Asking people not to make Las Vegas 'political' means accepting this nightmare reality.

Sorry, people, we need to politicize this one.

Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

On Oct. 1, a gunman reportedly opened fire from a hotel window, killing dozens at a country music concert in Las Vegas.


The massacre was shocking because of its size — at least 58 dead and 400 injured — but, truthfully, not surprising. According to Mass Shooting Tracker, there have already been 338 mass shootings in 2017 — a rate of more than one per day. The Las Vegas attack wasn't even the only entry on Sunday.

Predictably, gun company lobbyists are already storming the barricades, urging concerned citizens not to read too much into it. Early Monday morning, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch posted on Twitter to ask outraged gun control advocates to "temper [their] desire for politics while the facts come in."

Indeed, skepticism is always warranted, prudence is wise, patience is a virtue, etc., etc., etc. On another context-free, history-free planet, Loesch might have a point. But we've been here before.

Too many times.

"Thoughts and prayers" aren't gonna cut it. We need action.

By sheer macabre coincidence, the United States Congress is currently considering a bill that would lift restrictions on purchasing gun silencers.

The legislation, introduced by South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan, ends the nine-month waiting period currently required to purchase "sound suppressors" and eliminates a measure requiring buyers to submit fingerprints and a photo. Given the news out of Las Vegas, the timing could not be worse, though with a mass shooting taking place at the rate of roughly once a day, it would almost be weirder if one didn't occur while the bill was being considered.

While the bill's supporters characterize it as designed to help hunters and target-shooters prevent hearing loss, it doesn't take an expert to realize that, in the wrong hands, the result could be deadly. After all, it's harder to save oneself from a mass shooting (or for law enforcement to find the shooter) if it's harder to hear that one is taking place. In an opinion piece for USA Today, Virginia Tech massacre survivor Jeff Twigg railed against the bill, insisting that he only managed to escape because he heard loud gunshots.

Not politicizing mass shootings like Las Vegas does serve a political end — it helps gun rights absolutists slip measures like this by.

The silencer bill is proceeding with the full support of the firearm industry, which is looking for new revenue streams after suffering a post-Obama reported decline in sales. They know it's political, and they're making it so. They're counting on the vast majority of Americans who support tighter gun laws shrugging, praying, and moving on.

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Proponents of the measure might point to the fact the Las Vegas shooter likely used an automatic weapon and that fully automatic weapons made after 1986 are already illegal to own. Or that the guy probably didn't use a silencer. Yes, there are all sorts of reasons why stopping this specific bill would not have prevented this specific shooting. Or the last specific shooting. Or the one before that or the one before that.

But no mass shooting looks exactly like the one before it.

Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen used a (legally obtained) semi-automatic rifle and pistol to kill 49 and wound dozens more. Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho also purchased his pistols legally. Christopher Dorner, who killed four colleagues and their family members in a span of just over a week in 2013, used a silencer to avoid detection for days.

Lax, patchy gun laws make loopholes easier to find and exploit. While the silencer bill may not map 1:1 onto the next act of mass killing, it does provide potential killers another deadly option.

Mass shootings aren't inevitable.

They are the result of choices we — and our government — make. It's not a coincidence that countries with stricter gun laws have far fewer of them.

In order to stop the next one, we can't just hope and think and pray. We have to actually try. Stopping the silencer bill is a place to start.

The Las Vegas shooting was evil. It was also political.

Politicize it.

Correction 10/3/17: An earlier version of this piece identified the main author of the "silencer" bill as California Rep. Duncan Hunter. The bill was introduced by South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

The Hill/Twitter

It was a mere three weeks ago that President Biden announced that the U.S. would have enough vaccine supply to cover every adult American by the end of July. At the time, that was good news.

Today, he's bumped up that date by two full months.

That's great news.

In his announcement to the nation, Biden outlined the updated process for getting the country immunized against COVID-19.


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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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via ABC News

Julia Tinetti, 31, and Cassandra Madison, 32, first met in 2013 while working at The Russian Lady, a bar in New Haven, Connecticut, and the two immediately hit it off.

"We started hanging out together. We went out for drinks, dinner," Julia told "Good Morning America." "I thought she was cool. We hit it off right away," added Cassandra

The two also shared a strong physical resemblance and matching tattoos of the flag of the Dominican Republic. They had a bond that was so unique, even their coworkers thought there must be something more happening.

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