Georgia Distracted Driving Bill Aims to Save Lives

Advanced Media Writing

BY ROBERT THOMAS

Read the heart-wrenching perspective of Natalie Bacho, who lost her daughter to distracted driving and advocated in favor of the recent Georgia distracted driving bill. Opponents to the bill feel it is a government overreach, but police feel it is necessary. The bill aims to save lives and studies reveal it is likely to do so.

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KENNESAW, Ga. – While others were enjoying the festivities of the Christmas season, shopping for loved ones and enjoying time with their families, Natalie Bacho sat at Abby’s, her 9-year-old daughter, hospital bedside as she clung to life by a thread.

Abby was in the car with the rest of her family on the way to look at Christmas lights after a meal out with family on December 22 when the car was struck by an 18-year-old driver who was talking on his phone at the time. The collision resulting from this young distracted driver put three of Bacho’s family members in critical condition, one of whom was Abby who eventually passed away on Christmas day. “That one second choice of a young driver completely ripped our family apart,” Bacho said.

Natalie Bacho’s story is just one of thousands of Georgian families who have had their loved one ripped from them as a result of distracted driving, and like Natalie Bacho, many are fighting hard to ensure the same fate doesn’t happen to more families.

Largely due to the push of families like hers, House Bill 673, which is designed to prohibit motorists from holding their phones while driving, recently passed the Georgia legislature and is on its way to being signed by Gov. Nathan Deal who has already endorsed the measure. However, many Georgians disagree with the measure and believe it is an overreach by government and a violation of their rights.

Opposition To HB 673

Some opponents to the bill claim that the loss of life is too insignificant to warrant such actions by the state. “Should we really do such a massive overreach legislating the few incidences that happen, versus the millions that happen where nothing goes wrong?” Kennesaw State University student Mike Brock said. Many like Brock are skeptical of the actual impact that the law would have in decreasing the number of distracted drivers and traffic fatalities. “People are still going to do it. People will use their cell phones regardless,” he says.

Asa Cooper, a local resident who supports the bill, says that while he finds it easy to make excuses to use his phone for just “one quick second” while driving, and is admittedly reluctant to obey the law, but he understands the need for the bill. Even Bacho admitted that she would occasionally use her phone before the tragedy of losing her daughter to distracted driving.

Changing Perspectives on Driving

“People have to understand that you just can’t do that, that lives are literally in their hands,” Bacho says. “If we have a law in place that it’s going prevent them from doing that, and their going to know that that’s against the law if they’re reaching for something and they have it in their hands, then I think that’s when we’re really going to see a major change in those numbers and lives.”

Bacho says that she believes her daughter’s right to life is far more important than someone’s selfish desire to use their phone while driving. Also, despite the skepticism by some of the real impact, 13 and the 15 states that have passed a similar law saw a significant decrease in the rate of traffic fatalities within two years of their implementation. In addition to this, according to a 2017 report by the National Traffic Law Center, “Studies have shown the overall crash risk increases 3.6 times over model driving when a driver interacts with a handheld device.”

Enforcement of Law

Many opponents of the bill say that police should simply better enforce the existing texting while driving ban to address this issue. However, there are technical legal barriers to police enforcing the existing law. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it’s difficult for many police officers to tell if someone is texting or just dialing a phone number, which is legal under the current law. This unenforceable middle ground Bacho says, led to widespread backing of the measure by Georgia law enforcement in the council proceedings prior to the passage of the bill by the legislature.

Despite the support for the current bill, some remain skeptical of whether the law actually goes far enough. The initial version of the bill contained a steep increase to the first-offense fine for distracted driving to $300, which according to Bacho the families that testified before the legislature were widely in support of. However, before passage the senate amended the bill to lower the proposed first-offense fine to just $50. Bacho was also worried about the level of distraction present even when using a hands-free device to talk on the phone. “When we are engaged in a phone call, especially when you’re driving, you’re cognitively engaged in something else,” Bacho said.

Hands-free Devices

Although, other voices, such as local resident Michael Browning, argue that as our cars become better at connecting to our phones and allowing more hands-free use of our devices, that fatalities from distracted driving will decrease. Browning believes that part of the issue is in older model cars not easily syncing with our phones and requiring drivers to touch their phones to change a song or use navigation. “As our cars allow us to be more hands-free to do the things that we want to do, I think that at that point there’s no excuse for me to have my phone in my hand because I don’t need it to control my music, I don’t need it to send this message, and I don’t need it to call this person,” Browning said.

Saving Other Lives

After the tragic loss of her daughter, not only did Bacho testify before the legislature in favor of the bill, she also decided to form the “Abby’s Angels Foundation”, which she says seeks to bring awareness and education to drivers of all ages of the dangers of distracted driving, provide school supplies and encouragement to students in need, and to advocate for organ donation. “Knowing that Abby’s life was going to end, for us, and for me, and for our family, that wasn’t okay,” Bacho said. “She was only nine and she had a big beautiful life to live. That was taken from her and it could’ve been prevented.”

Opinion H2H: Take the fast road to success with summer classes

The Sentinel

By: Robert Thomas

Students should take advantage of summer classes to advance their career, save money and exercise their brains.

Graduating on-time, or early, can be a strong indicator to future employers that you are organized and have a solid work ethic. As fun as college can be, nobody wants to be the one that took an excessive number of years to complete a degree.

Although students might not opt to take classes every summer, summer classes can be an amazingly useful tool if they are looking to finish quicker.

Summer classes also condense the credit for an entire normal semester’s worth of work into six short weeks of dedicated work. For many, this may be a major benefit that is akin to ripping off the Band-Aid now, rather than slowly dragging out the pain over several months. Students should really treat their time as even more valuable than money.

Depending on your situation, summer classes can also save a tremendous amount of money that would otherwise be spent on another full semester of rent and living expenses. If you are staying at your own place, you are well aware of how rent and living expenses tend to be among your highest expenses. Instead of taking the slow road to success, summer classes let you save money for your future, or an epic travel destination once you graduate.

Everyone’s situation is different, but for KSU student Brandon Lee, a junior in exercise science major and a former Marine, it is much cheaper in the long run for him to take summer classes.

“I decided to take summer classes since I get the GI bill, which basically pays my rent for now while I’m in school and work part-time,” Lee said. “If I am not a full-time student, then I don’t get the full housing allowance.”

Besides all of the time and money that is saved, the cognitive benefits of taking summer classes should also be taken into account. Rather than letting your brain turn to mush over the summer, keep your mind sharp by taking a couple of classes. Since you’ll already be in the routine of hitting the books, there will be less of an initially reluctant phase when the fall semester starts.

In addition, taking one or two courses over the summer, as opposed to juggling four to six subjects in a normal semester, will allow students to better absorb the material and make the course much more enjoyable.

Class sizes also tend to be smaller, and, according to research from the National Education Association, students in smaller classes not only perform better when compared to their peers in larger classes but tend to score higher on standardized tests as well.

In the end, everyone has a different style that works best for them, but for many students, summer classes can be a major godsend for a variety of different reasons.

 

Article originally published by The Sentinel 

Opinion: The distracted driving bill could save lives

The Sentinel

By: Robert Thomas

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The Distracted Driving Bill prohibits drivers from holding their phones while behind the wheel Photo credit: Alison Warren

House Bill 673, designed to prohibit motorists from holding their phones while driving, would prevent the deaths of many Georgians and tackle the selfish desire to use a phone while driving if signed into law.

According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, traffic fatalities have risen by nearly a third since 2014, and, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, some safety advocates attribute the rise to our constant addiction to cell phones. In the last year alone, 1,550 people died in Georgia due to distracted driving.

Many opponents of the bill say that police should simply better enforce the existing texting while driving ban to address this issue. However, there are technical legal barriers to police enforcing the existing law.

According to the AJC, it’s difficult for many officers to tell if someone is texting or just dialing a phone number, which is legal under the current law. Even if someone is texting while driving, all they have to do is claim to have been making a call instead of texting. This unenforceable middle ground simply does not suffice.

Like many students, I still find myself making excuses to handle my phone while driving in order change the song, put an address into my navigation or dial a phone number. I am more easily able to make excuses to say that it is not as dangerous because it is only for “one quick second.” But, in reality, all it takes is one quick second to end a life.

According to a 2017 report by the National Traffic Law Center, “Studies have shown the overall crash risk increases 3.6 times over model driving when a driver interacts with a handheld device.”

If all hand-held use of your cell phone while driving was illegal, it would be easier for people to make the mental switch in ruling out any cell phone use while driving. With 15 states having already adopted such laws, and 13 of them seeing a substantial decrease in traffic fatalities within just two years, the evidence speaks for itself.

Furthermore, it seems extremely morally difficult for anyone to justify the selfish desire to use their cell phone while driving when those countering the argument are people like Mary Carol Harsch, whose husband was struck and killed by a motorist talking on his phone.

In an interview with the AJC, Harsch said that she feels his life was worth more than the convenience of talking while driving.

“I would love to see HB 673 passed, because it’s past time for us to do something in Georgia to make our roadways safer,” Harsch said.

There is no excuse to hold your cell phone while driving when there are now a number of affordable hands-free driving devices and features such as voice-to-text. Your life is worth more than a phone call.

 

Article originally published by The Sentinel  

Opinion: Leave the voting age alone

The Sentinel

By: Robert Thomas

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“A 2006 study by the Political Studies Association said that 16 and 17-year olds are not as mature as other voters when the voting age is at 18.” Photo credit: Abbie Bythewood

Lowering the voting age will give greater voting power to the older generation as those younger than 18 are not sufficiently mature and will vote in line with their parents.

In 1971, the 26th amendment to the Constitution was ratified, establishing 18 as the minimum voting age for both state and federal elections. Although the proposal was first made in Congress in 1942, it was not until a combination of factors, including the political pressures of the Vietnam draft, that the proposal gained the necessary political backing to become law.

The argument of “Old enough to go to war, old enough to vote,” feels far more logically sound and emotionally convincing than any argument given in support of lowering the voting age to 16.

A 2006 study by the Political Studies Association said that 16 and 17-year olds are not as mature as other voters when the voting age is at 18. Furthermore, despite some arguing that such age differences are evened out when 16-year olds are given the right to vote, a 2013 study in the Journal of Electoral Studies found that even when the voting age is lowered to 16, there is no evidence to indicate that adolescent maturity levels go up.

When I think back to my politics at the age of 16, despite having minor differences on some issues, I was still heavily influenced by living with my parents. It was not until I graduated, moved out and began college that I truly began to think for myself about what I wanted out of the world.

The simple life experiences of being forced to survive on your own, the societal expectations to be an adult crashing down on you and the drastic change in your control of social influences changes you. In the social atmosphere of college, one is exposed to all new ways of thinking, opinion and evidence that previously may have been restricted. This dramatic shift often propels people into entire new frames of mind.

The time period of 16 to 18-years old seems to be a very hectic period politically, and attitudes are usually not fully developed. A 2005 Gallup Youth Survey, which asked 13 to 17-year olds to compare their social and political views with those of their parents found that 71 percent say their social and political ideology is similar to their parents.

According to an article by Jenny Diamond Cheng, interest in improving the political participation of young adults would be far better focused on eliminating barriers to voting, such as residency requirements that exclude college students, abolishing rigorous voter ID laws that disfavor young or mobile voters and allowing for same-day voter registration. These are better solutions.

Striking the Proper Balance Between Religious Liberty and Civil Rights

Advanced Media Writing

By Robert Thomas

As he sat on the grass outside, eating lunch with his friends on a typical afternoon at school, a very nervous 17-year-old Elias Escobedo considered revealing the deep secret of who he really was to five of his closest friends. He was nearing the end of his senior year in high school and felt that now was the best time to be honest with his current friends. As they discussed a related topic, Escobedo came out and told his friends that he was in fact gay. The group was suddenly filled with silence and blank stares as the sinking feeling of rejection, disappointment, and fear rose in the pit of Escobedo’s stomach. “I got a sinking feeling of ‘Ugh, I know where this is going’,” Escobedo said. “I’d seen enough movies and horror stories about coming out to your friends, and about how people are rejected.” He was socially ostracized by his friends for the ‘crime’ of being himself.

Almost everyone has felt that sinking feeling of rejection and the pain of being turned away for the crime of being oneself. However, perhaps no group understands this pain better, and more consistently, than those who happen to be gay, bisexual or transgender. In Georgia’s state legislature, politicians are now weighing the merits of making it easier for state-funded religious adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples from treatment equal to that of heterosexual couples.

Like Escobedo, many loving same-sex couples are likely to be rejected from state-funded religious adoption agencies simply for being who they are, and a recent Georgia bill that has already passed the senate aims to make it easier to do so. The bill is sponsored by State Sen. William Ligon and would give legal protection to faith-based adoption agencies receiving taxpayer funding that decline to place a child with people whose lifestyle they disagree with, including single parents, unwed couples and LGBT couples. “Just because you are a faith-based organization, doesn’t mean you have to check your faith at the door and cannot participate in government programs,” Ligon said.

Opponents of the bill, however, feel that the bill is a violation of the separation of church and state, and would essentially allow state-sanctioned discrimination by adoption agencies. “When a state is giving such an advantage to faith, I feel that’s definitely a violation of the separation of church and state,” said Pilar Varroa, a student assistant to the Kennesaw State University LGBTQ student group. . The measure is also pushed on despite the fact that faith-based adoption agencies already have the right to reject same-sex couples in the state of Georgia.

However those in support of the bill, such as Elizabeth Norvell, who is a staff member of ‘Cru,’ an interdenominational Christian organization that is active on KSU campus, feel that the bill is necessary. “It sets in stone that they have that protection,” she said. “Because it’s one thing to say ‘Oh yeah they have this protection’ but it’s another thing to say ‘oh here’s a bill that absolutely protects you’”

Norvell also went on to state that she does not believe the bill violates the separation of church and state, and argued that the government also likely supports institutions that she would be opposed to. “I think just because you would disagree with something shouldn’t necessarily prevent the government from supporting it if they think it’s a good idea and they think it would be worth while.”

Another common argument, outside of simple religious reasons, posed by many religious groups who aim to justify restricting same-sex couples from adopting is that adoption by a same-sex couple is more likely to be psychologically detrimental to the welfare of the child. “I personally believe that a child would best be raised by getting a mother and a father’s love versus a same-sex couple,” said Norvell.

However, this strongly held belief seems to contradict the mainstream of current scientific research on the subject. According to new research published by the American Psychology Association, children adopted into lesbian and gay families are as well-adjusted as children adopted by heterosexual parents, and follow similar patterns of gender development. A five-year impact study published in the research journal Sex Roles also found that there is no major difference in the gender identity development of children raised by same-sex parents compared to those adopted by heterosexual couples. KSU psychology professor Daniel Rogers as well echoes the conclusion of these studies. “Like all good science, we just look at the accumulation of evidence and the accumulation of evidence is pretty clear in its conclusion,” Rogers said. “There seems to be very little, if any, differences in outcomes for the child.”

When this professional opinion of the research by Rogers was posed to Norvell, she responded by saying that she would have to have a better view of the research to make a definitive statement on it. “I would need to have a conversation with him and see in detail where he’s coming from before I would make an opinion,” she said. “I wouldn’t want to make a blanket statement like ‘oh this study is wrong’ or ‘this study is right’ without doing more research into the studies.”

While both sides of this issue seem to want what they feel is best for the adoptive child, they have quite different approaches to the solution. Varroa argues that the bill would mean that fewer children are given permanent placement in perfectly loving, safe and secure homes. Varroa as well expressed fear that the bill could cause LGBT youth to be placed with conservative religious families intolerant of their sexual orientation. Those spoke in support of the bill, however, feel it will not affect the number of children that are adopted or that impact will be negligible.

Joseph Campbell, who is in favor of the bill, stated that while he supports faith-based adoption agencies’ ability to choose who they adopt to, he personally feels that regardless who the child is adopted to, the well being of the child should be the highest priority. “Personally I feel that while the rights of adoption agencies are important, whether the parents are gay or straight, the happiness of the child should be of highest concern.”

Standalone Feature Photos

Photojournalism
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Sasha Fuchko plays Jenga during a game night event at Kennesaw State University in Marietta on Friday, February 23, 2018. The game night event included giant board games, PS4, Wii, giant card games, giant Jenga and other games.

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Audrey Faulkner plays checkers during a game night event at Kennesaw State University in Marietta on Friday, February 23, 2018. Faulkner is a member of the International Student Association at KSU, which organized the event to promote their organization.

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Jackson Randolph (L), Nantahniel Mckenzie (C), Samual Parker (R), and play Jenga during a game night event at Kennesaw State University in Marietta on Friday, February 23, 2018. The International Student Association hosts many different events throughout the semester such as: Welcome Back BBQ, Karaoke Night, Dance Festival, International Bazaar, and more.

Portrait Photos

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Kennesaw State University bus driver Donald Pope stopped on KSU campus in Kennesaw on Monday, February 12, 2018. Pope is well known among students for being the bus driver that greets you with a fist bump as you enter the bus.

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Kennesaw State University bus driver Donald Pope while stopped at West 22 Apartments in Kennesaw on Monday, February 12, 2018. Pope has been driving the bus for KSU for 6 years.

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Kennesaw State University bus driver Donald Pope standing in front of the bus he drives on KSU campus in Kennesaw on Tuesday, February 13, 2018. Pope says the first time he ever drove a bus, he was 16-years-old.

After Server Wipe Scandal, Georgia Residents Consider Returning to Paper Ballots

Advanced Media Writing

By Robert Thomas

Like many others, Mari Jacobson was quite excited for her chance to vote for the first time in Georgia’s June 20 6th congressional district special election last year and had great confidence that her vote counted.

As Jacobson went with her mom to vote at a local library in Johns Creek, Georgia, that sunny afternoon, she was pessimistic but hopeful about her preferred candidate’s chances of winning. Despite not feeling “super magical” after her first time voting as she expected, Jacobson had strong faith in the election process, and the electronic voting machine she voted on. “I know there were a lot of questions of interference when it came to the presidential election, but I didn’t really think about it pertaining to this small election,” Jacobson said. But after hearing news of the scandal over Georgia’s election servers being wiped last October, she now feels her confidence in the process has been shattered.

She is, however, joined in her skepticism of the current process by State Rep. Scot Turner, who last week proposed House Bill 680 to return the state to paper ballots, which he says are more secure than electronic voting machines. Turner not alone in his push, as in recent years there has been an increasing number of states returning to traditional paper ballots. Although, many local voters remain skeptical of whether switching to paper ballots would have any actual impact on election security.

Broderick Armbrister, who also voted in the election, echoes Jacobson in saying he felt quite passionate about his vote as he stepped into the voting booth at the Milton Public Library and fulfilled what he considered to be his “citizen duties” that afternoon. Armbrister says he considers himself politically active and even went canvassing for his preferred candidate a number of times prior to the election. “I try to be practical with these things,” Armbrister said. “Politics is no joke. It’s really serious.”

Politically fatigued with the current political atmosphere, however, Jacobson was unsurprised when she initially heard of the scandal over Georgia’s election server’s being wiped. “I should’ve been more shocked than I was, but I really kind of wasn’t,” she said. “It was just kind of like ‘Oh. Well that happened.’” Like many others, Jacobson felt powerless and unsure of what one person could do. Though this news increased her skepticism of electronic voting, she remains skeptical of the benefit of paper ballots versus electronic voting.

State Rep. Turner, however, strongly believes in the superior security of traditional paper ballots over electronic voting machines, and is fighting to make the switch. Turner is apparently not alone among his party in this sentiment either; as David Shock, a Kennesaw State University political science professor, says that there is currently a significant division over the issue at the state level. “It appears that you have some Republicans trying to put Brian Kemp, the Secretary of State, in a difficult position in terms of defending electronic voting”, said Shock. Brian Kemp, who Shock says is the one of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination in the gubernatorial election, has vigorously defended the safety of electronic voting.

While Shock is skeptical there is substantial risk with electronic voting, he does see the benefits of paper ballots and also concurs with State Rep. Scot Turner in saying that paper ballots are most likely more secure. Previous studies by security experts at Princeton University, however, have repeatedly demonstrated that many electronic voting machines are dangerously insecure and vulnerable to attack and manipulation. Another similar study, done by the Brennan Center for Justice, showed that 43 states, including Georgia, were using voting machines that were at least a decade old; perilously close to the end of the projected lifespan for most of these systems. Security experts at Princeton University say this puts them at an increased risk of attack and manipulation.

However, despite these flaws of electronic voting, there are definite advantages to electronic voting. “The advantage of electronic voting is that it prevents people from casting, at least accidently, what is called a spoiler ballot,” said Shock. A spoiler ballot is a paper ballot that has been marked in a way that invalidates the ballot. Shock said spoiler ballots are typically significantly below 1 percent in any given election. In fact, a survey of the 2006 midterm elections by the United States Election Assistance Commission found an undervoting rate of just 0.1 percent in US Senate elections and 1.6 percent in US House elections, with overvotes being even rarer. Shock also says that electronic voting machines allow for significantly faster tallying of votes, and thus faster election results.

An analysis of data by the Pew Research Center found that nearly half of registered voters, or 47 percent, live in jurisdictions that use only optical-scan paper ballot voting as their standard voting system, and about 28 percent live in jurisdictions with electronic voting machines only. Another 19 percent of registered voters live in jurisdictions where both are used.

A possible compromise to this issue, that many jurisdictions have clearly taken, is paper ballot assistive marking devices. Rather than recording the vote into a computer’s memory, these electronic devices instead mark votes on a paper that is later tabulated manually. The benefit of these machines is a verifiable paper audit trail, or physical slips of paper for every vote that is counted is produced. Some of these devices even produce a tangible piece of paper for the voter showing the name of the candidate they voted for, and a symbol of the party. This allows a voter a verifiable means of knowing their vote was correctly counted. These machines also have the added benefit of reducing or eliminating the amount of unintentionally spoilt votes made on paper.

Although many security experts say that paper ballots are more secure, several voters, like Jacobson and Armbrister, are still skeptical that paper ballots will make a difference, with Jacobson going as far as to say she believes electronic voting is possibly equally secure. “I don’t think going backwards is the next step,” said Jacobson. “We should try to find out a new more innovative way if they really want to change it.”

Rise in Deadly Mass Shootings Could Mean Legislative Action in Georgia Says Political Expert

News Reporting and Writing

By Robert Thomas

KENNESAW, Ga. – A local expert in political science stated Friday that the issue of gun violence in America is “bordering on crisis” and that Georgia has the potential to follow in the foot steps of Massachusetts in banning bump stocks.

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KSU Journalism student Robert Thomas (left) and Dr. Kerwin Swint (right).

While Dr. Kerwin Swint, chair of the department of Political Science and International Affairs at Kennesaw State University, acknowledges that Georgia historically has among the weakest gun laws in the nation, he believes there is potential to pass legislation banning bump stocks in the state of Georgia on a non-election year. Although, Swint maintains that Georgia is still very far away from properly addressing the issue of gun control, and laments that lately the legislature has actually been going the opposite way. However, Georgia is not alone in the push toward looser gun laws, with Republicans lining up a vote in the U.S. House next week on making it easier for gun owners to legally carry concealed weapons across state lines. Gun sales also continue to rise, with Black Friday gun shoppers recently setting a single-day record on gun purchase-related background checks.

Swint asserts that the issue of gun violence is objectively getting worse and with 18 of the 30 deadliest shootings in the US, dating back to 1949, having occurred in the last 10 years, he is seemingly well supported by the numbers. Swint largely attributes the high rates of gun violence in the U.S. to the unique gun culture of the United States, and is strongly echoed in this sentiment by his colleague Dr. David Shock, who is also a professor of Political Science as KSU. However, while Shock believes that education and mental health are the larger contributing factors to the problem of mass shootings, Swint contends that the lack of gun restrictions is the main factor. “The time has come to take action that may be politically painful, but is going to create a safer society,” said Swint.

Local KSU student and former U.S. Marine Brandon Lee is skeptical of any gun control measures enacted in Georgia however, and believes that registration of weapons will lead to confiscations. Although, surprisingly in opposition to the Republican Party, Lee agrees with specific measures of regulation, such as required training and expanding the background check to private sales. Lee also stated he would not be opposed to legislation in Georgia banning bump stocks, a gun accessory the Las Vegas shooter used to increase his rate of fire.

Despite the popular support of such gun control policies by the majority of both parties, Shock and Swint both emphasized that the mostly likely contributing factor for the lack of movement on this issue is the might of the lobbying force of the National Rifle Association, or the NRA. “The NRA is probably the most successful single issue lobbying group in the history of this country,” said Swint. Shock believes that the Supreme Court’s current interpretation of the second amendment is also a strongly limiting factor on enacting gun control legislation at the state level and believes the issue would be better addressed at the national level.

 

 

 

 

30-second TV News Story

News Reporting and Writing

 

WHILE MANY ARE PICKING A SIDE ON THE ISSUE, ATLANTA EAGLE SCOUT JOSHUA ANDERSON STATED SATURDAY THAT HE FEELS CONFLICTED ABOUT THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA’S RECENT DECISION TO ALLOW GIRLS INTO THE ORGANIZATION. ANDERSON SAID…QUOTE… ALTHOUGH A COED CREW IS GREAT, AND THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF FUN, I BELIEVE THERE ARE ADVANTAGES TO JUST BEING YOUNG BOYS TOGETHER. MANY LOCAL ADVOCATES HOWEVER, SUCH AS KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITY WOMAN AND GENDER STUDIES PROFESSOR SAMANTHA HUEWAGON, ARE…QUOTE… SKEPTICALLY OPTIMISTIC.

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Atlanta Eagle Scout Joshua Anderson (L) and Kennesaw State University Journalism student, Robert Thomas (R)