My Friday Five: On #NeverAgain, Olympics & Tape Face In Durham

1. #NeverAgain

Enough is enough. I don’t know what it’s going to take to get common sense measures in place to curb or prevent mass shootings at our schools, churches, movie theaters, et. al. The latest tragic shooting took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people lost their lives. This has sparked a movement like I haven’t seen in quite sometime, spearheaded by many of the students who survived the shooting. The #NeverAgain movement started very quickly and continues to gain momentum. In fact, many of the students traveled to Tallahassee, F.L. to speak with elected officials and to lobby for stricter gun regulations and stronger background check measures. One thing that has been so amazing with this movement is it was not organized by adults. This is a young people’s movement. Young people, yours truly included, are the future. We are the future leaders and policymakers.

There are ways that we can pass regulations on guns and the purchasing of guns without infringing on anyone’s right guaranteed to them by the Second Amendment. My ideas are as follows:

  • We must end the collection of funds by our elected representatives from organizations like the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an effort to create, argue for, and pass legislation that suits the organizations desires. Here in North Carolina, Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis have received some of the most funds from the NRA, according to Jim Morrill and Brian Murphy of The Charlotte Observer
  • No private citizen needs a military-grade weapon, such as automatic or semi-automatic weapons. I believe these should be banned completely from private purchase.
  • We must also have stronger background checks for the purchase of firearms.
  • There should be accountability at all levels of law enforcement regarding the issue of mass shootings and other domestic terrorism incidents. A couple main problems with the response to this latest school shooting were a lack of response by FBI officials to concerns raised by citizens and an armed officer at the school not going inside to try and take down the gunman despite hearing gunfire. 
  • DO NOT arm teachers. That’s just absurd.

Something must be done. I stand with the students and their movement to change things here in the U.S. For more info on the #NeverAgain movement and the scheduled March for Our Lives event, click here.

2. Olympics News

The 2018 Winter Olympics will come to close this weekend in Pyeongchang, South Korea. There have been many great stories to takeaway from the Games. From 16-year-old Red Gerard winning gold, to Shani Davis, Mikaela Shiffrin and Lindsey Vonn. But, perhaps the most incredible story of them all was USA Women’s Hockey. The team defeated Canada in an epic gold medal game. Team USA initially held a one-goal lead, but Canada came storming back to lead it 2-1, with the U.S. tying it near the end of regulation. After a scoreless overtime, the two teams headed to a shootout, where the U.S. came away victorious. This is the first gold medal for U.S. Women’s Hockey since the olympic sport’s inception at the 1998 games in Nagano, Japan. Way to go, ladies!

3. Tape Face in Durham

What an amazing night on Thursday at the Carolina Theatre in Durham! I finally got to see Tape Face in person after becoming a huge fan during his stint on America’s Got Talent . If you’ve never been to a Tape Face show, it’s…interesting. The one-man show was 90 minutes of creativity, laughter and just good old fashioned fun. It was worth every penny!

And the man himself was kind enough to take photos with fans after the show. Here’s mine…

  Photo: Chris White
Photo: Chris White

4. N.C. State Swimming/Diving at ACCs

N.C. State Men’s and Women’s Swimming/Diving are competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in Greensboro. The Pack is coming in as one of the highest ranked squads and is proving that in these championships. The ladies had their shot last week, finishing in third place, while the men are competing this week and currently lead the competition by a pretty darn good margin.

I’m not a swimmer, nor have I ever been. But I’ve always enjoyed watching it. As I’ve stated previously, I became a huge fan of the Pack’s Ryan Held, Anton Ipsen. Simonas Billis and Soren Dahl after they competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. It all started to blossom from there, as I went to a few meets in Raleigh and met some of the other swimmers on both the men’s and women’s teams, such as the talented Justin Ress, Matt O’Donnell and Elise Haan. It’s been awesome to support these people, that’s for sure!

You can check out the remaining events tomorrow night on the ACC Network Extra beginning at 6 p.m as well as complete coverage here.

5. BB&T Malfunction Sparks Outrage

BB&T has come under fire for an apparent equipment malfunction that rendered virtually all of its key services unusable for customers late Thursday afternoon. This included ATMs, the bank’s Phone24 main service line and even online/mobile app banking. BB&T officials have provided some updates and insight into the malfunction – which is still ongoing as of the writing of this post – saying it was determined to not be caused by a security breach but, rather, a data center equipment malfunction and are working to restore service.

News of the outage did not sit well with clients, who made their frustrations clear on social media. Many of whom may live paycheck-to-paycheck and were expecting a direct deposit in their accounts, or to pay a bill on time, what have you. All to not be able to even access the funds. Many would say, especially in our technology-driven society, we should be prepared for something like this to happen. I agree somewhat, but you cannot prepare yourself for everything. Plus, this is the second issue in recent months for the bank, as a problem occurred with its “U” by BB&T mobile app and iOS devices.

It’s the 21st century. Why were there no backup equipment or cloud components that could have kicked in to prevent such a far reaching outage like this? My thoughts were echoed by Andrew Bessmer, an assistant professor of computer science at Winthrop University in an interview with WSOC. It’s very frustrating that, in this technology dominated age, an outage such as this could not be stifled or prevented. It’ll be very interesting to see how this all plays out.

Thanks for Reading 

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