Justifying the Second Amendment Drawing

BENITEZ | Justifying the Second Amendment

In my first-ever article for The Sun two years ago, I wrote that “U.S. legislators have failed to account for the thousands of victims of gun violence and have written off their deaths as an acceptable cost for the preservation of a 200-year-old constitutional amendment.”

I grew up in a Western nation often cited by advocates of gun control as a possible model for the United States. However, while I came to Cornell naïvely believing that defenders of the Second Amendment are of the irrational type who cling to their Bibles as tightly as they do to their weapons, living in this country has since moderated my liberal haughtiness. I now think that the typical theist is perhaps more justified in their religious beliefs than the most militant atheist and I also now think that there are some compelling justifications for the Second Amendment. The foremost case for the Second Amendment’s existence is that it insures against the possibility of government tyranny. While the principles of self-defense and tradition are also invoked to rationalize the Amendment, they are neither what the founders intended nor persuasive.

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | Democracy, Diversity and Earth Day

I grew up in Ithaca, graduated from Cornell 34 years ago, and return this weekend to participate in the Ivy Policy Conference which concludes on Sunday, the 48th Earth Day.  That confluence of personal, educational, professional and societal milestones gives one pause to consider just how much I personally, and we collectively, have learned about the health of the planet, and about our ability — and most importantly our interest — to help it. The dire situation that the planet is in peril is not in question.  Human caused climate change is a fact (sorry, fake news enthusiasts), and it is causing increasingly costly impacts on everything from agriculture, to forest health, to human health.  That is not to say greenhouse gas emissions and global warming is the only environmental crisis: plastic pollution killing marine species; dumping water and air toxics in predominantly poor and minority areas; our addiction to pesticides; and our seemingly obsessive fixation on consumerism, are but a few of the other challenges we face.


DANBERG BIGGS | Secret Societies Shouldn’t Be Secret

Just visually, secret societies at Cornell are a bit jarring. One meets at the top of a stone tower, while another claims an Egyptian style tomb sitting above a gorge. At least two encourage their members to buy and wear hundred dollar rings. I think there are robes involved, and maybe some shouting, but I honestly can’t be sure. They feel like a bit of a vestigial structure, an echo of the kind of University that Cornell used to be.


LIEBERMAN | What We Leave Behind

It always comes on a day when everyone’s busy, not hectic busy, but dredging through the week busy. It always comes on a day when I have a lot of objectively important things to be doing. Today, it’s an assignment in the archives, and I’m obsessing over these old, crinkly papers that are tied up in white thread and then covered in younger, crinkly paper. I’ve spent hours staring at cursive writing I know that I have no chance of deciphering. I’m trying to find what was left: an inventory.


REDDY | Midnight’s Twinks

My barber, who is Cambodian, said he would give me the “Indian cut.” After he was done, the other guy waiting said that I looked just like a doctor. The unsolicited observation has led me to believe that we, of the South Asian Council, are actually getting ahead of ourselves if our front is asserting that our perspectives are not completely irrelevant, and that we should be able to take up space within spaces that are generally designated for students of color. First of all, how the fuck are we going to convince people that our brownness does not itself qualify us to perform an emergency tracheotomy with a box cutter and a plastic straw? I mean, I’ll do my best with my knowledge of Asian American racial formation but no promises. A few days later while I was trying to figure out my next dick, I remembered I’m gay as well as Tamil.


PINERO | Cardi B and the Era of “Big Mood” Politics

About thirty seconds into Cardi B’s first appearance on Love & Hip-Hop: New York, I joined her legion of loyal Instagram followers. She was animated, real and side-splittingly funny.  In two and a half years, I watched a former sex worker rocket past the glass ceiling of D-list reality TV (underneath which Latinx/Black women of humble beginnings are often confined) and onto the mainstage of American pop culture. As a woman of color, her explosive success is more than a pleasant surprise — it’s a delightful shock. I never thought I would see someone so boldly Afro-Latina, so proudly female and so blatantly hood be so widely embraced.


SONG | Cornell Student Leaders, Get Your Priorities Straight

Remember when we were laughing at the Trump administration? Now it’s Cornell’s turn. If we can really let something on the equivalence of Pepe upend the entire idea of democracy, we’re just as embarrassing as bad tweets and childish foreign affair rants. But let’s get real here — the actions of the Student Assembly were no surprise to anyone. Any student organization at Cornell doing this would be no surprise.


GUEST ROOM | Saving Face, Losing Lives: The Political Importance of Cornell Suicides

Why is it that when we hear about hate crimes on campus, we can easily interpret such acts as political, systemically determined events — and are thus moved to anger — but when we hear of a student committing suicide in her own dorm room, all that we have to offer is our sympathy? Rather than reading her suicide as political, we deem it merely personal; a grieving process is initiated, and in a few weeks, the rest of the world moves on. When talking about suicide, one is inevitably pushed towards discussing the personal rather than the political. The individual circumstances or symptoms unique to the person – and not the social or political conditions which produced them – are what tend to shape discussions following a suicide. For suicide theorist Suman Gupta, this is because more often than not, the act of suicide is deemed by mental health authorities (and subsequently, the media) as an “involuntary” decision:
Regarded as persons with a psychological dysfunction and subject to pathological disorder .


AHMAD | A Call for Diversity in Mental Health Services

In my sophomore year, I had a friend who went through the mental breakdown that all of us have at some point in our college careers. Some call it the pre-quarter life crisis, others call it an existential collapse, but I have termed it The Infamous “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life” Meltdown. As I said, I think we all experience this to an extent, but for some people, this breakdown affects them much more intensely than others. My friend, unfortunately, fell victim to the more severe end of the mental breakdown scale. Her parents were constantly pressuring her to go into a STEM field, but she had no interest in doing so.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: S.A. President Candidates: ‘The Election Ends’

To the Editor:

After weeks of petitioning, campaigning and debate, the election results for the Student Assembly Presidential race have finally been released. As expected, we do not have the same reaction to this outcome, yet we both share a feeling of relief that the process has come to an end, and we both accept these results as valid. There were moments when we feared that the system would not provide a result the public could trust, but through patience and deliberation, we have arrived here. Nonetheless, we must address the public response to recent events. Although we understand that many students felt an attachment to the election, we cannot condone the personal attacks either of us witnessed.