The sale, trade, regulation, and legal ownerships of firearms are by all means hot issues in America made ever more apparent recently with the shooting's at Sandy Hook Elementary. This begs the question of whether or not banning the manufacturing, importing, and ownership of many types of firearms will make the American citizens safer, both at homes and on the streets.
In a 1997 U.S. Justice Department survey of 14,285 inmates in a variety of state prisons showed that close to 80% of all firearms used in violent crime entered the possession of said inmate through either an illegal street deal, family, friends [stolen, legally sold, or given as a gift], or through some other sort of illegal venue. Several more sheets of anti-gun legislation are not going to stop eight out of ten illegal firearm sales when such illegal deals are not even completed in any form of a legal or supervised manner.
Such information makes it quite clear that the current regulatory firearms laws are not stopping the illegal sale of weapons, and merely adding more constraints and forms will only make such a broken system worse by forcing law abiding citizens to follow such regulations, while black market deals continue unopposed.
During a time in our nation’s history when firearm restrictions were at their highest, eight out of ten firearms were still illegally obtained. Increasing firearm restrictions did not solve the core issues with firearm related violent crime in 1994, such facts do nothing to suggest that imposing regulations now help at all.
The state of Michigan is no stranger to conflicting and ineffective firearm laws. According to a legal statement by the Michigan State Police in 2010, explaining all of the different aspects of Michigan’s handgun carry laws makes our states conflicting laws very clear. The statement explains that a private citizen lawfully owning a handgun can [open carry] said handgun [carry a handgun within plain view of the public] in a public school if desired. However, the same statement explains that a private citizen holding a legal concealed pistol license [CPL] within the state of Michigan cannot carry a handgun concealed on their body within a public school.
A private citizen holding state certified training and a required degree of marksmanship training cannot carry a concealed handgun within the campus of a public school while a person that could possibly have no training with a handgun whatsoever can carry a gun within a school assuming it is openly visible and legally owned. Questionably confusing laws demonstrate proper reform is needed at the state and federal level.
Based on a study done by the Government Accountability Office, it is quite easy to gain a firearm legally with falsified information. Using fictional names and falsified drivers licenses made with average retail store offered software and laminators, government investigators had a 100% success rate in legally buying a firearm in five different states from a gun shop.
Modern government studies have proven that the current system of background checks does not do a sufficient job of screening out falsified information. Reform is clearly needed on this topic, and lower restrictions on guns and increasing the restrictions on violent crime offenders is factually the best way to solve all of such issues in an effective way. Only time and congress will show how the issue plans to unravel.
photo by Ashley Everett
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Queens of the night
DeQuan Perry, Jr.
Mike Madden has experience dealing with a type of entertainment that many people may know little about. As one of the head bartenders at Partners Bar, Madden is knowledgeable about what many don’t seem to understand: Drag Shows.
“A drag queen is an entertainer that uses gender impersonation as a way to entertain,” Madden said. “Although some use gender flexibility to entertain, there is a whole drag culture that goes along with that.”
Drag queens use gender roles to accomplish their most important job, which in Madden’s opinion is to entertain.
“Each one (drag queen) stands for something different, I think that's a hard thing to really explain,” Madden said.
Some use drag to gain acceptance or to experiment with different gender roles. While others use it as a way to express their creativity and show their inner personality, Madden said, as he explained what Karma, the House Diva at Partners Bar, had explained to him years ago.
“For most, it's just a stage and a play to put on. I guess, if there was a common theme, it would be acceptance.” Madden said, “Just what they want is acceptance for differences.”
Partner’s Bar located on North Ave, hosts a Drag show every Saturday. Cover is $7 for those 18 to 21 years old and $5 for those 21 and older. For reservations or other questions contact the bar at (269)–269-7276.
~ DeQuan does Drag to let out his inner Diva!
Karma(second to right stands with her sisters as they embrace the crowds applause
photo by Tim Modden
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He says, she says
Women and Their Social Media
Today’s society revolves around social media. With various forms from Facebook to Instagram and everything in between, we are fascinated with the massive network of people we can be connected to. Social media is a great way to stay current with news and friends. However with those benefits it’s also a great way for women to piss off men.
Women, if you are reading this column, I would like to give you a male perspective regarding some very commonly committed social media faux pas. First we are going to talk about those of you who are in a relationship. One of the main things you must know, especially to those of you who are attached at the hip to your phone, is that there is a specific time and place for using social media; on a date or even in his presence is not one of them. It’s a terrible feeling when a guy takes you out on a first date, and you’re taking a TwitPic of whatever you ordered to show all your friends. Also, if he is talking to you, don’t be changing your Facebook status, or looking at your Pinterest. There is no bigger turn off then when a guy feels out-ranked by a girl's social media outlets. This will cause tension in your relationship or result in you not being asked out again on that illusive second date.
I do understand that women also like to use social media as a way to communicate how they’re feeling. I don’t understand it, but I respect it. Do your thing.! However, make sure you’re not using it to complain about your relationship problems. It’s immature! If you have an issue with him, talk it out and resolve it. There is no need to get friends involved. It’s going to make him feel like he not only has to make up with you, but your friends also, and I can almost guarantee he’s not going to do that. Besides, nothing, and I mean nothing, is more unattractive then a girl throwing a pity party to get the attention of her friends.
Pity parties could be the reasons why you single women out there are single. If you are publically throwing a fit for all to hear, I can promise you no guy is on the other end saying, “Yes, just what I’m looking for. I want to get involved with her!” On the same hand, don’t go fishing for compliments. If you are insulting yourself or constantly commenting on photos saying how bad you look, you better hope Mr. Right hasn’t “friended” you yet.
My final tip for all of the single women out there is to make sure you have completely eliminated all of the pictures of your future life. What I mean by that is that guys don’t want to go out on a date with a women whose Facebook has pictures labeled “Future Wedding” or “My babies nursery.” I realize you’re excited about that stuff but like I said there is a time and a place for it, and if he sees it within the first couple dates, you’ll send him running for the hills.
My overall goal is to help the women of KCC keep or find their guy, or maybe it’s just to keep the fellas sane. Regardless, this was information I gathered from men around campus, so I hope the people who were meant to hear it did.
~ Kody plans to be single forever.
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Who’s going to win the Indy 500?
Signed, Race Fan
Dear Race Fan
The fastest car with the best driver and a solid dose of luck? Is this a trick question?
Dear Dr. Destiny,
I am “running out of fuel” for this semester, but I need to finish strong. Where can I find motivation with all the distractions of sunny weather and mini-skirts?
Signed, Stud muffin
Keep your focus. The end is in sight; you’ve lasted this long and can stand the final couple of weeks. Plus, there will be bikinis! Eye on the prize (the bikini, of course)
Dear Dr. Destiny,
How do you tell a girl you see every day in class that you’re not interested in her.
Sincerely, KCC Gentleman
No need to tell her. Don’t ask her out, cut your conversations to “hi” and switch eye contact to someone else. If you’re just a nice guy and she has misinterpreted your general friendly demeanor, stay the nice guy you are and make sure you aren’t flirting. She will get the picture, and since we’re at the end of the semester, the problem will soon disappear.
Dear Dr. Destiny,
What should a person do if they are between majors?
Could you keep both majors? In today’s economy, the more well-rounded you are, the better your chance of getting a job. If you love both areas, perhaps they have a common link and really could work together in the future. If you hate one of the majors, then that’s the one to drop. You want to do something you love if that’s at all possible.
Dear Dr. Destiny,
Sometimes I get bored. What is a cure for boredom?
Signed, Super friggin bored
Gads! There are many cures for boredom from volunteering to reading to video games. Is that really the problem, or are you just not interested in anything? Try exercise or join a gym or take an art class … or sit around and complain about how friggin bored you are. Boredom is a choice.
Dear Dr. Destiny,
How do you feel about Renaissance Festivals?
Signed, Lady in waiting
They are not my particular thing, but I do admire the dedication of the participants and the attention to detail. They must take a tremendous amount of time, and people who are involved love them. Wonder if “friggin Bored” would go with you?
(From a reader currently serving time in Jackson Prison)
Dear Dr. Destiny,
Do most people obey laws because they fear the punishments they would receive or are they really decent, honest folks still wandering around? I never met anyone who didn’t cheat at something.
I think there are decent, basically honest people left, but we have allowed the lines of decency to blur, I’m afraid. If I only behave in a kind and honest way when someone is watching, then I’m really not a kind and honest person. We all trip and fall, and some of us get caught. It’s what we do after we get caught that matters.
Hoping your time left to serve is short.
Dear Dr. Destiny,
What is a Bronco (WMU mascot)?
Signed, Just wondering
Dear Just Wondering
A horse. Your first clue might be the logo if it wasn’t the definition of the word. I’m sure Wikipedia has it defined.
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The older student
Anniversaries are days to be celebrated: wedding dates, milestones, and remembrances of your years together. When you lose a spouse, anniversaries take on different connotations. Instead of celebrating the date that you first met, you are dreading the date that your spouse died and the feelings that day brings. When my husband passed on June 17th, that date became tattooed on my heart. Every moment of that day is burned into my memory. When the 17th came around the next year, I was a mess. I relived the moments of that horrific day as each hour passed. I thought I would never be able to get past my grief and see the 17th as just another day.
In the next year, dates suddenly became very important. Our wedding anniversary, his birthday, and the date of his death had invisible circles around them on my calendar. It was like they were screaming at me to make sure that I mourned those days. I would start dreading their approach weeks ahead of time, knowing that I would be a weepy mess. It seemed to me that I would never be able to move past those anniversaries.
Then something odd happened. My ten year wedding anniversary was a few days ago, and I missed it. I didn’t even realize that I missed it until a few days after the fact. At first I felt a little guilty that I had let such an important milestone pass without acknowledgment. I thought that I was dishonoring my husband’s memory by forgetting our anniversary. Then I realized that I was being ridiculous. I had been waiting for this day for the last three years. I had reached the point where my anniversaries were now just another day. The thought filled me with a mixture of joy and sadness. I was moving on and in turn leaving the life I had lead with my husband behind. To resort to a cliché, the feeling was bittersweet.
I know that part of my transformation from grieving widow to an emotionally healthy woman can be attributed to my relationship with my boyfriend. In him I see anniversaries that are just waiting to be celebrated. The main focus of my moving on is based on my attitude. I refuse to be sad anymore. I am embracing the changes that come with each new day. I’m not dreading the dates on the calendar anymore; instead I am looking forward to what the future has in store for me.
~Tiffany is looking forward to the future.
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Bringing words to life
For an artist living in Battle Creek, it's hard enough to find work, let alone find work doing something you want to do. Last summer I was blessed with an opportunity to illustrate a book for one of the finest woman I have ever met. Not only is she a very generous and caring individual, she taught me what it means to believe in myself. The woman is a full-time English professor, Pam Feeney.
In the Spring semester of 2012, I was approached by Feeney to illustrate a book she was writing for her yet to be born twin granddaughters. She had seen some of my work in the student art show and asked if I would like to help her with this book she was in the process of writing. I could have never known what kind of blessing this would turn out to be. A few months later we sat down and began brain storming some ideas which would later become the cover and a few key points in the book. We discussed the amount of time it would take to do such a large project. We figured it would take a couple months, due to my summer job in Missouri. I was scheduled to have the project done by mid-November.
Over the summer I found myself focusing more on the day-to-day work and pushing the book to the side. I was overwhelmed by the large project. Upon returning from Missouri the realization of my procrastination hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt I accomplished only a small amount of work on the illustrations for Feeney's book.
Much to my surprise in a meeting with her, she loved my concept drawings and encouraged me to continue with the good work. Over the next month I would finish a few pages including the cover and a few key scenes. The November deadline would soon come and go. In my frustration, I began to work day and night with little sleep. Coincidentally, this is not the way I had envisioned this project going, and my work was suffering the consequences. I managed to spill paint on several occasions all over my work and was forced to redo several backgrounds.
By mid-December I was four pages behind and Feeney was looking forward to presenting the book to her family by Christmas, I knew it would not be done. In my desperation I contacted her and said I would not be able to have the book done in time. Even with all the extensions she had granted me, she still had the heart to tell me it would be okay. I will never forget the conversation we had that night and the way she sympathetically reminded me that we all make mistakes, even after I had let her down.
Over the next few weeks I managed to finish the book. Even though I felt like a complete failure for not having the book finished in time, the lesson I have learned is one that will stay with me throughout my career. Knowing the feeling of letting down someone who believes in you and your abilities and seeing the disappointment in their eyes has changed the way I see my artwork and how important deadlines are. Looking back, I know that working with Professor Feeney was not only a blessing, but an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life.
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