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A Sandy Hook mom's emotional response to Las Vegas puts mass shootings in context.

Nelba Márquez-Greene lost her daughter nearly five years ago.

Nelba Márquez-Greene knows what it's like to lose a loved one in a mass shooting. On Dec. 14, 2012, her 6-year-old daughter Ana Márquez-Greene was shot and killed during the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Ever since, Márquez-Greene and her husband, Jimmy Greene, have been tireless advocates for gun safety. They've called on Congress to take action to mitigate future mass shootings — only to have their concerns brushed off. Time and again, they've watched Congress stand idly by each time a mass shooting took place.


Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene at a news conference in 2013. Photo by Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images.

Waking up to news of the Las Vegas shooting that left at least 50 dead and hundreds injured, Márquez-Greene shared on Twitter what the families of the victims are going through.

Nearing the fifth anniversary of her daughter's murder, Márquez-Greene gave her followers a glimpse into what the worst day of her life was like. There is nothing that prepares you to lose a loved one in such a senseless (yet preventable) act of brutality. Márquez-Greene's words help put the entire ordeal in context for the rest of us.

"I don't know what to say besides this is on every congressperson who said in '13: There is simply nothing we could do," she tweeted. "You don’t recover from this — as a mother, brother, father. You manage. But there is no recovery. I am heartbroken."

"Today you got 50+ new reasons I take a knee. My heart, my prayers, my ACTIONS are with the victim families."

She slammed Congress for "the level of trauma" citizens are forced to endure in the wake of a mass shooting, when legislators fail to enact laws that would protect citizens from gun violence.

"As a mom who had to bury a child — I could care less about perp color. But how come we never talk about angry White men w/guns?" she chided. "How come we only want to talk when it fits our own narrative?"

"Help mothers keep children safe from gunviolence," she pleaded, calling out people who allow the shooter's skin color or religious beliefs to be the determining factor in whether or not they decide to take action — as well as those who prioritize "fake acts of patriotism over people, pain & real acts of courage."

"I just don't want any more moms to live like I do," she said, calling attention to the kind of gun violence we don't talk nearly enough about: the everyday shooting deaths that happen all around the country.

"I know so many mothers navigating this world of grief and trauma blindly because their kids died in urban centers & there is no sympathy," she tweeted. "Gun violence and grief hurt in EVERY zip code. In every color. Grieving mothers need your help."

Perhaps the most powerful message, however, was the final tweet of the group, which showed 6-year-old Ana, full of life, cheerfully singing along at a piano, along with a message for Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama: "As a final thought & reminder to @MooreSenate & congress, this is the little girl u said I should’ve prayed 'harder' for."

Every time there's a mass shooting and Congress chooses not to act, they dishonor all the victims who have come before.

Senator Chris Murphy (Democrat-Connecticut) was a member of the House of Representatives when the Sandy Hook shooting occurred, representing Newtown. He's been one of the biggest proponents of gun safety measures in years' past, even once speaking for nearly 15 hours on the Senate floor to push for action.

Following the Las Vegas shooting, his office released a statement. It reads, in part:

"This must stop. It is positively infuriating that my colleagues in Congress are so afraid of the gun industry that they pretend there aren't public policy responses to this epidemic. There are, and the thoughts and prayers of politicians are cruelly hollow if they are paired with continued legislative indifference. It's time for Congress to get off its ass and do something."

For grieving parents like Márquez-Green, for victims like little Ana, and for all of us who deserve to live in a country free from fear of being gunned down in a mass shooting, let's hope they do.

Jimmy Greene and Nelba Márquez-Greene embrace after a news conference in 2013. Photo by Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images.

Moricz was banned from speaking up about LGBTQ topics. He found a brilliant workaround.

Senior class president Zander Moricz was given a fair warning: If he used his graduation speech to criticize the “Don’t Say Gay” law, then his microphone would be shut off immediately.

Moricz had been receiving a lot of attention for his LGBTQ activism prior to the ceremony. Moricz, an openly gay student at Pine View School for the Gifted in Florida, also organized student walkouts in protest and is the youngest public plaintiff in the state suing over the law formally known as the Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in grades K-3.

Though well beyond third grade, Moricz nevertheless was also banned from speaking up about the law, gender or sexuality. The 18-year-old tweeted, “I am the first openly-gay Class President in my school’s history–this censorship seems to show that they want me to be the last.”

However, during his speech, Moricz still delivered a powerful message about identity. Even if he did have to use a clever metaphor to do it.

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Matthew McConaughey in 2019.

Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey made a heartfelt plea for Americans to “do better” on Tuesday after a gunman murdered 19 children and 2 adults at Robb Elementary School in his hometown of Uvalde, Texas.

Uvalde is a small town of about 16,000 residents approximately 85 miles west of San Antonio. The actor grew up in Uvalde until he was 11 years old when his family moved to Longview, 430 miles away.

The suspected murderer, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, was killed by law enforcement at the scene of the crime. Before the rampage, Ramos allegedly shot his grandmother after a disagreement.

“As you all are aware there was another mass shooting today, this time in my home town of Uvalde, Texas,” McConaughey wrote in a statement shared on Twitter. “Once again, we have tragically proven that we are failing to be responsible for the rights our freedoms grant us.”

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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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