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‘I am not going back to school until lawmakers, and the president, change this law’

Reuters

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By Katanga Johnson

Dozens of students and parents from the Florida high school where 17 teens and staff members died in a shooting rampage boarded buses on Tuesday for a trip to the state capital Tallahassee to push for a ban on assault rifles.

Reuters

Last week’s massacre, the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in U.S. history, has inflamed a national debate about gun rights and prompted teens from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and across the United States to demand legislative action. The incident has galvanized advocates for stricter gun controls, including many survivors of the shooting.

“I am not going back to school until lawmakers, and the president, change this law,” said Tyra Hemans, an 18-year-old senior, referring to Florida’s law permitting the sale of assault rifles. “Three people I looked to for advice and courage are gone but never forgotten, and for them, I am going to our state capital to tell lawmakers we are tired and exhausted of stupid gun laws.”

Fourteen students and three educators were killed in the Feb. 14 attack at the school in Parkland, near Fort Lauderdale. Authorities have charged Nikolas Cruz, 19, with 17 counts of premeditated murder for allegedly returning to the school from which he had been expelled and opening fire with a semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle.

The youth-led protest movement that erupted within hours of the shooting attracted a prominent celebrity supporter on Tuesday when actor George Clooney and his wife Amal, a human rights lawyer, said they would donate $500,000 to help fund a planned March 24 gun control march in Washington.

Reuters

A Washington Post/ABC News opinion poll released on Tuesday showed 77 percent of Americans believe the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress is not doing enough to prevent mass shootings, with 62 percent saying President Donald Trump, also a Republican, has not done enough on that front.

Trump said on Tuesday he had signed a memorandum directing the attorney general to draw up regulations banning devices that turn firearms into machine guns, like the bump stock used in October’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

MARCHES IN FLORIDA, TENNESSEE

Students in states including Florida and Tennessee staged sympathy protests on Tuesday, according to local media reports. Miami’s WTVJ-TV showed video of about 1,000 teens and adults marching from a high school in Boca Raton to the site of the Parkland shooting, about 12 miles (19 km) to the west.

Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature has taken up at least two bills during its current session intended to provide broader access to guns. On Tuesday the state House turned down an attempt to bring up a bill that would block sales of assault rifles, News Service Florida reported.

State Senator Bill Galvano, the chamber’s next president, called for a bill to limit sales of assault rifles to people at least 21 years old, with some exceptions, up from the current minimum age of 18. The legislature’s current session ends on March 9, leaving little time for a vote.

Current U.S. high school students were born after the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado in which a pair of teen gunmen killed 13 people. There have been numerous mass shootings, not just in schools, since then in the United States, and students in this age group have grown up in an environment where they regularly train for the possibility of being targeted by a shooter on the loose in school.

Gun ownership is protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and remains one of the nation’s more divisive issues. The Washington Post/ABC News poll found that fewer than seven in 10 Republicans support the idea of a ban on assault weapons, the reverse of Democrats, 71 percent of whom support it. A federal ban on assault weapons, in force for 10 years, expired in 2004.

Funerals continued for the young victims of Wednesday’s attack.

Reuters

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point on Tuesday said it made a rare posthumous letter of acceptance to Peter Wang, a student of the school killed in the shooting. A Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadet, Wang had aspired to attend the elite academy.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington and Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Frances Kerry and Lisa Shumaker)

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Omarosa Is Convinced She Knows Who Wrote that Anonymous New York Times Op-Ed

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The former White House aide said she dug through her emails and she got herself some clues.

The Late Show host Seth Meyers might have said it best: So after Trump’s public praise of Vladimir Putin, his attorney general’s meetings with Russians, his campaign chairman’s money laundering, his deputy campaign chairman’s tax fraud, his personal fixer’s secret shell company, his national security adviser’s lies to the FBI, his son’s attempt to get dirt from a foreign adversary and son-in-law’s secret back channels with that adversary, the person who could end up taking down the president of the United States is Omarosa.

GIPHY

Omarosa is still making her press rounds to promote her book about her time in the White House. But aside from exclusive tapes questioning POTUS’s mental health, she’s now weighing in on that New York Times Op-Ed everyone’s talking about, where a senior official in the Trump administration anonymously claimed to be part of the resistance from within.

“I took some time and went back and looked through all of my emails, particularly emails out of the vice president’s office, because the first time I read the op-ed, it just seemed kind of familiar to me,” Manigault Newman told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. “After looking at memos and correspondence from the vice president’s office, I’m pretty convinced that it came from that way. Not just because of the term ‘lodestar,’ but because of the style and tone of it.”

The person she said she narrowed it down to as a likely suspect was Nick Ayers, a political strategist who has served as Pence’s chief of staff since July 2017, is one of the vice president’s most trusted aides.

Trump said last week that he wants Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the essay, declaring it a breach of “national security.” Shortly after the piece was published, the president also raged on Twitter, likening the story to treason.

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18-Year-Old Solves Six Rubik’s Cubes Underwater in Single Breath

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Here’s one dude who’s unlikely to find trouble updating his Instagram bio.

Vado Marchelashvili, from the country Georgia, went underwater for one minute and 44 seconds and did something few can do above water with triple the time span. He solved six Rubik’s Cubes in one breath in an attempt to break a world record.

Officials with the Georgian Records Federation observed the teen as he attempted to break the now previous record-holder Anthony Brooks, who in 2014 solved five Rubik’s Cubes in a single breath, setting the world record at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, New Jersey.

To prepare for the event, the teen said he trained several hours a day for six months. “I trained a lot planning to break a record — and to ensure my safety, because even a small mistake could be dangerous and life-altering,” he said following the event, Reuters reports.

“I think my result will stay as a record for a long time,” he added. “I hope to break many other records.”

One thing’s for sure: I won’t be the guy attempting to break that record.

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Drunk Dude Accidentally Takes 300 Mile Uber Ride

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Suddenly, I’m not as upset about my last drunk text.

Kenneth Bachman made it home to Sewell, New Jersey safely after a night of drinking his face off at a party earlier this year, thanks to a sober Uber driver. Thank God for Uber, right? But, once Kenneth made it home, the price tag of the blurry trip became clear: $1,635.93. Now’s probably a good time to mention the party he left was in Morgantown, West Virginia.

He explained to a Philly TV station he had been out with buddies near the campus of West Virginia University when he said he wanted to call it a night, so he ordered an Uber ride, which he didn’t quite recall doing, and then fell asleep.

“We went to a frat party and then went to the bar. I was getting drinks all night; I probably spent like $200 at the bar after already drinking all day,” said Kenneth. “Basically, I kinda just blacked out. The last thing I remember was being at the bar and then I just woke up in the Uber next to an older dude telling me I was an hour out from Jersey.”

Moral of the story? People in West Virginia party like fucking rockstars.

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