A U.S. senator's filibuster helped nudge the government toward action on gun control.

At 11:21 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, Sen. Chris Murphy took the floor of the Senate, vowing not to leave until his colleagues agreed to take action on gun control.

For nearly 15 hours, Murphy — with the help of more than 30 other senators — delivered a series of speeches in hopes of getting the Senate to take action on two amendments. The first amendment would require background checks for guns purchased online or at gun shows and the second would be on whether or not to prevent people on the "no fly" terror watch list from buying guns.

It was a long shot, but after the massacre in Orlando, Murphy wasn't about to sit idly by.


Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images.

The filibuster's most powerful moment came at its closing when Murphy shared the story of Dylan Hockley, a 6-year-old who was killed during the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.

Dylan was one of 20 students who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, 2012. Dylan's teacher Anne Marie Murphy (no relation to the senator) died trying to shield the child from gunfire.

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images.

Sen. Murphy challenged his colleagues to follow in the footsteps of Dylan's brave teacher.

"Anne Marie Murphy made the most courageous decision that anyone could imagine," said Senator Murphy. "Instead of running, instead of hiding, instead of panicking, Anne Marie Murphy found Dylan Hockley and embraced him. Know why we know that? When the police entered the classroom, that’s how they found Dylan Hockley. Dead. Wrapped in the embrace of Anne Marie Murphy."

"It doesn’t take courage to stand here on the floor of the United States Senate for two hours or six hours or 14 hours. It doesn’t take courage to stand up to the gun lobby when 90% of your constituents want change to happen. It takes courage to look into the eye of a shooter and instead of running, wrapping your arms around a 6-year-old boy and accepting death as a trade for just a tiny little bitty piece of increased peace of mind for a little boy under your charge."

GIF via C-SPAN.

By night's end, Murphy got what he wanted: assurance that the Senate would hold votes on the amendments.

It's doubtful either will pass, but getting these amendments to the floor for an up or down vote is a strong start. The NRA stands in opposition to both amendments. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, however, supports banning members of the terrorist watch list and says he plans to speak with the gun advocacy group.

We need to fight against the impulse to by cynical. We need to believe that change can happen.

It's a huge and welcome relief to see Murphy and his colleagues in the Senate working to make that change happen.

Orlando, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Fort Hood, San Bernardino, Aurora — the list of preventable gun tragedies goes on. It's easy to feel cynical, to lose hope for change. After all, the country didn't take any meaningful action on gun control after 20 children were gunned down in Newtown.

But on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, Chris Murphy showed that while sweeping change might still be a ways off, change is possible.

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

via Brittany Kinley / Facebook

Brittany Kinley, a mother from Mansfield, Texas, had a hilarious mom fail her and she's chalking it up to being just another crazy thing that happened in 2020.

When Kinley filled out the order form for her son Mason's kindergarten class pictures, there was an option to have his name engraved into the photos. But Kinley wasn't interested in having her son's name on the photos so she wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" on the box.

Well, it appears as though she should have left the box blank because the computer or incredibly literal human that designed the photographs wrote "I DON'T WANT THIS" where mason's name should be.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.

Marcos Alberti's "3 Glasses" project began with a joke and a few drinks with his friends.

The photo project originally depicted Alberti's friends drinking, first immediately after work and then after one, two, and three glasses of wine.

But after Imgur user minabear circulated the story, "3 Glasses" became more than just a joke. In fact, it went viral, garnering more than 1 million views and nearly 1,800 comments in its first week. So Alberti started taking more pictures and not just of his friends.

Keep Reading Show less
via UDOT / Facebook

In December 2018, The Utah Department of Transportation opened the largest wildlife overpass in the state, spanning 320 by 50 feet across all six lanes of Interstate 80.

Its construction was intended to make traveling through the I-80 corridor in Summit County safer for motorists and the local wildlife.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that there were over 100 animal incidents on the interstate since 2016, giving the stretch of highway the unfortunate nickname of "Slaughter Row."

Keep Reading Show less