ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER SHOOTING IN THE US

Sacramento, California had a rough Sunday last week. Then Dallas, Texas saw a shooting a few days later. So how many more shooting should happen before gun ownership is restricted? Apart from the mass shootings we see happening in the US, according to data provided by gunviolencearchive.org, in 2019 there have been 23,941 suicides by gun alone, for 2020 that data is pending. A graph shown by The Trace revealed that gun deaths have risen, from 16,000 in 2019, to over 20,000 in 2021, using data from Gun Violence Archive.

In the Sacramento shooting case arrests have already been made, where one of the suspects had an early prison release, convicted on domestic violence and assault. The Dallas case is looking for suspects. My immediate thought was how come they can get a gun so quickly out of prison? Surely, psychological testing needs to be made mandatory when a citizen applies for gun ownership as well, and to frequently pass these tests, to prove they are mentally stable. Access to guns shouldn’t be so easy either. The American Psychological Association(APA) thought the same and developed a framework for practitioners when conducting firearm psychological evaluations. My question is whether this framework is actually used?

Photo by cottonbro for pexels.com

People who are mentally unsound still own a gun in the US despite the federal law prohibiting it, and around the world, some are political leaders, playing with weaponry like toy. The problem with the USA is it is comprised of 50 states and each state has its own laws like you can see here. It is probably a headache to get all state governors to agree on one law for all states, because they are mostly men ‘’in charge’’, AP reported as of 2021, only 9 women served as governors. We can only dream of a world led by women, it would look and feel amazing.

My second discovery happened to be from Statista, the ‘’Number of people shot to death by the police in the United States from 2017 to 2022, by race’’ – that graph has an unknown race section that I’m more intrigued by, particularly the 2021 spike indicating 608 deaths people in charge and researchers should know more of, but it doesn’t disclose whether we are looking at police gun violence or accidental shooting. I don’t think we as a collective forgot about George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

I mentioned psychological evaluations for citizens when they apply for gun ownership, which should extend to police officers, as it makes sense to have tests every 6 months, not just when they start their careers. If they already do, why did George Floyd and Breonna Taylor happen, and continues to? I take a guess that nothing will change until it turns into a personal crisis for politicians. Until then, American children(but not of the rich) go through active shooter drills in school to prepare them for ”in case when”.

What your favorite part of this post? Let me know by dropping a comment!

Photo link: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-holding-yellow-and-white-labeled-paper-3926747/

PESTERING WOMEN TO BECOME CRIMINAL OFFENCE

I can’t remember anything else to shake and shock the internet quite like Sarah Everard’s murder, last year. She was a 33-year old woman, a marketing executive, who walked home from her friend’s house, the same evening a police officer decided to kidnap, rape her, kill her and dispose of her. Nobody is ever safe, no matter the time of day and location, especially if you are a woman walking alone.

Good news is that new laws are going to be introduced to tackle violence and sexual harassment against women, question is – when? I found that penalties for non-compliance with the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will be introduced ’’when Parliamentary time allows’’(2021 UK Annual Report on Modern Slavery, p.9) so God knows what physical laws governs Parliamentary time, especially when it comes to protecting women, we all know Justice is blind.

Photo by Anete Lusina for @pexels

Victory does come true sometimes, like in Gina Martin’s case, who made upskirting illegal in the UK and it is a criminal offence. She really told women ‘’Don’t accept assault as ‘part of life’ as a woman.’’ which inspired my choice of the photo. Because too often women choose to stay silent, because we’re gonna think nobody takes us seriously, or that we won’t be believed, but that because we talk to the wrong crowd!

Pestering women is set to become criminal offence too, and it would be perfect if Parliamentary time would accelerate for the new laws to be passed, as ‘’a public sexual harassment offence which doesn’t currently exist’’(Ladbible) and it’s about time it did exist. Women should be able to walk alone in the evening and not worry about their safety, but when?

WALKING OUT ON DISNEY

I am passionate about public relations, specifically interested in public affairs. I chose to write my dissertation from the perspective of public affairs professionals, and how they can help lobby and pressurize governmental bodies to improve and toughen laws to eradicate modern slavery(the research question) so all of this made my ears perk up, interested to see how companies handle a crisis and how they communicate.

Disney surprised internauts and their own LGBTQIA+ employees with news that the company made ‘’donations to the Republican legislators behind Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill’’(Vulture). It led their employees to organize walkouts to protest Disney’s involvement in the bill. I wrote my Ethics essay on them and they made the impression to be a company who works hard on being progressive, future-forward, yet this donation is contradictive, like Disney’s many other past actions.

Image credit @pamcakieehttps://twitter.com/pamcakiee/status/1506314754218131457

Disney’s own LGBTQIA+ staff must be feeling disappointed by this bill and CEO Bob Chapek, who apologized to them after a whole week of protesting, but what do apologies mean? Especially when Disney as a whole was supposed to condemn the bill not support it, knowing they have LGBTQIA+ staff. In response to Los Angeles Times, I think Bob would love to be considered/remembered as Disney’s ‘’full blown Mouse Messiah’’(I found that super hilarious) but love to see that it was Chapek’s predecessor Bob Iger who tweeted about the bill.

But Disney and its Board of Directors have bigger fish to fry because four Disney employees were arrested by Florida police as part of an undercover mission to expose a human trafficking ring, a retired judge was arrested and over 100 arrests were made(by the many articles it is mentioned in) I can say it was a success.

It wasn’t disclosed who did what in the human trafficking ring(understandable) just that four individuals were child predators and one was acted a human trafficker. The four Disney employees allegedly were placed on unpaid leave(Deseret News) which is unreal. In light of the P&O sackings in the UK, I reckon Disney’s HR would like to see the evidence provided by the Police of their involvement before firing them.  

What do you think of Disney’s employees protesting “Don’t Say Gay” bill? You can visit the Twitter account dedicated to the employee walkout here.

WAR SO CLOSE TO MY HOME

Dragobete day is celebrated in Romania as Lovers Day, and it symbolizes the beginning of Spring. Yes, it’s the Romanian equivalent to Valentine’s Day but has deeper, older meanings. It is connected to old Romanian traditions inherited from our ancestors – the Dacians, and nature. It’s also the day Putin decided to invade Ukraine, at 5:00am EET.

I was a 6 month old baby when the coup d’etat in December 1989(which they like to call Revolution instead) took Romanians by surprise. As a millennial, I thought that I haven’t seen many wars but it’s because we didn’t have a huge media influence, my father listened to the news on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty through his days in the army in 1980 and at home until 1989, because tv programming was only occupied by communist propaganda. We didn’t have the technologies, upgraded satellites, social media like nowadays…Lots of other conflicts in our area(Kosovo) made the news but life carried on.

Political mishaps always happened throughout history because men took the lead instead of women, I don’t see men accepting or following the advice from qualified women, especially in high matters like the military and politics. Do you see women leading armies anywhere nowadays? It was always a matter of who’s got the biggest muscle, the biggest flex which always led to worse situations with men ever the experts. War was always about personal and political interests of men in charge, never about us as societies. Thirst for power will never be quenched.

Katie Godowski from Pexels

The Ukrainian president wanted his country included in NATO then the European Union, when it doesn’t work like that. To enter NATO, my father told me Ukraine would have to sign treaties with his neighboring countries and all neighbors have to have peace between them to avoid NATO embarrassment in case of war. Then the EU would accept them, but they aren’t at peace with Russia. A trade agreement with the EU isn’t the same with a full membership either so President Zelenskiy now struggles to do what his predecessors didn’t.

President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine made more sense seeing a list of resources they have which made them a valuable target and how dare they want NATO or EU membership! In recent days, Anonymous who is a collective of hackers, declared cyberwar on Russia and took down government websites,  intercepted military communications as well as tv stations, as reported on by The Guardian. I wonder what will happen next if the situation will escalate further, especially with Russian currency headed into the ground. What will happen to Russian civilians? Imagine trying to buy groceries now in Russia.

The Romanian government ignored, but I have never noticed more solidarity than now, from companies, NGOs and associations, who gathered medical and domestic supplies, civilians even organized shelter for mothers and their children who fled the grenades and smoke. Happy to see UK’s mobile service carriers stepping up, from BT who offered free mobile and landline calls to and from Ukraine, then Ireland waived visa fees for those who want to join their families in UK. I just hope we will strengthen unity and connection without needing war to force us. But a war so close to my home is still a growing worry. I hope everything will turn out allright for everyone involved.