Things That Matter

After The Mass Shooting In Parkland, Florida Marco Rubio Wants To Start A Firearm Task Force

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Florida Senator Marco Rubio is calling for a firearm task force to research the effect of mass shootings in the U.S. Rubio, who has received more than $3.3 million from the National Rifle Association (NRA), is advocating such a task force for the first time since joining the Senate in 2011. According to POLITICO, Rubio is open to several measures that will make it harder for certain people from getting their hands on assault-style weapons. Some of the gun control measures Rubio is open to include expanding background checks, banning bump fire conversion kits that are used to turn semi-automatic rifles like AR-15s into machine guns, and implementing the gun-violence restraining order to take guns away from people facing domestic violence charges.

People are calling Sen. Marco Rubio out on not doing enough to prevent gun violence and, in some cases, voting to make accessing assault weapons easier.

In 2013, Rubio voted with 59 other Senators against a bill that would have banned the sell of AR-15s, which is the gun used in most mass shootings in the U.S., including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The vote, according to VoteSmart.Org, would have created a list of weapons to ban because of their status as assault weapons. There was an assault weapons ban that was passed in 1994 under President Clinton and was allowed to lapse and expire in 2004 during President Bush.

Some Twitter users are just quoting the amount of money the NRA has contributed to his political career.

By the time of the Las Vegas shooting, Marco Rubio was number six in the top ten NRA-back Senators, according to The New York Times. Rubio mentioned to POLITICO that he is not moving too quickly on any kind of gun control because he needs to learn more about what is causing the shootings.

“If you’re going to talk about gun violence, you’re going to have to focus on the gun part. But you also have to focus on the violence part,” Rubio told POLITICO. “What is the catalyst causing people to do this?”

But a small group of people are hopeful that Rubio means what he says and are offering advice on how to proceed.

Gun advocates and enthusiasts maintain that the AR-15 is not an assault weapon because it is not fully automatic when purchased. However, any gun owner can easily purchase a bump fire stock conversion kit to turn their AR-15 into an automatic rifle.

“If we do something, it should be something that works. And the struggle up to this point has been that most of the proposals that have been offered would not have prevented, not just yesterday’s tragedy, but any of those in recent history,” Rubio said from the Senate floor. He added: “Just because these proposals would not have prevented these does not mean that we therefore raise our hands and say, ‘Therefore, there’s nothing we can do.'”


READ: Here’s What We Know About The Alleged School Shooter Nikolas Cruz

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Kamala Harris Shuts Down Gun-Loving Bro On ‘Jimmy Fallon’

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Kamala Harris Shuts Down Gun-Loving Bro On ‘Jimmy Fallon’

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Kamala Harris appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, where she slow-jammed the news and dunked on a gun-loving college bro. The audience was made entirely of college students who, during one segment, got to ask Harris a question. When someone tried to challenge Harris’ position on gun control, she was happy to set him straight on the matter.

While the United States does not have the most gun violence of any nation, it has the most gun violence of any developed nation, and honestly, it isn’t faring too well when compared to developing countries. 

“The United States has the 28th-highest rate of deaths from gun violence in the world: 4.43 deaths per 100,000 people in 2017 — far greater than what is seen in other wealthy countries,” according to NPR. “And the national rate of gun violence in the U.S. is higher than in many low-income countries.” 

That time a college student tried to come for Kamala Harris

During a segment, Senator Harris and Fallon took questions from an audience of college students. A bro from Fordham University named Andrew tried to come for Senator Harris’ wig. Now, regardless of how you feel about her, one thing is objectively true about Harris — she is a no-nonsense, cunning prosecutor who can think quick on her feet. I would not try her. 

“Do you believe in the mandatory buyback of quote, unquote, ‘assault weapons,’ and whether or not you do, how does that idea not go against, fundamentally, the Second Amendment?” Andrew asked.

It was at this moment that I began to fear for Andrew’s life. Harris was happy to state her position. 

“Great question, I do believe that we need to do buybacks, and I’ll tell you why,” Harris said. “Let’s be clear about what assault weapons are, they have been designed to kill a lot of human beings quickly, they are weapons of war, with no place on the streets of a civil society, I’ve seen assault weapons kill babies and police officers.”

Harris said she plans to take executive action regarding gun control if elected President and if congress fails to ban the importation of assault weapons, pass universal background check requirements, and mandatory buybacks. 

Harris dunks on bro using his own experiences

Then Harris led Andrew through a little mental exercise by reminding him of what country he lives in — the one where mass shootings are a regular occurrence, you know that one. 

“How many of you guys, as college students, had to have a drill during high school or middle school or elementary school or even in college were you learning about how you need to hide in the closet or crouch in a corner in the event that there’s a mass shooter roaming the hallways of your school?” Harris asked.

Of course, Andrew’s hand went up along with everyone else’s. Shooter drills are the new normal for American students.

“Look at that, look at that. And here’s the thing, it terrorized you. It is traumatizing. I don’t want that any of our children should have to sit in class when you should be paying attention to what’s happening in the front of the classroom, letting your mind open up to the wonders of science, math or our, or whatever, and instead have to be worried about who’s going to come banging through the door carrying some kind of weapon,” Harris said. 

Leaders need to lead on gun violence

“Leaders need to lead on this issue. So I’m telling you, when elected, if Congress fails to act, I will give them 100 days to get a bill on my desk for signature, if they do not do what I will put in place, by executive action, a comprehensive background check requirement and a ban on the assault weapons and importations of assault weapons in our country,” Harris said, finishing her speech with. “I’m done.” 

Andrew was no longer standing, the crushing weight of being owned on national television seemed to have taken the wind out of him. He didn’t need to take several seats just the one to realize the audience, who was roaring with applause at Harris, did not share his ignorant beliefs. 

Support for gun control is at an all-time high

It should be said that most Americans don’t share Andrew’s beliefs. Gun control has overwhelming bipartisan support. People are pretty against themselves randomly being killed by gun violence, which makes sense. So while it is the GOP preventing legislation from passing, it is not for a lack of support from Republican constituents! This is why Democrats, Republicans, and Independents should be demanding that the Republican Senate pass legislation — oh wait, we all have been for years they just don’t care if we live or die as long as those donations from the National Rifle Association keep coming in. 

Bricks Of Cocaine Have Been Washing Up On Florida Beaches And Some Are Valued At More Than $25,000

Things That Matter

Bricks Of Cocaine Have Been Washing Up On Florida Beaches And Some Are Valued At More Than $25,000

Melbourne Police Department / Facebook

Florida is gonna Florida. Florida, as usual, is doing the most. Hurricane Dorian has unearthed more than a dozen bricks of cocaine by causing them to wash up on beaches. Hurricane Dorian isn’t a joke nor should it be trivialized. It’s the cause of damage and displacement for thousands of people. 

Beginning as a Category 5 hurricane and eventually downgrading to a Category 2, Dorian has wreaked havoc in the Bahamas, Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida as it continues its move northeast. At least 20 have been killed in the Bahamas, which has been hit particularly hard. The prime minister, Hubert Minnis said Dorian “has left generational devastation across Abaco and Grand Bahama” after it destroyed harbors, shops, offices, hospitals, and airport landing strips. 

So let’s be clear, we’re not undermining the very real disaster whose devastation won’t even be quantifiable for years to come — we’re making fun of Florida. Florida, a state whose crimes are so bizarre and confusing it has a dedicated Twitter account. A state whose men are so bizarre and confusing there is a dedicated “Florida Man” meme. There is a Bored Panda listicle entitled “60 Times Florida Man Did Something So Crazy We Had To Read The Headings Twice.” 

Florida isn’t a regular place, you see, it is a place where the oceans are filled with cocaine. 

15 bricks of cocaine washed ashore. 

A duffel bag containing 15 bricks of cocaine weighing a kilo each turned up on the shore of Cocoa Beach in Florida.

Just 20 miles south, another brick of cocaine was discovered at Paradise Beach and Park in Melbourne, Florida. 

“It happened before the storm, it was on Friday, Aug. 30, it was just a beachgoer that saw a red travel duffel bag that looked suspicious,” Sergeant Manny Hernandez of Cocoa Beach Police Department told Fox Business. 

“So they contacted the Cocoa Beach Police Department and when officers responded, they took the bag and brought it back to station. We then contacted the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”

This particular brick also weighed a kilo and had the letters “D-I-A-M-A-N-T” written on the package. The NY Post estimatesthe 15 bricks to be worth at least $300,000. However Fox Business reports that the two seizures may total around $810,000 and estimate that each brick is between $20,000 and $30,000.

This happens in Florida all the time, of course.

Bricks of cocaine and marijuana, known as square groupers, have been known to surface in Florida waters. Brevard’s coast has had unintended spills from cargo ships and vessels where coffee cans and other items have been dumped into the ocean. According to Florida Today, it is the rough surf and proximity of the Gulf Stream that causes either “trash or treasure” to wash up frequently. 

“There is a possibility that more will come onshore,” Hernandez said. “Especially now with these conditions. It could be coming from anywhere. We’re telling people to be cautious and not to grab or handle it because if there is an opening, it can go into your pores and you can overdose.”

Why is there so much cocaine in Florida, though?

In 2017,the Sun-Sentinel reported cocaine is making a “roaring” comeback in Florida.  Reportedly, Colombian cocaine production hit a record high with traffickers proliferating the drug in South Florida. Around 90% of the cocaine in the United States can be traced back to Colombia, which has tripled its production in recent years. 

Florida’s Customs and Borders confiscated 4,200 pounds of cocaine in 2016, compared to 1,730 pounds in 2015. Because there is a lag between drug production and distribuion it can take years to see the effects. Flash forward to 2019 where bricks of cocaine are free-flowing on the shores of Cocoa Beach. 

“We’ve never seen cocaine production at these numbers, which tells you there is more cocaine being produced now than at the height of the Medellin and Cali cartels,” Justin Miller, intelligence chief for the DEA’s Miami field division, told the Sun-Sentinel. “That’s significant.”

The increase in production is largely due to the Colombian government ceasing to aerial spray herbicides over coca fields used to make cocaine. The previous method was effective in thwarting cocaine production, but it harmed legitimate crops. Thus, the program ended. 

Don’t do cocaine, kids.

Don’t do cocaine, kids. That’s fairly good advice, I think! It’s nice to know that in the most trying times, Florida will always be Florida. Much like the spinning top was Leonardo Dicaprio’s constant in Inception. Florida is mine because I know it will never change.