Things That Matter

AOC Took A Republican Congressman To Task For Saying He Regularly Loans His Guns To Friends

Gun violence is one issue most Americans agree on. According to reports and polls, 86 percent of Americans, including 80 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of gun owners, support universal background checks on all gun purchases. However, Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw thinks universal background checks are too much because he lends his guns to friends and background check would stop that. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez turned his tweet about letting friends borrow guns into a teachable moment for the Congressman.

Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw used a story of a woman defending herself to admit he lets friends borrow his guns to stay safe.

Credit: @DanCrenshawTX / Twitter

According to the news story, a woman was being robbed by 5 men and used a gun to defend herself. In response, Rep. Crenshaw tried to use the moment to argue against universal background checks on gun purchases. Rep. Crenshaw states that he would not be able to loan out his guns to friends without accountability.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez retweeted him and questioned his friends’ inability to pass basic universal background checks.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez took Rep. Crenshaw’s words and posed the question, “Why are you ‘lending’ guns to people unsupervised who can’t pass a basic background check?”

Universal background checks for gun purchases have proven to lower the likelihood of violent and deadly criminal activity with firearms. With a background check, people who pose a danger to others or themselves either through mental disorders or prior felony convictions would be denied access to firearms.

There is currently a national law that all licensed gun sellers have to follow. Democratic lawmakers and citizens are pushing for a stronger law that would also require background checks at gun shows and through unlicensed dealers.

Rep. Crenshaw responded criticizing Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

Credit: @DanCrenshawTX / Twitter

According to Rep. Crenshaw, Rep Ocasio-Cortez labeled his friends as domestic abusers. However, if you refer to the original tweet, Rep. Crenshaw stated that he would not be able to loan out his guns because of universal background checks.

In her usual fashion, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not back down and drop some education on the Texas representative.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

According to 24/7 Wall St., New York ranks 48th for gun deaths in the U.S. while Texas comes in at 28th place. California is in 43rd place and Alaska is the No. 1 state for gun-related deaths. Another study by the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, states with weaker gun laws, like Texas and Alaska, tend to have higher gun-related deaths.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez continued her educational series of tweets by highlighting the work by House Democrats to close the boyfriend loophole with the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

The boyfriend loophole refers to a loophole in the Lautenberg Amendment that leaves a chance for domestic abusers to purchase firearms. The amendment only stops abusers who are or were married to the victim, have a child with the victim, currently live with the victim, or are the parents of the victim from purchasing a firearm. This means that boyfriends who stalk their victims are not prevented from purchasing firearms endangering the lives of those men and women who have no legal protection.

Emily Miller, the author of “Emily Gets Her Gun: But Obama Wants to Take Yours” chimed in defending Rep. Crenshaw.

Credit: @EmilyMiller / Twitter

“Emily Gets Her Gun: But Obama Wants to Take Yours” paints the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado as emotional manipulations to erode the rights of legal gun owners. Miller argues that the anti-gun lobby used examples of mass shootings to distort reality and go after gun owners in the U.S.

But, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was not backing down from her argument for background checks and greater gun safety and reform.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, there are several factors as to why women do not report domestic violence. Among the long list of reasons, one listed by the police department is that the abuser is seen as an upstanding member of the community. As such, many believe that or witness the law enforcement officers ignoring their pleas for help because of the abusers status in the community.

The public persona as a shield is something Rep. Ocasio-Cortez used to bolster her argument.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

LAPD further explains how weapons mixed with abusers can be a fatal combination.

“Where a batterer possesses weapons and has used them or has threatened to use them in the past assaults on the battered victim, the children or self, the batterer’s access to those weapons increases the potential for lethal assault,” reads the LAPD website.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez ended her thread about loaning friends guns by drawing a comparison.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

There is a reason people are licensed for various things. It is about accountability and the safety of society as a whole. By lending out guns to people, there is an increased risk of gun-related deaths and promoting the practice can have dangerous and deadly consequences.

During the debate, people responded to Rep. Crenshaw and one person shared a real-life example of the dangers of lending out guns.

Credit: @RiotwomennnTemp / Twitter

Lauren McCluskey was a track athlete at the University of Utah. Her ex-boyfriend, Melvin Rowland, borrowed the gun from his friend, Nathan Daniel Vogel. Vogel and Sarah Emily Lady had purchased the gun illegally because Lady lied on Vogel’s behalf to bypass the waiting period.

READ: Victims Of The El Paso Massacre Received Visits From Edward James Olmos And George López And Their Reactions Are Everything

JLo And Shakira Are In Charge Of The Super Bowl Half Time Performance, But We Want To Know Who Will Be The Guest

Entertainment

JLo And Shakira Are In Charge Of The Super Bowl Half Time Performance, But We Want To Know Who Will Be The Guest

Pepsi / Instagram

There’s already so much stardom packed into one Super Bowl half time show with Jennifer Lopez and Shakira performing, that it’s hard to think how they’re supposed to condense it into a half hour show. To make things even more interesting, the internet has been wondering, who’s appearing on stage as a guest. And there’s already a fan favorite. Here’s everything you need to know. 

How will they cram so much superstardom into such a 30 minute-long performance?

There’s already enough talk about this year’s Super Bowl performance. Are JLo and Shakira really not getting along in the days leading up to their show? Which hits will they be performing? And now, most recently, who will be joining the two Latinas in the watched-by-the-entire-world program? Twitter just voted and if it’s any indication of what’s coming, it should be interesting.

Their performance at the big game has special meaning for J-Lo and Shakira.

During an interview with ET Canada, the two expressed their excitement to be representing the Latino community. “I love that the Super Bowl has two women performing this year, that they have two Latinos performing this year,” J-Lo said in the interview that aired last September. “This is a marker of a new time, not just for the NFL but for the country.” “I’m honored, I’m humbled, to be next to J-Lo, representing the Latino community,” Shakira added. “It’s such an important force in the United States,” added Shakira.

The world was astonished when it was announced in 2019 that not only would Jennifer Lopez be headlining the halftime show, but also Shakira.

Both Latinas are two of the biggest names in music on one worldwide stage. And sharing the stage on this occasion seems to have been producer Jay-Z’s idea, so how could Lopez and Shakira say no? The two women spoke with ET Canada at the time of the announcement in 2019. Lopez said, “I love that it’s in Miami, it is a very Latino town.”

Who does Twitter think should join Lopez and Shakira on the halftime show stage?

Billboard.com asked Twitter, “Who do you hope #Shakira & #JenniferLopez bring out as a guest during their Super Bowl halftime performance? Vote!”

The running rumor has been that Miami native Pitbull will be joining them.

In fact, it’s reported that Pitbull has been pushing to get invited on the halftime show stage and his fans initiated a Change.org petition to get him added to the billing for the show

Fans believe there are obvious reasons why Pitbull should be the guest appearance.

Almost immediately after J Lo and Shakira announced they were co-headlining the event fans started buzzing that Pitbull is a MUST-HAVE guest on the stage too. Turns out some big wigs in Miami feel exactly the same way.

Sources with direct knowledge tell TMZ, Pitbull’s camp has had talks with J Lo’s team and the NFL about making the guest appearance happen.

More than that, TMZ reported that honchos at Hard Rock Cafe International are pushing for Mr. Worldwide to get on the stage—Remember, the game’s being played at Hard Rock Stadium.

Everyone’s aware of the groundswell to have an authentic Miami artist to rep the city—and the obvious choices are Pitbull or Gloria Estefan.

The thing is, Gloria’s already performed at 2 Super Bowls—’92 in Minneapolis and ’99 in—where else—Miami.

Sources connected to Roc Nation—which is producing the Halftime Show in conjunction with the NFL—say “other surprise acts” will definitely appear with Shakira and J Lo.

While there’s no deal in place yet, TMZ reports that everyone involved is aware of the momentum—public and corporate—to make room for Pitbull.

Twitter reactions to the question range from, “Pitbull, Yo!” to “Beyoncé” and even Camila Cabello.

One Twitter user wrote: “Shakira is already bringing out JLo as a guest so that’s enough” another even speculated: “Beyoncé!” —do they want the stage to explode from all that star power? Tweeters also threw out Camila Cabello’s name a couple of times, as well as Gloria Estefan’s yet again.

It’s looking pretty likely the guest will be Pitbull.

Both singers have recorded duets with him, he’s from Miami, and he puts on a good show.

By now, the singers have laid out the songs they’ll be performing and the electrifying performances they have in store for the millions who’ll be watching. The fact that they have 30 minutes, tops, to do it all is even more bonkers.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Push For A Bernie Sanders Presidency Might Just Be The Fight We Need

Things That Matter

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Push For A Bernie Sanders Presidency Might Just Be The Fight We Need

@realDailyWire / Twitter

As the 2020 presidential election draws ever nearer, the stakes are growing significantly higher for the candidates of both major parties—and quickly. In the case of the Democrats, the top four candidates (Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg) are all closely ranked in New Hampshire and Iowa, and it’s no secret that Iowa is a particularly important state when it comes to forecasting election season. This week, the Des Moines Register poll showed Sanders with a mild lead in this Midwest state, a stat that bodes well for him in the coming months—well, at least, it might. At this point in the game, it’s really impossible to guess what’s to come, especially in the midst of the chaos surrounding our military conflict with Iran and the impeachment of President Trump.

In addition to a millennial-friendly position on a wide range of issues—from healthcare reform to student loan forgiveness—many folks are speculating about Senator Sanders’ success resulting from his endorsement by none other than AOC herself.

Credit: J Pat Carter / Getty Images

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Sanders back in October, and ever since, she’s stood alongside him in several early-voting states, drawing major crowds in Nevada, California, New York, and, of course, Iowa. Sanders’ approach to policy may already pique the interest of the millennial generation, but AOC is, herself, a millennial—she speaks to this age group from her own perspective as a progressive young person, appealing to her peers with firsthand knowledge of what matters to them most. She’s impassioned, savvy, likeable. And she’s not just exciting the millennial demographic—she’s appealing to all kinds of Democrats.

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a leader in the progressive movement,” said Jeff Weaver, longtime adviser to Sanders. “She is broadly popular, frankly, among Democratic voters. She is particularly strong with young voters, voters of color. She’s an important national voice and adding her weight to the political revolution is a real coup for us.”

It’s definitely clear that AOC and Sanders are making waves across the country, establishing powerful connections with legions of unlikely and diverse Democratic constituencies. And as they continue to generate energy and excitement, people are starting to wonder: Will AOC ultimately inherit the progressive movement headed by Sanders? Will she occupy the White House one day?

Credit: Kevin Kuo / AP Photo

Again, no one can answer these questions right now. But in the meantime, the political duo is leaving a powerful imprint on enthusiastic delegates, paving the way for what might end up being a highly productive race for the Democratic socialists. With that said, it’s important to remember that Joe Biden is currently favored in Nevada and South Carolina, placing him and Sanders in a sort of limbo, hovering at a similar point  in the race. But if one of them ends up gaining early momentum, either candidate could potentially emerge as a singular favorite by the time Super Tuesday arrives in March.

Waleed Shahid, a former aide to both Sanders and AOC, acknowledged the pair’s recent visit through California, saying that Sanders would benefit from further establishing himself within the Super Tuesday state—a move that would allow him to expand his already strong position among Latino voters. (In surveys of Latino Democrats, Sanders typically polls first or second.) And AOC is, without a doubt, boosting his ratings among this demographic: to make sure their message is being heard, she’s been delivering campaign speeches entirely in Spanish to Latino crowds.

Even if there’s no way to predict AOC’s future role in the Democratic party, there have been hints as to what might come to pass if Sanders is chosen as the Democratic candidate for this year’s election.

Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

In an election endorsement interview with The New York Times Editorial Board, Sanders said that it was “a little bit premature” to name a running mate, as the first nominating contest is still weeks away. But he continued by saing, “I think Joe [Biden] has had eight years as vice president: probably enough.” He added, “I believe in diversity. I believe and know that my administration and my cabinet will look like America looks like. I’m not going to tell you who it’s going to be.”

While Sanders may be trying to keep his plans on the down low (he isn’t wrong, after all—it is a bit early to start naming potential running mates), it’s clear that he and AOC have a similar vision and a sincere, collaborative chemistry. Plus, he did tell ABC in November that she would “play a very, very important role — no question” if he becomes president. He has even taken to occasionally citing remarks by AOC during his speeches, reiterating that they share a parallel perspective for the future of our country. At this point, all we can do is speculate about a Sanders/AOC ticket. Ya veremos!