political attention on gun control in the US after another school shooting, focus has been taken off an upcoming due date. The Trump administration has set DACA to expire by March 5, a deadline which will now not be met due to growing pushback from the federal courts as well as immigrants and activists. If DACA is repealed, thousands of people who make up America’s working class will disappear.

DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a program that was put in place in June of 2012 by current president Barack Obama. This program made it so that immigrants who entered the country as minors would be given a work permit and deferred action, meaning that they would not be deported in this time as long they renewed their DACA application biennially. There were an estimated 800,000 active dreamers as of Sept. 4, 2017 (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services).

The only reason DACA is being challenged right now is due to the fearmongering of President Trump and his administration concerning the danger of immigrants coming into the US. Trump’s presidential campaign spread the immigrant to crime connection due to his focus on the security of our borders. These claims directly clash with a 2015 study by the National Academy of Sciences that found correlation where large numbers of immigrants in a society appeared to lower crime rates. The consequence of building his base following by churning up this age-old xenophobia is that now Trump’s following is putting pressure to follow through on his claims. However, DACA is not a program that has shown it needs to be replaced.

Dreamers deserve to keep their DACA status. They entered this country as minors and most are deeply rooted here. Dreamers are doctors, lawyers, parents, and teachers. I urge you to do your own research into the hundreds of thousands of people this will impact and take a look at the facts outside of the misconceptions our President promotes. Immigrants are what built this country, and this treatment of them will only drag America down.

Maya Kelly


Illegal immigrants affect economy

Illegal Immigration is a problem that plagues America, but some people don’t see that. They believe that illegal immigrants are doing nothing wrong, but they are heavily affecting the American economy. Stopping illegal immigration would have a huge positive effect on the American economy.

To start, more American citizens would have jobs. According to a Wikipedia article, approximately 8 million illegal immigrants have jobs, and on average they make $10.25 per hour. That calculates to around $82 million per day are made by illegals, $552,600,000 per week. All of which could go to American citizens. That includes the immigrants who came here legally and got a citizenship. There are around 5,700,000 jobless Americans between the ages of 20 and 24. When youth get out of college, they don’t have enough jobs.

Following this, I want to address the cost of employing the illegal immigrants. In the mid to late 1900s, illegals could work as they do today, but on a much smaller wage, sometimes below a dollar an hour. But as minimum wage laws have become more strict, businesses have to pay illegals more, as I said earlier, $10.25 per hour, according to the same article on Wikipedia. Many illegals, while not all, don’t pay the same percentage of their paycheck in taxes as citizens, and rely on government funding and/or public assistance. They are taking without giving, which leads me to my next point. I

Illegal immigrants pay, on average, eight percent of their paycheck in taxes, whereas, American citizens pay around thirteen and one half percent of their paycheck. That is a fairly large difference. According to Cis.org, in 2012, approximately 49% of households with illegal immigrants were on one or more government funding programs. Only around 21% of households with American citizens are on government funding. A whopping 28% difference. This information comes from Census.org

So, considering that illegal immigrants are taking American jobs, paying less taxes, and using more government assistance, stopping them would greatly improve America’s economy.

Andrew Drake


Parenting: Could Americans be Doing it Wrong?

All parents know it’s extremely stressful to raise a child, and in the end, parents just want the best for their children. Parenting is extremely different all around the world and many claim their way is ‘right,’ but they each hold a piece to the puzzle. Are American parents doing it wrong all together?

According to Sara Harkness, University of Connecticut professor of Human Development and Family Studies, American parents are obsessed with the idea of cognitive development and the word “smart.” While in Spain, parents are more focused on social aspects like character and sociality, where children’s bedtimes were later. In Italy, parents almost never praise their children’s intelligence, instead children are praised for being even-tempered. Both American and Italian parents noted their children asking a lot of questions. To American parents this was a sign of intelligence, but for Italians this was a sign of “social competence.”

In the International Student Assessment for math in 2015, America ranked 40th in the world, 23 points lower than the average test scores. Although 6% of American students had high proficiency scores, 29% of American students did not meet the test’s baseline for math. The U.S also ranked 25th in science and 24th in reading. It seems American students are not as “cognitively advanced” as their parents would like to believe.

American parents regiment time, not behavior, by overbooking their children but not taking the time to teach their children how to cope with their emotions. For instance, learning to cope with disappointment is a lot more important than learning backstroke. U.S. parents are also famous for setting the bar too low and having “give everyone a trophy syndrome.” The bar is set too low with everything from manners to activities. Another of American parents biggest issues is their incapability of saying “no.” They often try to bargain with their children instead of just putting their foot down. So when they do try, their children have learned that it doesn’t really mean anything. American parents, you should learn from other cultures, because this will affect our future.

Austin Cline


Keeping The Ball Rolling

When I walked out of the Homer High School to lay down on the Mariner field in a protest organized by students, I felt as though nationwide change might finally be happening. The giant ball of stopping gun violence in America finally seems to be rolling.

Students who survived the Parkland shooting say their class will be the last school shooting in America and they will not stand for this any longer. Many of the shooters in these incidents show red flags and we are left wondering how we didn’t see and stop the threat. Systems to report dangerous threats need to be made more responsive and useable. When people hear something suspicious, they should be able to easily report it so the potential shooter is stopped and given counseling. If the potential killers had some other way to take out their anger, our schools might be safer. Another way to reduce gun violence is to ban the sale of assault rifles to people under twenty one. At least two major chain stores have announced that they are no longer selling assault rifles or ammunition to people under twenty one. Making it easier to report threats, combined with the ban of assault rifles to people under twenty one are not perfect solutions but together, they will help.

History proves, through democracy, that change starts with the people and moves outward. By making our voices heard and letting people know we will not stand for gun violence, we reassure ourselves that we are the force that can, and will stop gun violence. There are many people with many different opinions but we all have something in common; we don’t like seeing innocent victims die. By uniting and putting aside our differences, finding the things we agree on, and acting, we will stop gun violence.

It’s up to us, the average American, to make sure gun violence is stopped by reporting things we see and making sure everyone feels cared about.

Thank you.

Liam Houlihan


College-bound students should know crime rates

As many high school seniors prepare to attend college, the majority of them haven’t heard what happened to Jeanne Clery, a college student who was raped and murdered in her own dorm because she trusted her college’s information. Her parents stated that if they had known the school’s actual crime rate, Jeanne wouldn’t have gone to that school. After this incident a law was introduced in 1990 called the Clery Act.

The whole point of the Clery Act was to accurately convey crime rates at all colleges and universities in the U.S., but that’s not happening. Schools everywhere are hiding what’s actually going on or portraying it inaccurately. According to the Stetson Law review, under the Clery Act, schools only have to report crimes that are directly on, or adjacent to campus. This means that many of the crimes and rapes that occur don’t get reported.

One way schools get around crime reporting is by hiding behind FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act). Under this, schools withhold reports, claiming they can’t disclose private information. Another example is schools, such as the University of Southern California, have been labeling rapes as “personal injuries” to keep their official rape numbers down. In an depth study conducted by the Department of Education, 31 schools were intensely monitored for a duration of time. During this time, crime reports went up by an average of 44%, and dropped back to normal once the study was over. This shows that around 44% of crimes on campus don’t normally get reported.

Almost no school is exempt from this deception, huge schools such as Penn State, Yale, and Virginia tech have been suppressing information. If it is found that a school was hiding accurate information, they’re fined. The highest fine was issued to Virginia Tech. They were withholding information about a student that was assaulted and murdered on campus. Was $357,000 really enough compensation for the life lost, and many more put in danger? Because of these actions something needs to be done, we deserve to know the truth, not lies schools hide behind.

Kathy Vogl


Animal Testing

Have you ever thought about the testing that is done to sample a nice product you use? Well, this generation doesn’t understand what our animals have to suffer through.

In a New York Times article, Ivana Kittasova, stated,” Volkswagen has shamed itself by sponsoring air-pollution research using exhaust fumes and monkeys.” Monkeys do not deserve to be tested on;they are living creatures as well as us. Many companies use animal testing to provide research, and answers. Makeup, chapstick, cleaning supplies all these test on animals. Over 100 million animals are burned, crippled, poisoned, and abused in US labs every year. According to James Kanter, Europe is the world’s largest cosmetic market, and they have banned animal testing, and the sale or import of newly animal testing beauty products. Why can’t we?

The use of animals in experiments has increased nearly 73 % in the past 15 years. 95 % of all lab animals are mice and rats! Why mice? Scientist rely on mice because they are small, they adapt well to new surroundings, they reproduce quickly, and they have a short life span. Mice may look small but they have feelings to and don’t deserve to be tested on.

Animal testing is bad science! Many people argue that if they didn’t use animal testing they would have to test drugs on humans. Wrong! I’m sure that with all the smart people in the world someone can make a human like robot for testing. Scientist insist that animals have no feelings, but I disagree. I have seen videos of dogs crying over their lost one because they miss them and elephants all gathering just to help a calf out of a ditch. You can tell when an animals is happy, sad, mad, or even scared. Anyone can stop animal cruelty. Even if it shows no effect, someone still helped. Anyone can take responsibility for this and put an end to it

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead.

Brianna Stiles


How we can make our schools safer

The topic I chose to write about was the Florida school shooting, and how we can keep our schools safer. This kind of stuff always makes me super sad and angry to hear about. But the thing that makes me uncomfortable is that it keeps on happening. So far in 2018 alone we have already had 18 school shootings, which is ridiculous. I watched videos and new reports about this particular school shooting, and how some of these kids knew at least one person who passed away. One girl said that she had lost 8 of her friends to this horrible event, no teenager should ever have to go through that. Another girl said that her biology teacher saved her life, by sacrificing himself so she could be safe. I am so tired of seeing this kind of stuff happen, we NEED to do something.

After thinking about this topic and talking about it with my family, I came up with an idea. I think that in more popular/bigger schools they should all have armed security. How we can make this happen is ask able retired veterans, and give them the job to keep schools in America safer. I can guarantee that this will reduce the possibility of a school shooting happening. I think this makes perfect sense because most of these veterans have been trained to used guns to protect people, and our country. I think I would feel safer in that kind of situation knowing that someone with experience is protecting me and my school.

Aspen Etzwiler


Extracurricular activities

Going into high school everyone said get involved. Why was that the only advice that people had for a terrified freshman? It’s probably because lots of students don’t find a lot of joy in going to school, and where they make their most meaningful high school memories are during extra curricular activities. Extracurriculars should be encouraged at schools because, they take our minds off of grades, they help you develop life long skills, and students who participate are more successful.

Extracurriculars help shape us as human beings instead of making us obsess about grades. There is so much pressure put on having a perfect GPA, that distracting yourself from that can be good. Also extracurriculars give students opportunities to be around a group of people that have the same interests as them. Having that sense of community outside of school is really important.

Not giving children the opportunity to participate is a detriment to their development, because they are missing out on learning valuable life skills. Some reasons why parents would choose to not include their children in extracurricular activities are because they’re too expensive, or require too much of a commitment. Others feel that the level of competition puts too much pressure on students. According to Rhonda Campbell “… extracurriculars can be enriching, but sometimes taking on too much can make them stressed or unhappy”. If students are doing something that they enjoy they will gain skills like perseverance, teamwork, and commitment.

Usually students who participate in extracurriculars are more successful in school. A study performed by the NCES showed that, students who participated were three times as likely to perform in the top quartile on a composite math and reading assessment compared with nonparticipants. These students are using the skills they are learning through involvement.

Participating in an extracurricular activity is very important. By doing so you are setting yourself apart from the pack and becoming an individual. You are broadening your social capability and adding to your skill set. Extracurriculars benefit your life in many ways, and help you make the best of your 4 years of high school.


Zoe Stonorov


The Fear of Walking Into School Shall be Changed

On February 14th, 2018 my feeling of love and appreciation quickly turned into heartbreak and fear after seeing social media posts about the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. Lives were lost because of what is being blamed on gun control… But is that really what the focus should be about? Although our gun control could be secured on a higher level, school security around the U.S is what NEEDS to be improved.

According to Everytownresearch.org, there has been roughly 290 school shootings since the year of 2013. Not all ended with death, nor injury, but left emotional trauma to the victims within the schools shot up. Further into my research, I quickly learned that, “During the 2014–15 school year, there were 1,500 reported firearm possession incidents at schools in the United States” These situations could very likely be prevented if school security was improved. Schools have employed school safety officers, lockdown drills and implemented security systems that require visitors to sign-in and produce ID cards. When we look at it, we guard our banks, courthouses, actors and politicians with armed guards for their PROTECTION and it’s time we do the same for our most precious assets-our youth.

Take the focus off of gun control and focus on the way we can secure schools so these shooting are less likely to happen. If we take away guns, things could turn even more brutal, not even just within schools. There could potentially be an increase in stabbings or bombings because if people were that determined to hurt people, they would find ways. Taking away guns could be causing more outbursts because of our 2nd amendment being taken away. Who’s to say that people couldn’t get guns after them being taken away? According to Theguardian.com a study showed that in every 100 people, there is at the very least of 88 guns owned. How do people expect to take all of those away? We’re better off making school security stronger and gun limitations higher.

Samara Nehren-Rawls


Are guns to easy too buy and too possess?

Guns are too easy to buy and to possess. Almost all of the school shootings in 2018 the shooter is under the legal age to buy or have a gun in their possession. The legal age to buy a gun is twenty-one years old, the students caused these school shootings where in between the ages of twelve and nineteen. These students might not have bought the guns but took them from their parents, in that case the parents are to blame for their children getting the guns. Gun safety is something all adults who buy a firearm should be required to know before the firearm is bought. For example you live in a big city apartment building in the shady part of town, everyone in the building owned a gun and only about one-third of the people know gun safety, how would that make you the reader feel? If the parents of those children knew gun safety ( gun safety to me is not just a test but being learning hands on how to handle a gun safely.) and had a safe to put the gun in, that would make the situation of the shooter using a gun registered under their parents name a lot less likely. which would mean that more children under twenty-one in possession of a gun would have have to take the blame for themselves and not blame the parent. The reasons why I think this are, for starters I have a twenty two shot gun at my house that I got for my birthday and it stays in my mom and dads gun safe. My second reason is that it irritates me when the gun gets blamed for killing people, last time I checked guns don’t have brains and they can’t aim or shoot by themselves. More than one third of the us population have guns in their household whether they own it, or there roommate(s) own the gun, or their significant other owns the gun. My opinion on guns is only one of the millions and billions of others in this world.

Melissa Baxter


Good information need on safe foods for diabetes

Worldwide we’re looking at about 350 million people with diabetes. Let that sink in. This is a problem people think is unsolvable. But the answers all lie in our diet.

70% of deaths and morbidity are largely lifestyle related and preventable according to The American Cancer Society. So how do we prevent them? Our bodies heal from the inside out, so it only makes sense that what you put in your body, affects how the outside looks and heals. This is why it’s so important to choose the right foods. The only problem is there are many different opinions to what’s healthy and what’s not. There’s also a common belief that carbs and sugar are the main cause of diabetes. Wrong- studies show that it’s more so due to processed meats and saturated fat. Although carbs and sugars don’t help, they’re not the main foods to be cutting down on.

Now this is where it gets scary. You’d think the American Diabetes Association would have a pretty good idea about what foods help prevent diabetes and maintain a healthy system. But if you check out their “healthy recipes” page, they actually promote processed meats with recipes like “Bacon Wrapped Shrimp” and “Fruited Turkey Wrap.” But it doesn’t stop there. If you look into their sponsors, you’ll see large meat companies like Tyson, and Hillshire Farm. To me, this looks like since those companies can offer large amount of sponsor money, the associations advertise them to keep the money flowing.

So where does the truth begin? If even big corporations are jeopardizing lives just for money, what can we trust? No wonder almost half of America is diagnosed with diabetes, they’re being lead to believe what’s killing them is healthy. It’s not right for corporations to have false information of their websites, especially when people’s lives are at stake. Not everyone is going to further research what they eat, so that’s why it should be right at the source.

Paige Jones


Work toward healthy relationships

Unhealthy relationships is the worst thing to have while being in a relationship. Knowing that you are being abused in the relationship and just seeing bad things in it happen. Being in a relationship is hard to handle but other people may not think that. Unhealthy relationships have a lot of abusing, drinking, smoking, and many other unhealthy things around the world.

95% of the United States have healthy relationships, the other 5% is unhealthy. There is many ways to cure the unhealthy relationship unless you really don’t want to do that. There are also many ways to cure it. There is getting a counselor, Talking to a family member, and even trying to talk to the person you are with about the problems you guys are having and talk to them about how you help it. Breaking up with the person you are with isn’t the best answer for everything. Reading a couple articles about the unhealthy relationships has taught me on how to help it become healthy again. A few articles had provided that not everything has to be perfect but you can always do something to help your relationship not be messed up like other peoples. Giving everything a guy wants but you don’t can be a problem because you are doing something that you don’t want to do but if it makes him/ her happy then you will do it.

Only 3% of relationships are unhealthy due to not being honest or just being a sneaky person. “Being trustworthy and telling the person you love everything about you and telling them just everything is what can keep a relationship.” Unhealthy relationships are a bad way to even start a relationship and either needs to get help or he/she just shouldn’t be in a relationship. Unhealthy relationships are bad and if a person is in one or maybe yourself is n one then there is many ways to help prevent an unhealthy relationship and help you be safe. Also knowing that relationships can be good but they can also be a nightmare in many people’s lives!

Destiny Garcia


America Doesn’t care about its children.

According to an article published in Minnpost earlier this month, compared to other wealthy countries, “infants born in the US have a 76% greater risk of dying before the age of one, and from age 1-19 57%.” Children born in the US have a 57% higher risk of not surviving until adulthood.” The government knows this yet chooses to do basically nothing.

Obviously we don’t care about our babies, what about older children? Vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in teens. Teenagers are twice as likely to die in a car crash then in other countries. We don’t talk about those deaths do we? We definitely feel no reason to bring those rates down because our vehicle fatality rate is now 40% higher than in other countries like Canada and Australia.

And what about gun violence? According to an article written by Susan Perry, “gunshot wounds alone take the lives of ten times more children than in other developed countries” yet congress refuses to pass legislation to tighten laws on gun ownership and sales. What about the children that survived the shootings. The children that watched as their peers fell. What about the parents who lost their children ? What about all the victims? What about the survivors? We should be doing something but we aren’t. It seems as though America doesn’t care about children until they’re dead or dying.

Lillian Cooper


Dreamers kept in limbo

Most people are aware of the “Dreamers” predicament, or at least who they are, but their fate as far as politics go is still undecided. The laws and programs that would decide what will happen to them are being overdone, or attached to larger agendas that get rejected, leaving the Dreamers in limbo.

Almost all sides are at fault somewhat, whether it be the Republicans, Democrats, or other parties. They want to use them as political leverage, or poker chips in their debate over immigration and the death of DACA. Meanwhile Mr. Trump makes things more difficult for congress, threatening to veto all bills that do not meet his standards, like tighter immigration standards that could tear family apart, or give money for his wall.

The some 700,000 people that are at the mercy of the government on this side of the border have gotten the attention of a few officials. Some people in the government acknowledge them (mostly democrats) and want to protect them, and there are bills that work on it. They usually end up with not much of what either the Democrats or the Republicans want but a great deal of what the American people want, seeing as we the people ourselfs (mostly) wish the government would just do something.

Ever since the DACA program was rescinded on September 5, 2017, we have been waiting for a decision – one that the dreamers and the people deserve. They need to be given the same rights and hopefully citizenship as everyone else. They could also do something to help reunite families while they are at it – a lot of them were separated or could be. However our democracy has done literally nothing but argue – please make your decision and protect the Dreamers.

Tanner Reid


Animal Cruelty is a Problem

At a young age, I read an article about an adult male that kicked his dog. After that, he continued to hurt his dog by punching the dog’s face and choking the dog. As a child that didn’t seem right to me. At that time, I thought animal cruelty was wrong, and I still believe it is wrong.

Peta.org states, “Studies have shown that violent and aggressive criminals are more likely to have abused animals as children than criminals who are considered non-aggressive. A survey of psychiatric patients who had repeatedly tortured dogs and cats found that all of them had high levels of aggression toward people as well.” That means that people who have abused animals or will abuse animals have a higher likelihood to abuse children. That can truly be no good. Abusing animals allows for a bad behavior that could continue onto people and break even more of the law.

The state of Alaska provides punishment for this animal cruelty, so of course animal cruelty is wrong. According to straypetadvocacy.org there’s a $5,000 fine, imprisonment up to 1 year, community service and restitution, and exceptions are made for farming, hunting, research, training and veterinary care after comiting animal cruelty.

As well as notifying the proper authorities about an animal abuser, donating money, to a charity or organization that helps abused animals, helps as well. The money donated to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) actually goes to stop animal cruelty. Charitynavigator.org states, “The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach.” Which means the money that’s donated or fundraised actually goes to help the animals that have been harmed and trying to prevent another animal being harmed.

Animal cruelty is not acceptable. Many things can be done to prevent and stop animal cruelty. Contact the proper authority when someone is cruelty against an animal. Animal cruelty can escalate to hurting people; and animal cruelty is against the law.

Emily Kuemper


More education needed on opioids

As a country we talk of wars and how deadly they are. But what about drugs? Right now the drug problem in our country is unmatched. In 2016 600,000 people died from drug overdoses. That’s more than the Iraq war, according to the Huffington Post, which has resulted in 500,000 deaths. 64,000 of the 600,000 those drug-related deaths were caused by overdoses of opioides, highly addictive, prescription drugs. I think we need to ban opioids. A recent article by CNN described the high rate of badly wounded military personnel who are turning away from opioids, even though they are known to greatly relieve the pain, because of the high rate of addiction associated with the family of drugs. This takes tremendous courage to turn down help rather than face being addicted. Instead of drugs these soldiers are using acupuncture. The soldiers said that it doesn’t have the same effects as opiates but they consider it a step in the right direction.

There are many examples of the down side to opioid use. Consider my Nana, who has had back problems throughout her life. Opioids were recommended to her to ease the pain. She said no because she didn’t want to get addicted and have it ruin her life. It takes courage to turn down an effective method to think of the long term.

Another thing opioids do is destroy families. I read a story on CNN about a man who is working with the President to try and defeat the opioid problem. His son, a college student, overdosed on opioids and died. He describes a mindset on how parents shouldn’t think there kids would never do such thing.

Opioids can help someone greatly or can be a person’s death wish. We need to commit more funds and more education efforts to the opioid epidemic. Our president declared the opioid crisis a health emergency but never committed any funds to the problem. As a country this needs to be a top priority. It is our people that are dying from a drug that is still being produced.

Owen Glasman


Death penalty is barbaric

The 8th amendment states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” Furthermore, the 14th amendment states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

In my opinion, the death penalty is barbaric and defies the 8th and 14th amendments. I think that killing in the name of the law falls under a “cruel and unusual punishment”. Even more relevant, is the part of the 14th amendment that says, “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law”. If a person is sentenced to death, it removes any chance for the person to change. In my ignorant opinion, the United States jail system is supposed to rehabilitate an inmate. However, death row inmates don’t have a chance to change or even try. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is taken away when you kill an inmate via the death penalty…

Morals aside, the death penalty methods are barbaric…The code of Hammurabi was first in legally stating the death penalty as a form of punishment. Since that first legal instance, 31 U.S. states have the death penalty carried out. The way it is carried out now includes lethal injection as a primary method, hanging, electrocution, gas chambers, and firing squads to kill inmates. When do we draw the line when it comes to what is moral and what isn’t? Ronnie Lee Gardner was an American criminal who received the death penalty for murder in 1985, and was executed by a firing squad by the state of Utah in 2010… this is not a dated thing. Lining people up in front of a firing squad doesn’t sound like justice… And then think about strapping a person in a cold metal chair and firing 2,000 volts of electricity into their head and abdomen 2 times! The other insane methods involve gas chambers, hanging and firing squads!

Simon Lopez


Why people need to understand

I understand that I’m just a 15 year old girl trying to talk some sense into a lot of people but I really hope that you can understand and see this subject from my perspective. Homer has been very fortunate to not have a school shooting and I hope we never have one but it’s possible and it’s not the gun’s fault. It has been proven that the people that have been doing the shootings have been mentally ill and no one really paid attention to that. Now people don’t want to accept that because it seem unfair but really it’s just the truth. I understand why people don’t like it but people really need to understand that these are facts and that we cant ignore these facts, If we keep blaming all these deaths on the guns then there will just be more and more killings.

Now I agree that a lot of the gun laws are too lenient and that they should be more strict. There are also some things that other people can change too. A lot the the people doing the shooting have been angry for some reason. The police should listen to kids when they tell them that they are concerned that someone in their school it mentally ill and is violent.

Here’s a question, if there were a bunch of murders with a baseball bat. What would you do? Would you make it to where only people that are involved in the sport can own a bat? What if Someone on the team had a mental break down and started beating people

with a bat? You can’t just take things away and think that it’s going to fix the problem. There is a bunch of miss understanding when it comes to guns. Most people think that AR stands for automatic rifle but it really doesn’t. It stands for ArmaLite.

So if people could just understand more and not just assume things I think we would all be able to come to a middle ground and be able to make this world a safer place for everyone.

Rebecca Wythe


How we can protect each other

We have had countless shootings already in 2018. [January 21st we had 18 shootings just from schools.] We have been trying to figure out this problem countlessly but worry on how. I know we can’t get rid of every gun and we have hobbies with them. But it can be so easy to access a gun. (If we limit the number of firearms have an active record and ID for these guns we can easily pinpoint and use this to help us out.)

Firearms we should take a way are any rapid shooting gun and assault rifles. Any gun that is made to kill humans should not be easy to have and to kill many in a short amount of time. Constricting people from being social or to go outside should not be a problem. People only do things because of their mindset and experiences not at all coincidence. My experience with firearms are that my father accidentally shot his brother when he tripped on the stairs and didn’t have the safety on. For this i must admit that i never have went hunting or anything to deal with guns my entire life so far cause of this factor. But it doesn’t make me fear them or have a true understanding and i have nothing against them.

People only act like they do because of their mindset. (I think guns may lead or support these minds but I think what also is supporting this is the schools themself and the education system.) We can work on to make or benefit schools to be more of a better education system than it currently is. There is to many articles about school depression school problems and how to fix schools even videos talking about it. If we can insure that not our schools but our children are safe we can better all of us.

Katlin Cudaback


Does Gun Control Really Work?

Would banning guns really make our country safer? The Florida School Shooting took 17 lives on February 14th, 2018. The gun did not take those lives, however, it was the individual wielding the firearm that took those innocent lives and ruined those families. Taking guns from law-biting citizens will not do anything. People will always find other ways to kill other people. Violence is in human nature.But we need to control this violence by following the law. The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” I will use this amendment for my own protection and I plan to imply force if needed.

According to people.howstuffworks.com, Norway, Finland, Germany, France, and Denmark, all countries with heavy gun ownership, have a history of low murder rates. In addition, according to a 2014 United Nations report, Germany’s murder rate of 0.8 killings per 100,000 inhabitants was identical to Luxembourg, where the law prohibits civilian ownership of handguns and gun ownership is rare. This data is significant because it supports my argument that gun control doesn’t work. Opponents of gun control often point to the city of Chicago, which had 781 homicides and 3,000 shooting incidents in 2016, despite Illinois’ relatively tough gun laws, as proof that gun control doesn’t work according to www.washingtonpost.com.

I can argue that gun control will not lower homicides in America due to my sources and statistics. I think that the best solution would be to fight fire with fire, we need armed law enforcement to fight armed criminals. I pray for the 17 and their families. May they rest in peace.

Cade Hrenchir


Gun control is a serious threat to the american public. The stats are clear. Gun control laws are skyrocketing and less and less people are owning guns per capita. Yet something that even the gun control lobby admits (though they lay blame on other things) is that gun violence crimes are increasing. By definition, criminals and shooters will not listen to gun control laws. This means that these laws filter guns away from people who can use them for good leaving the criminals with all the power. It has been statistically proven that states with more armed civilians have less crime.

States with restrictive ccw (concealed carry of weapons) licenses have 10% higher gun homicide rates per capita. After florida loosened their ccw restriction laws their homicide rate drastically fell from 36% above national average to 4% under. In texas, rape rates fell 93% faster in the first year that ccw laws were loosened than before. States that do not allow ccw have 11% higher violent crimes rates then national averages. The states that allow ccw license experience a 37% decrease in robberies.

According to these stats the more armed civilians there are, the less crime there is. These are only basic deductions. The more you look into the matter the more evidence you find that supports the idea that we are safer with less gun control laws. I implore you to look into the subject from a unbiased point of view and not let yourself be brainwashed by propaganda.

Gabriel Bales


Effects of Immigration

When most people think of immigration, they often think “illegal”. This is an unfortunate connotation that doesn’t take into account the millions of immigrants who have legally entered the United states, nor does it consider the benefits of immigration. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in 2024 it’s estimated that there will be 35.3 million available jobs. Combine that with a U.S. birth rate that is declining, it is obvious that the U.S. economy will need a larger, available workforce. Thankfully, the solution is right in front of us. By continuing to allow immigrants to enter the United States with permission to work, we could easily alleviate this problem and reduce the perceived issues that immigration provokes. While people may think that immigrants are a burden on our society, migrant workers do jobs that many U.S. citizens will not. So, who is hurt by immigrants doing jobs that many Americans will not? It’s thought that people without a high school diploma would be significantly affected, but the jobs taken by immigrant workers are of low interest to uneducated American workers. Furthermore, it’s estimated that undocumented immigrants are paid lower wages of 3 to 8 percent for these low-skill jobs. Interesting to note is that the few Americans who compete with immigrants for these jobs make about $25 more per week than them, so the perceived harm is unwarranted. Moreover, lower wages paid to undocumented workers in low-skill positions serve to cut costs of goods and services, the result of which can lead to lower prices for American consumers in industries such as restaurant dining, agriculture, produce, and construction.

According to Brookings, immigrants offer more benefits than deficits to the United States, through their contributions “they fuel our economy, create more jobs, provided services in undesirable positions, help us retain local talent, and make us less globally isolated”. When seen in this way, immigration can be viewed as a strengthening factor for the U.S. economy. Can we really afford to eliminate this important historical and foundational aspect of our nation?

Xander Kulhanek