Things That Matter

From School Shootings To Change: Here’s What’s Happened Since The Tragic Shooting In Parkland, Florida

It’s been over a year since the Valentines Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Despite the tragic loss of life during the shooting, there has been little progress in the U.S. to prevent more mass shootings. In fact, there were 304 shootings in the U.S. in all of 2018 killing 373 people and wounding 1347 people.

Politicians and the NRA have fought against gun measures that would preserve life moving forward. However, a handful of teenagers from Florida have led a charge that is changing the landscape of those in power and the fate of gun laws in the U.S.

Within days of the traumatic incident, students at Parkland spoke out in a way we haven’t seen before.

CREDIT: @bjoewolf / Twitter

During a time when school shootings have become the new normal, these students didn’t capture America’s attention simply because they were traumatized and horrified by the deaths of their classmates.

They called BS on “thoughts and prayers.” They were angry, and they had every right to be. Seventeen of their classmates died and politicians seemed eager to brush it under the rug.

People from around the United States flooded Washington in the days after the shooting in protest.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. UPI. 16 August 2018.

What most people don’t know is that countless schools around the country held both planned and spontaneous walkouts. One week after the shooting, West Boca High School students spontaneously ran from the moment of silence and walked 12 miles to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in solidarity.

Emma Gonzalez emerged as the face of the gun reform movement.

CREDIT: @HillaryWarnedUs / Twitter

Her face has been wholly unwelcomed by the Trump administration. One Republican nominee even stooped so low as to call this teen survivor a homophobic slur. That hasn’t stopped her.

Her and other students formed a non-profit called “March for Our Lives” and their main goal is to get America to vote out legislators who receive donations from the NRA. Genioso.

Unfortunately, young people are still dying across the country.

CREDIT: FOX News

Just ten days after Parkland, a gunman opened fire on a young woman at Savannah State University. The victim, Kaleel Clarke, died.

Ten people died in a shooting at Santa Fe High School May 18, 2018.

CREDIT: @JosephSakran / Twitter

A 17-year-old opened fire using his father’s legally owned guns, along with explosive devices found at the school. Ten people died, and ten people were injured.

“I’m scared to even go back,” one student told ABC News. “It’s just not something that you should feel throughout the day, being scared. Especially somewhere where we say the Pledge of Allegiance.”

One 17-year old girl died at Huffman High School on March 7, 2018.

CREDIT: @GovernorKayIvey / Twitter

This was an “accidental shooting,” which is something students wouldn’t have to be afraid of if every school was a gun-free zone. Courtlin Arrington was a college-accepted senior who planned to become a nurse.

Central Michigan University shut down after a student fatally shot his mother and father in a dorm room on March 2, 2018.

CREDIT: @MooSquidSyd / Twitter

The students woke up to an announcement to find shelter and barricade doors until further notice. This is protocol. This is not normal.

On March 20, a student opened fire at Great Mills High School, Maryland, injuring one and killing another.

CREDIT: “PHOTO: Crime scene tape is used around Great Mills High School after a shooting on March 20, 2018, in Great Mills, Md.” Digital Image. ABC News. 16 August 2018.

The student, Austin Rollins, shot himself in the head when confronting a police officer. Jaelynn Willey died a week after the shooting. She had recently broken up with Rollins.

The father of two Parkland survivors was fatally shot during a robbery.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. NPR. 16 August 2018.

Ayub Ali owned a corner shop in North Lauderdale when a man held Ali at gunpoint while he emptied the register. He left with the money, but then mysteriously returned just to shoot Ali.

His family is once again struck with the grief of senseless, preventable violence.

Parkland survivors have taken to the White House to fight for their lives.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. UPI. 16 August 2018.

A week after the shooting, Trump held a “listening session,” where Trump promised to pass laws for stricter background checks, and entertained the idea of arming teachers with guns.

Then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a $400 million reform bill that includes a ban on bump stocks.

CREDIT: March For Our Lives

Their efforts are working. Included in the bill is a three-day waiting period on all firearm purchases, and an increase in the purchasing age of rifles from 18 to 21 years old.

Far more action has been taken at a city level.

CREDIT: @Emma4Change / Twitter

Thanks to the Parkland survivors, Colombine survivors now have a new platform to speak up. School districts all over Florida have voted to ban teachers from carrying firearms in schools, in direct protest of Trump’s plan to arm teachers.

On a federal level, the Department of Justice is now considering a ban on bump stocks.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. UPI. 16 August 2018.

Meanwhile, the House passed a measure that trains students, teachers and law enforcement on how to detect threats of gun violence and how to go about reporting it.

March for Our Lives has published every legislator who has taken money from the National Rifle Association (NRA), and are holding them accountable.

CREDIT: @BillyCorben / Twitter

While the NRA received an increase in donations after the Parkland shooting, they are struggling now. It seems that they’re not able to buy out politicians quite as easily because voting Americans are paying attention.

In fact, the fallout from companies has been even more significant than from our government representatives.

CREDIT: @Shopify / Twitter

Shopify Inc., the online platform for hundreds of thousands of businesses around the world, has banned the sale of semi-automatic firearms (like AR-15s, bump stocks, and silencers) and 3D-printed guns.

“Solely deferring to the law, in this age of political gridlock, is too idealistic and functionally unworkable on the fast-moving internet,” CEO Tobi Lutke wrote in his own post.

Meanwhile, Delta lost a $38 million tax break for disassociating from the NRA.

CREDIT: @wilxTV / Twitter

In a memo to the company, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Balstian commented, “Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale.”

The fact that companies are setting the moral precedent shows how broken our legislative system is.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. UPI. 16 August 2018.

Partisanship is dividing our country. Marco Rubio is one of the few Republicans to first speak out after the Parkland shooting in support of the students. That said, when asked point blank by a Parkland student if he would continue accepting money from the NRA, Rubio stood his ground. He will continue to accept money from the NRA.

This summer, March for Our Lives went on a “Road to Change,” ending in Newtown.

CREDIT: @Emma4Change / Twitter
Parkland survivors went on a bus tour to get as many young people educated and registered to vote this November. Until 2018, young voters were missing at the polls. This year, they’re leading the nation into a safer future.

READ: Students Staged A National Walk Out For Gun Reform On The 19th Anniversary Of The Columbine Shooting

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Last week, Mexican feminist activists took over the National Human Rights Commissions federal building in a move to bring greater awareness to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide that has racked Mexico for decades.

According to the federal Interior Secretariat, the statistics in Mexico have recently taken a turn for the worse.

Domestic violence against women has became an even more acute problem since the pandemic has forced women to stay insider with their abusers. Emergency distress calls reporting domestic violence have risen by 50%.

The occupation of the Human Rights building is just another chapter in the saga of the “Ni Una Menos” (Not One More Woman) movement, an anti-femicide collective born in Argentina that has steadily been gaining steam in Mexico since 2019.

In recent years, anti-femicide demonstrations have been sparked by various heinous crimes against women or girls that have been largely overlooked by law enforcement officials. 

Photo by Marcos Brindicci/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the government of Mexico has appeared to be apathetic to the wave of femicide that is overwhelming the women of their country.

Recently, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was asked to address Mexico’s gender violence epidemic, he demurred, stating that he didn’t “want femicide to detract” from the raffle his administration was holding for the sale of the presidential airplane.

As for the feminist activists at the heart of Ni Una Menos and the federal building occupation, the government’s failure to respond to anti-woman violence is the primary fuel for their anger. 

“We’re here so that the whole world will know that in Mexico they kill women and nobody does anything about it,” said Yesenia Zamudio to the LA Times. According to Zamudio, she is still seeking justice for the murder of her 19-year-old daughter four years ago.

The women of Mexico appear to be fed up, grasping at any and all tactics that have the potential to incite change on a grander scale.

Their tactics may seem dramatic to some, but it’s undeniable that they are no longer being ignored. As of now, the radical activists are pulling attention-grabbing stunts like decorating a portrait of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco Madero with lipstick and purple hair.

They’re also making headlines for vandalizing the federal building’s walls and splashing paint on the doors of the presidential palace.

One thing is for sure: something has to change. Otherwise, thousands of innocent women and girls will continue to be raped, abused, and murdered while their perpetrators escape with immunity. 

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Chip Somodevilla / Gettycc

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he has officially picked his running mate.

In a history-making announcement, Biden revealed that he had tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his VP Pick.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden announced in a tweet.

On Wednesday, Biden held his first campaign event alongside running mate Kamala Harris in Delaware.

During their speeches, the two candidates wore masks and kept their distance in keeping with COVID-19 standards.

Speaking about his VP pick, Biden described Harris as coming from an “America’s story.” Biden described Harris as “a child of immigrants” who “knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian-American in the United States of America,” he explained. “And this morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls that feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today — today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as president and vice presidents.”

In a speech of her own, Harris emphasized the importance of family and urged citizens to vote.  “We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” she said. “Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot. And it’s true,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”

Harris’s nomination makes her the first Black and first Indian-American woman on either major party’s presidential ticket.

Harris is a former prosecutor from California who challenged Biden in her own presidential bid last year. Her nomination makes her the fourth woman to appear on a major presidential ballot. Before her, Geraldine Ferraro ran as a Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin ran as a vice presidential nominee, later in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden’s choice was one that has long been in the works. In March of this year, he revealed that he would make a point to have a woman as his running mate and in July he announced that he had narrowed his picks down to four Black women.

Kamala Harris was elected to Congress in 2016.

This has been Harris’ first term as a senator. Before, she served as the California attorney general. During her time as AG, Harris formed a lasting friendship with Biden’s late son Beau who was attorney general at the time in Delaware. Writing about Beau’s death, in her memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris recalled that “there were periods when I was taking the heat when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” she wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”

Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. Harris attended his funeral.

During his announcement, Biden mentioned Harris’ friendship with his son.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

So far, it seems there are quite a bit of Harris x Biden supporters.

Fans were quick to give their support and applaud her candidacy.

In a tweet acknowledging her nomination, Harris wrote “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

Here’s to 2020 y’all. Get ready to make history.

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