America as Alcatraz

Meningitis broke out at Fort Polk, Louisiana, in the early weeks of 1969, where thousands of young men undergoing basic and advanced infantry training were packed into wooden WWII-era barracks. I knew only that meningitis could kill, and I felt a little uneasy as we formed ranks to hear the protocols we must follow. All the windows would remain open six inches, top and bottom, and trainees would make their bunks with the heads and feet alternating. In the chow line and at sick call, we had to stand two paces apart. That was it, I think. In all other aspects we were thrown together …

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A Foolproof Solution to Gun Violence in the U.S.

Most people who pay attention to the issue of gun violence know the grim statistics.  According to the BBC, 21,386 Americans committed suicide in 2014 using a firearm, while 11,008 Americans were murdered with firearms.  In addition to deaths, firearms cause nearly three times as many nonfatal injuries, upwards of 75,000 annually.  Figures vary from year to year, but the trend is upward.  Americans are in possession of 270,000,000 firearms, roughly nine firearms for every ten Americans.  This is nearly twice as many as the next most heavily armed nation—Yemen, which is in the midst of an ongoing civil war—and almost three times as many …

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