The “European” solution to the gun debate is untenable. So, how can we better protect people?

To Europeans such as myself, the liberal approach to gun ownership in the U.S. is one of the most difficult political positions to understand. On a daily basis, one can read about how another tragic scenario has resulted in a person or persons being shot dead. In fact, there are commonly multiple scenarios such as this in the U.S. every day. In December last year, the Washington Post published results from the CDC that showed more people are killed by guns than in motor vehicle accidents in 22 states across the USA at present – a startling and frankly terrifying stat. Where human rights are concerned, guns quite obviously pose a significant threat to the enjoyment of our human rights, despite some quite entertaining arguments that suggest they actually support the application of human rights (see here for example, where it is suggested gun control is the “ultimate human rights violation”, as guns help us protect such rights from being infringed…). Even after reading such well-though out arguments (NOTE – although I jest about such pro-gun ownership arguments, this article provides evidence rubbishing claims that gun ownership support human rights by deterring people from infringing such rights if you are interested in the actual credibility of such stats), people generally understand that guns kill people, and to kill someone outright infringes their right to life, as well as every other human right we obtain as you simply cannot enjoy such rights without living. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that the implementation of human rights would be supported by reducing the negative effects of gun ownership in America.

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Trump is unpatriotic for wanting to “build walls” – here’s why…

Pope Francis recently stated that Donald Trump wants to “build walls and not build bridges” when discussing the policies he is promoting in his efforts to become the Republican candidate in the presidential elections at the end of this year. What Pope Francis was referring to, was the fact that Trump has repeatedly stated he wants to close off America to pretty much everyone who is not American (although, he wants to kick out some Americans too). For example, Trump thinks that the USA should prohibit Muslims from entering the country, as a counter-terrorism effort and his reasoning for this? To promote his nationalistic goals and protect America as “the greatest country on Earth”. However, in this article I’m going to argue that the measures Trump promotes are actually unpatriotic and make America look a far less great country than he argues it is, as it restricts the liberties and freedoms that America has built itself upon, as well as suggesting he wants to hide away from the problem of terrorism, instead of attempting to resolve the issues. Sorry Donald…

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Islamophobia is a poorly named, obsolete practice. Let’s condemn it.

Due to the nature of human rights and the connections between them, it is impossible for every one of our freedoms to exist without interfering with another’s application. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we ensure a balance is achieved between certain rights, which allows us to enjoy them in a satisfactory manner. For example, debates continuously take place regarding where the appropriate balance between security and privacy lies. The proportionality of this balance is dynamic, changing due to environmental circumstances within our societies and therefore no enforced balance can ever be said to be wrong. However, the current balance between our freedom of expression or speech (found in Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998), with rights such as our freedom of religion (Part of Article 9) and the anti-discrimination principle (Article 14), specifically in relation to Muslims at the moment is extremely troubling due to the rise in something we’ve come to call ‘Islamophobia’.

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What you need to know about Burundi and why we need to act

Burundi is a small country in the ‘Great Lakes’ region of Africa, with an incredibly violent history. Plagued by ethnic tensions, political corruption, human rights violations and civil war for much of its time since gaining independence from Belgium in 1962, Burundi is on the verge of another potential massacre. The chilling possibility of this is exactly why we all need to know about the current situation in Burundi, and what we can do to ensure proper action is taken to prevent such atrocities…

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Why Theresa May’s new proposal is just another Snooper’s Charter

Today, Theresa May has outlined the ‘Investigatory Powers Bill’ regarding data retention and new ways of improving the “outdated” methods authorities currently use to investigate our behaviour online. In the immediate moments after May’s revised proposal, support seems to be far greater than it was in her previous attempt to introduce legislation in this area, through the ‘Draft Communications Data Bill’ in 2012, or as it came to be aptly nicknamed, the ‘Snooper’s Charter’.

However, I intend to argue that this apparently “much-improved bill” (according to Nick Clegg) may not be as much of an improvement as it seems and that there is still a danger this legislation can far too easily be moulded into a tool for mass surveillance, rather than providing a fair balance between national security and personal privacy.

But, first I’ll explain what exactly this bill is and what May was talking about…

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Have we misunderstood the #RefugeeCrisis?

A number of articles have been written in the past week or so regarding the falseness in calling the current influx of people into Europe, the “Migrant Crisis”. #MigrantCrisis has been an almost constant trend on Twitter for months now, until it was correctly pointed out that these people are not migrants, they are refugees. Simply, a migrant is “a person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions”. A refugee, on the other hand, is a person who has “been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster”. This has prompted a change for some, to instead identify this as the #RefugeeCrisis (although it should be noted some are still calling these people migrants).

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