Day: October 6, 2010

Is University Gun Policy Making Us Safe or Making Us Victims?

The police responded with lightning speed on Tuesday, Sept. 28, when a masked gunman brought an AK-47 onto campus, terrorized students then killed himself. University police were on the scene within 12 minutes after the shooting started. If 12 minutes sounds like a long time, keep in mind that the Virginia Tech massacre lasted over two hours. But we need to understand that the police cannot be everywhere at once. In times of emergency when seconds count, police are minutes away. In the 12 minutes that it took the police to respond, the shooter could have murdered a lot of people, and there would have been no way for the police to stop it. Like most universities in the United States, UT is a “gun free zone,” meaning that it is illegal to possess a firearm in university buildings. Does preventing law-abiding citizens from legally carrying their guns onto campus keep students and faculty safe? Schools don’t like to talk about it, but “gun free zones” are frequently the target of mass public shootings. Guns were forbidden at Columbine (14 murdered), at Virginia Tech (32 murdered), and at Jokela High School in Finland (eight murdered). Gun control laws will not stop criminals from bringing guns onto campus and killing unarmed students and faculty. There are many arguments for why law-abiding citizens should not be allowed to carry a concealed...

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Trimming Waistlines … and Expenses

The United States of America: The nation that produced Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Southern fried chicken … and an extraordinarily high prevalence of obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2009 the state with the lowest percentage of obese adults was Colorado – and Colorado still had 18.6 percent prevalence of obesity, defined as a body mass index of 30 or more. Beyond Colorado, 33 states had a prevalence of obese adults of 25 percent or more. Nine states reach even scarier heights, with 30 percent or more of adults in those states falling into the category of obese. As absurd as those percentages look, the racial makeup of obesity in the United States is even more appalling. Looking at data from 2006 to 2008, the CDC discovered that prevalence of obesity among blacks was on average 51 percent higher than among whites, and among Hispanics obesity was on average 21 percent more prevalent than among whites. Obesity is linked to higher risk for a grocery list of conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, certain types of cancers, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems, strokes, liver disease, respiratory disease, osteoarthritis and even gynecological problems. Consider this information in light of health insurance statistics. In 2009, 12 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured, according to a study done by the U.S. Census Bureau. In the same year, 21 percent of blacks...

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