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Students plan protests, Washington march, to demand gun control after mass shooting




By Zachary Fagenson and Katanga Johnson

Stunned by the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, students mobilized across the country on Sunday to organize rallies and a national walkout in support of stronger gun laws, challenging politicians they say have failed to protect them.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student is accused of murdering 17 people on Wednesday using an assault-style rifle, joined others on social media to plan the events, including a Washington march.

“I felt like it was our time to take a stand,” said Lane Murdock, 15, of Connecticut. “We’re the ones in these schools, we’re the ones who are having shooters come into our classrooms and our spaces.”

Murdock, who lives 20 miles (32 km) from Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and six adults were shot to death five years ago, drew more than 50,000 signatures on an online petition on Sunday calling on students to walk out of their high schools on April 20.

Instead of going to classes, she urged her fellow students to stage protests on the 19th anniversary of an earlier mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Students from the Florida high school are planning a “March for Our Lives” in Washington on March 24 to call attention to school safety and ask lawmakers to enact gun control.

They also plan to rally for gun control, mental health issues and school safety on Wednesday in Tallahassee, the state capital. The students were expected to meet with a lawmaker who is seeking to ban the sale of assault-style weapons like the AR-15 allegedly used in the school shooting.

The demands for change by many still too young to vote has inflamed the country’s long-simmering debate between advocates for gun control and gun ownership.

Students from the Florida school have lashed out at political leaders, including Republican President Donald Trump, for inaction on the issue. Many criticized Trump for insensitivity after he said in a weekend Twitter post that the FBI may have been too distracted with a Russia probe to follow leads that could have prevented the massacre.

“You can’t blame the bureaucracy for this when it’s you, Mr. President, who’s overall responsible,” David Hogg, an 18-year-old Douglas senior, said in a phone interview.


The White House said Trump planned to host “a listening session” with high school students and teachers on Wednesday, but did not specify which students or school would be involved.

Democratic leaders vowed to redouble efforts to fight the nation’s powerful gun lobby to reduce violence from firearms.

“We’re the adults. We’re the leaders in this country who are supposed to keep our children safe – and again and again, our country has let them down,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said on Twitter.

The suspect in the Parkland shooting, Nikolas Cruz, 19, faces multiple murder charges in the deaths of 14 students and three staff members, and the wounding of more than a dozen others in a rampage that eclipsed Columbine as the country’s worst mass shooting at a high school.

Cruz was reported to have been investigated by police and state officials as far back as 2016 after slashing his arm in a social media video, and saying he wanted to buy a gun. Authorities determined, however, he was receiving sufficient support, newspapers said on Saturday.

In addition, the Federal Bureau of Investigation admitted on Friday that it failed to investigate a warning that Cruz possessed a gun and the desire to kill.

A couple who opened their home to Cruz after his mother’s recent death saw no signs he was planning a rampage, according to the Sun Sentinel in south Florida.

Kimberly and James Snead told the newspaper they knew Cruz had guns, and that they made him lock them in a safe. They thought they had the only key, they said.

Cruz faces charges that could bring the death penalty. Prosecutors have not yet said if they will seek capital punishment.

Four people still hospitalized with wounds from the shooting were in fair condition on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Broward Health system said.

School officials in Broward County said on Sunday they were aiming to have staff return to the high school campus by the end of the week. They did not say when classes would resume.

(Writing and additional reporting by Peter Szekely in New York, Letitia Stein in Detroit and Jeff Mason in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)

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YouTube enters gun control debate, bans instructional firearms videos



YouTube has become the latest battleground in the debate on United States gun control. Videos that promote or link to websites selling firearms and accessories will now be banned, including bump stocks, which allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire faster. Additionally, YouTube said it will prohibit videos with instructions on how to assemble firearms, reports Bloomberg.

Here’s the specific guidelines from YouTube:

This is not the first time YouTube has tightened its firearms policies. After the Las Vegas shooting, YouTube ruled that videos instructing how to install bump stocks fell under the category of “harmful and dangerous content.”

The policy updates shove the video-sharing website into the hostile debate on gun control, which has been reinvigorated after 17 students and faculty were killed at a Parkland, Florida high school. However, reports show gun-related deaths or injuries have occurred at high school or college campuses 1.5 per week since the beginning of the year. Among the gun-related deaths or injuries so far this year was a shooting spree on January 23 at a Kentucky middle school where 16 were shot, two of which were killed. Earlier this week, on March 20, two students were shot and injured at a Maryland high school. That shooter was killed.

Some vloggers have lashed out at YouTube for the adjusted regulations. Spike’s Tactical, a company that sells firearm parts and accessories, posted on social media that its account was suspended for its firearm videos. The suspension notice said that the account had “repeatedly or severely violated” YouTube’s community guidelines, so it’s unclear if the violations occurred before the tightened restrictions.

“The Liberal Left will slowly chip away at our freedoms and erode our rights, and the first step is to squelch our voice,” Spike’s posted in a profanity-laced rant on Facebook.

YouTube has long been criticized by gun control advocates for allowing illegal content to proliferate on the site. Just this week, YouTube kids was put on blast after a video provided its young audience with step-by-step instructions on how to create an air gun. That video, which racked up more than 3 million views, has since been removed.

Let’s see if this makes a difference.

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John Oliver’s parody book about Mike Pence’s gay bunny SOLD OUT!




John Oliver wrote a parody book about a day in the life of Vice President Mike Pence’s gay bunny. And the book sold out!

So here’s the kicker, boys and girls. Mike Pence actually has a bunny. And his name is Marlon Bundo. He’s even Insta famous, look him up. That pun is pretty fucking adorable, too. It’s also ironic, as it’s stemmed from the name of famous actor Marlon Brando, who has reportedly had a string of secret homosexual relationships, while Pence has vigorously opposed marriage equality. That being said, the VP’s daughter, Charlotte, wrote a book about about a day in the life of Marlon Bundo as he follows Pence around.

The book is illustrated by Pence’s wife, Karen, and includes historical facts intended to be educational for children.

A day before Monday’s release of “Marlon Bundo’s Day in the Life of the Vice President,” Last Week Tonight host John Oliver announced on his show that he dropped his own Marlon Bundo book on Amazon — and that Marlon Bundo is gay. Instead of following around the VP, Marlon Bundo falls in a love with a boy in Oliver’s book.

Oliver’s book reached No. 1 on Amazon’s best-sellers list while the Pence-penned book was No. 4. And as mentioned, it’s sold out for now.

Charlotte and Karen Pence appeared on Fox Business Network together and were asked about Oliver’s parody book. Charlotte appeared mildly supportive of the gay bunny book, too, saying: “I mean, I think you know, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery in a way. But also, in all seriousness, his book is contributing to charities that I think we can all get behind. We have two books giving to charities that are about bunnies so I’m all for it really.”

An unspecified portion of the profits from the Pences’ book will go to non-controversial organizations that focus on providing art therapy to children. Meanwhile, 100 percent of proceeds from Oliver’s book are going toward AIDS United, a group dedicated to ending the AIDS epidemic in the U.S., and the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention organization that offers support to young LGBT community members.

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‘Sex and the City’ star is running for governor of New York



OK, Sex and the City fans, here’s a question for you: Should the person filling the role of a governor be a Carrie, a Miranda, a Charlotte or a Samantha?

Most who have watched the show would likely say a Miranda. She was the responsible career-oriented lawyer, after all. And that just might become a reality since Cynthia Nixon, the actress who played Miranda on the beloved HBO series and movie franchise, announced Monday (March 19) her gubernatorial bid for governor of New York.

“I love New York, and today I’m announcing my candidacy for governor,” she tweeted Monday.

Nixon also posted a chilling video on social media with her announcement:

The Tony, Grammy and Emmy award winning actress will challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the Empire State’s Democratic primary in September.

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