It dreads me to write this blog because I know that I wont see this class again and maybe some of my classmates. Bust as the saying goes all good things must come to an end. Because of this class I have learnt my rights as an immigrant, rights as a black person and my right to vote.
In this semester I attended my weekly class sessions so I will give myself full grades especially because of participation. In addition I ensured that I did Every one of my blogs and never missed one but I did not stick the requirements as time went by so I will partially grade myself with 12 points out of 20 for still have that determination. Followed by the midterm with a total of 15.50 points. The most creative assignment of all to me was the meme where I illustrated with lions so based on the requirements I will give myself full points because all was met.
I must say the 10 minute was fun to be able to to express to your classmates what you learned and what impacted you I will give myself full points for bravery for sharing and doing an excellent job on presentation. Two sentence chapter on the Domestic Policy was very interesting I must say I will give myself full points for meeting the requirements. Having us do an introduction slide was a fun way of allowing us to get to know our classmates even if we didn’t meet in person I will give myself full points for participation. furthermore the final slide was similar to the 10 minute class and very interesting so for participation I will give myself full points. I will be doing the final exam hoping to do well will give me enough points to pass this class with an A.
This will be my last blog post for this class. I enjoyed this class and learned some new and interesting things about our US government. The topic that I most enjoyed were of civil liberties and civil rights.
I particularly enjoyed the “link to learning” within this reading because it allowed me to view other sites that I probably would not have known about. They lead me to different organizations and explained what those organizations did and still continue to do to promote their cause. One in particular was the Women’s National History Project https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/ which include various other resources pertaining to women’s rights and the history of it.
Gun ownership in the US has a varying degree of opinions ranging from wanting to be able to buy a gun over-the-counter like a pack of chewing gum all the way to a complete ban on guns and related paraphernalia. Most people fall between these two extremes, but the dangers and consequences of either could be dire. People use the exact wording of the second amendment for and against gun ownership, although generally people agree to some restrictions. Courts have also upheld altered reasons for the possession of firearms. However, through all of this exists a loophole in federal law that would at least help keep firearms out of the hands of those that we all generally agree should not have firearms.
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.” Many take this “well regulated militia” aspect of it and ask if the gun owners have a well regulated militia. However, in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller, a case regarding a handgun ban in D.C. and the storage of other types of firearms, the Supreme court upheld that the “second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.” It answered the question if gun ownership is for the average citizen or purely the state’s militia. However, it also upheld that guns and gun ownership are not unlimited and that there will still be regulations to be upheld.
Now while I myself do not have such ownership I do support owning firearms, but to an extent. I do believe that if a person owns a gun they need to own one responsibly and to go through background checks which can prove that by owning a gun they would not be an added threat to society or harmful to oneself. In fact, federal law agrees with this as many others -including those who dislike many federal regulations on firearms- would also. Common sense dictates that those with a many types of mental health and mental disabilities should not own a firearm. Many who support police would agree that felons, especially those with violent crime convictions, should not own a firearm. With all of this said, people still oppose a certain problem we have in federal law that would help assure these people do not obtain said weapons.
Though there some obstacles and restrictions to own a gun, as some states are stricter than others, there is a federal loophole that allows those whom should not own a firearm to obtain one. It is known as the “gun show loophole” AKA the private sale exemption. People tend to argue that the federal government already requires background checks. They are ignorant of this loophole that still exists today. It references when a gun is sold by a private seller to a buyer which would not require a background check. Note that this does not mean when buying from a licensed firearms dealer, but when someone purchases a firearm on a secondary market; i.e. someone purchases from a dealer then sells the gun. Under the federal law, anyone can sell a firearm to another person that is a resident of the state the seller currently resides in as long as they do not know or suspect the buyer is prohibited from owning a gun. However, when purchasing a gun in certain states, it is allowed in several other states. So the purchaser does not have to permanently reside in the state in which he purchased the gun to own and sell the gun.
This of course is a major loophole because if a person that is a legal gun owner who has passed a background check in order to own their gun resells their gun to another, the second buyer does not have to go through the same restrictions as the previous owner. So the initial purchaser may not have knowledge that this buyer should of never been able to purchase a firearm on their own, or may know and does not care. This can potentially harm others because even though the gun was purchased legally, it could be be resold to someone that is not a responsible gun owner. This allows for willful ignorance and shady dealings to take place under the guise of following the law. After the initial purchase, there is no law that requires any way to track that firearm, giving it the potential to hit the black market. There are those who legally purchase guns in order to resell knowing and unknowingly as well as directly or indirectly to those that common sense dictates and most agree should not own a firearm. Yet, for some reason, cognitive dissonance allows some to justify not regulating a secondary sale of a firearm to have no background checks in which the initial purchaser has to pass.
Atf.gov. 2021. To whom may an unlicensed person transfer firearms under the GCA? | Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. [online] Available at: <https://www.atf.gov/firearms/qa/whom-may-unlicensed-person-transfer-firearms-under-gca> [Accessed 6 June 2021].
LII / Legal Information Institute. 2021. Second Amendment. [online] Available at: <https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/second_amendment> [Accessed 6 June 2021].
I have self graded this project as 15. This meme gives a clear and present example of a law/loophole in gun ownership and my stance on it. It also raises the issue of the second amendment which has been discussed in the reading as well as in class. This has also reached the required length. It is also one that has not been discussed by others in their meme project.
Tufecki in her book, Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, dwells on social movements in the present digital era. The present times are characterized by drastic technological changes as innovations in the area of technology are happening every day (Bendefaa, 2019). Tufecki was motivated by her background in Communication and Computer Science, and the urge to research protests done on social media platforms to write the book. Tufecki covers various protests such as the Tahrir Square, Cairo protests of 2011, and Occupy movement protests to differentiate between the present times’ social movement and Civil Rights Movements of the past. The genre of the book is non-fiction. It was published on May 2, 2017.
Tufecki defines networked social movements as members of the public whose action of activism is anchored by digital platforms. The digital connections between members of the public have given “movements” a new meaning (Bendefaa, 2019). Tufecki (2017) explains that modern social movements can yield better results compared to traditional marches or protests in the streets. She takes a look at how social media has helped protest but also has caused them hard to sustain. She shows how fragile the web can be to protesting and uses her experiences to map it out. Tufekci begins by showing how the political power of informal social groups can expand through highly leveraged forms of a networked organization. Then she shows how uninformed social groups often flourish too fast and causes the movement to be vulnerable. She then shows how they struggle to strategize or form crucial decisions without formal structures, established norms and strong social ties. She explains how governments and powerful institutions have learned to exploit these weaknesses to retain power by delaying, distracting and deflecting social movements with widespread disinformation campaigns or shadow banning.
Tufecki reveals that activism on digital platforms is not the best as authoritarian governments can use the same technology to neutralize the actions of the activists. As per Bendefaa (2019), any nation or social movement that only depends on digital platforms to push for change is bound to face some setbacks. Such is the case as technology has evolved and a nation’s leadership can use the same digital platforms to outdo political activism anchored by technology.
Overall, my opinion of Twitter & Tear Gas is nothing negative. I admire how she analyzes technology and protesting and how they correlate with each other. She shows that social media has a huge role in political mobilization, but the relationship between the two is intricate.She shows emotion and paints a picture in your mind. She shows that social media has a huge role in political mobilization, but the relationship between the two is intricate. I believe that technology and social media does have a huge role in protesting and also helping to document real world accounts without anyone having to come in and make up material.
In Summation, Tufecki covers various protests such as the Tahrir Square, Cairo protests of 2011, and Occupy movement protests to differentiate between the present time’s social movement and Civil Rights Movements of the past. The present time social movements depend on the internet to share information and push for change. Sometimes these social movements are weakened by Governments’ use of the same technology to sensor them.
Recently President Biden instructed that the federal government elevate anti-corruption measures as a central US foreign policy and national security issue. In approximately six months there will be a report on ways to strengthen anti-corruption efforts.
“A presidential memo directs agencies to identify how they can improve intelligence-gathering and combat illicit financial activities. It reaffirms Washington’s commitment to sanction or pursue legal action against those involved in corruption, instructs agencies to work with international organizations to tackle the problem and emphasizes enforcement measures in foreign assistance programs.”
If you are unaware, the country of Myanmar has now been taken over by the military and detained Aung San Suu Kyi who was the elected leader. A link of what is happening and why is below for further context. In the beginning of February, Biden threatened to reimpose sanctions on Myanmar and called for a concerted international response to convince the military to relinquish their power.
Biden stated that the coup is “a direct assault on the country’s transition to democracy and the rule of law.” This crisis would be the first test for Biden’s pledge to collaborate more with allies on international challenges.
This is an important topic to me as my family is from Myanmar and I still have family that live there. I feel like this crisis does need action and many of the citizens have been protesting, some even being detained and or killed.
Reading this chapter I was able to have a better understanding of everything because of the chapter on domestic policy. To me it was easier to understand and learn from it because it deals with government affairs of other countries which involves trades, and their safety. In addition it guides the activities and relationships of one state in its interactions with other states where the policies or behavior of other states, or plans to advance specific geopolitical designs.