I did my Kentucky Kitchen Table in my hometown in Louisville, Kentucky. I was joined by my neighbors Dennis and Linda, my mom, my sister Regan, my brother Carson and his girlfriend Callie. Dennis is retired and his wife Linda works for the Core of Engineers. My mom works as a financial manager for a law firm in Louisville. My sister is currently in vet school in Auburn and is engaged. My brother is a criminology major at U of L and plans on joining the LMPD. His girlfriend Callie is also a criminology major at U of L who plans on becoming a paralegal.
When asked to defined citizenship, we came to a consensus that citizenship is a responsibility to contribute to the community which includes the obvious paying taxes and participating politically and it also means helping out the community when it is in need. We also discussed there is an obligation for citizens to serve each other which can mean volunteering at a soup kitchen to serve the homeless in the community or donating food and clothes to those in need. Volunteering is an important part of being a citizen. All citizens should find some way to volunteer in the community in order to better the community. This idea of citizenship relates to the lecture on service and public work. Public work was defined in the lecture as people working together with others to help them which could be applied to the definition of citizenship we discussed. Every citizen should work together to help solve social issues in their community.
We also discussed gun control and various issues surrounding it. My neighbor Dennis is pro-gun control and his argument is that gun violence can only be solved with more sanctions on gun sales. He does not think Americans should not have access to guns, but that it should be very limited in order to prevent tragedies such as school shootings, gang violence, or drive by shootings. My mom, my sister, my brother and I all disagreed with this. We argued that there is already a system in place to do background checks but it is nearly impossible to know whether or not someone who purchases a gun will use it safely and legally. Majority of the people who purchase guns at stores like Cabelas uses guns safely and responsibly. My brother argued that blaming stores that sell guns for gun violence is equivalent to blaming car dealerships for selling cars to drunk drivers. We agreed that prevented Americans from purchasing weapons leaves them unprotected. This can be considered a wicked problem. Both sides to the argument provide valid statements but neither “solution” would solve the problem with gun violence. Allowing for the sale of guns can lead to the use of them for gun violence, but can be used as protection for citizens against these people. On the other hand, banning guns would make it very difficult for criminals get access to them, but the common American would have no means of protection against people who find a way around the system to purchase weapons. Either way there will still be violence.
Finally I asked everyone around the table which social issue was most important to them. My neighbor Dennis believes the healthcare system in the US is the most important issue because healthcare should be a fundamental right for all citizens. Linda is most concerned with the lack of job opportunities and the large unemployment rate in the US. My mom is concerned with the education system specifically in Louisville where the public school system is lacking so private school is the better option for those who can afford it. She thinks there are too many public schools and not enough spots for students in the best public schools like Manuel and Male. My sister is also currently concerned with the education in this state, specifically with the cuts the government is trying to pass for spots in professional programs in veterinary science and optometry. Since Kentucky does not have either a vet or optometry school, it covers a certain amount of tuition for students in other states. She is concerned with them cutting spots for the fall semester after students have already been accepted into certain programs. She also believes it is unfair to cut spots for only these professional programs but not other programs. The most important social issue to my brother is the affordability of higher education which has continuously gotten more expensive. Callie is most passionate about gender equality mostly in the career field. The legal field tends to be male dominated so she wants to be paid as much as men in the paralegal field and treated equally on a professional level.