Month: April 2018

Korea – Inside the Blue

     On April 27th, 2018, Kim Jong-un became the first North Korean leader to cross the border into South Korea.

North and South Korea have had poor relations since the beginning of the Korean War in 1950. After the end of World War 2, Korea split into a communist north and an American-occupied south. North Korea, backed by the Soviet Union, pushed into South Korea. American forces aided by the UN were able to push the communists back to the north. However, American forces pushed further, provoking a response from China, who came to the aid of North Korea. The war dissolved into a messy conflict between the two Koreas, China, the USSR, America, and the UN. In 1993, Eisenhower pushed for the signing of a peace treaty that “ended” the war, returning the nation to a very similar pre-war state (in terms of borders).

     Flash forward to December 2011. The leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-II passed away and his son Kim Jong-un took the throne. Jong-un has show hostility towards the UN & America as long as he has been in power, but he has finally begun reconciliation with South Korea.

     The most important points of the Decleration signed by Jong-un and Jae-in at the summit can be found here. Esentially, North and South Korea have agreed to take actions to prevent war between the two nations and work towards peace, co-prosperity, and unification. The two men, after embracing, planting a tree, and talking privately for half an hour, have agreed to fomally end the Korean War.

     This is a major step towards world peace, and is far more than mearly symbolic. It seemed tension was increasing. The de-escelation can be attributed mainly to three people: the leaders of North and South Korea (Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in) and, ironically, Donald Trump.

Every since the impeachment of the former South Korean president in mid 2017, Jae-in has pushed for peace and unity. His efforts made the summit possible. Trump, who is infmaous for damaging our international relations by being rude to major world leaders (not to mention his crass remarks on Twitter) inadvertently may have caused Kim Jong-un to agree to strive for peace. Obama never too a very hard stance against North Korea, never once showing open agression towards Jong-un. Trump, through his twitter argument, has. Jong-un is likely aware that as Trump is president, a preemtive strike or any other sort of action towards NK by the US is possible. As such, he was more inclined to have peace talks. However, Trump’s behavior is still horrendous, and the fact that it was possibly useful once is negligible.

     Ultimately, I feel that this summit was a huge and necessary step towards peace, both in the Korean Peninsula and globally. Let us hope that both SK and NK make good on their agreement.

Thanks for reading!

 

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Gun Control – Inside the Blue

February 14th, 2018.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student (before his expulsion) from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL attacked the school, killing 17 people and injuring 14 others. Cruz was armed with an AR-15.

This tragic event set off a new movement. The survivors of the Parkland shooting began a movement labeled with the hashtag #NeverAgain. These students, most notably Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg, led hundreds of marches and walkouts at high schools and cities throughout March to campaign for change in gun regulation and legislation. This movement has been met with resistance, mainly by conservatives.

Conservative points:

-Many guns used in mass shootings have been purchased illegally, so any sort of ban could be ineffective

-The banning of guns would infringe on the Second Amendment 

-Those campaigning for legislation and change are too young to fully grasp the consequences of any sort of ban 

-There are already many existing safeguards in place to restrict the purchase of firemarms

-Bans, in general, are not flawless and people would still obtain firearms illegally with bans

-The best thing to do is enforce existing laws and examine what can be done about mass shooters/mental health

Liberal points:

-Many guns used in mass shootings have been purchased legally, including those used in Parkland and the 2017 Las Vegas shooting

-The Second Amendment did not take into account the power of modern weapons, written at a time where bullet capacity was low and it took a significant amount of time to reload, thus it should be reconsidered 

Age is insignificant in terms of protesting for change

-The existing safeguards have failed, allowing mass shootings to occur, so they should be strengthened to prevent further incidents

-Any sort of ban will not completely end mass shootings, but it will at least make it harder to purchase firearms for mass shootings

-The best thing to do is create a ban on assault weapons or firearms as a whole and require thorough background checks and/or annual evaluations for gun owners

My thoughts:
It is clear that there is a serious issue with mass shootings in America. For every one hundred Americans, we own around one hundred guns, more than double the country with the second highest population/gun ratio (Germany). We have far more mass shootings than any other nation, though we have a lower gun homicide rate than many other nations.

In order to prevent further mass shootings and gun deaths, we need to make a change. Thus, I agree more with the liberal points in regards to gun control.

Here’s what I believe we should do in order to solve this issue:

-Institute a blanket ban on assault weapons for civilians unless they are required for hunting purposes. There is no logical reason to own an assault weapon. Even if it is for home defense, a handgun will suffice.

-Ban the firearm purchase/ownership by minors

-Require a mandatory background check, evaluation by a doctor, and training/safety course for first-time gun owners

-Require a mandatory background check and doctor evaluation every five years for any gun owner

-Continue the enforcement of gun-free zones. The narrative that “good guys with guns kill bad guys with guns” is illogical and only practical in regards to policemen. One may believe that they are capable of incapacitating a shooter, but instincts take over in the moment of danger. The average person, even with training, will falter when faced with someone with the intent to kill them and could be a danger to others.

In addition, mental health is indeed an issue that needs to be spoken of. We must understand why people become mass shooters and deduce how we can go about stopping people from ever becoming shooters, but I lack any specific ways to deal with this issue in regards to gun control, as it is an entirely different and more complex issue in itself.

Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions or critiques, feel free to comment them or direct message me on my Instagram, @kashwrites. Make sure to return next week for more of Inside the Blue.

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Inside the Blue – A Political Commentary

Inside the Blue – A Political Commentary

     We live in a politically diverse and divided world, in nations where politics is constantly at the forefront of our news and media, and, in some cases, our entertainment.

I introduce Inside the Blue, a series of political commentary making sense of the never-ending rush of political news and debate. Every week I will be choosing a topic and writing about said topic, laying out the opposing views and points, my personal input, and a look at the grand scheme of politics and political topics.

I plan to cover a myriad of topics both controversial and relatively unknown but still of great import.

This will begin this weekend with a post on gun violence, the debate surrounding the second amendment, and what can be done to prevent mass shootings.

Stay tuned for more!

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