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Democracy

Democracy

More than seven thousand people shared their best ideas to stop mass shootings. Here are the best.

Everyone agrees mass shootings need to end. But what can really be done?

A makeshift memorial after the 2019 El Paso mass shooting.

As of January 24, 2023, at least 69 people have been killed in 39 mass shootings across the United States . The deadliest shooting happened on January 21 in Monterey Park, California, when a 72-year-old man shot 20 people, killing 11. On January 23, a 66-year-old man killed 7 people and injured another in a shooting in Half Moon Bay, California.

It’s hard to see these stories in the news every few weeks—or days—and not get desensitized, especially when lawmakers have made it clear that they will not do anything substantive to curb the availability of assault weapons in the U.S.

After the assault weapons ban, which had been in effect for 10 years, lapsed in 2004, the number of mass shootings tripled.

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Joe Biden's kickoff rally for his 2020 presidential campaign and a gas stove burner.

When politicians find an issue that affects the average person, it’s an easy way to gain leverage over their opponents. They’re called “kitchen table” issues and the Republicans have found a great one with the “gas stove ban.” Conservative lawmakers are claiming that the Biden administration wants to ban gas ovens and stoves.

Heck, it’s not just a figurative kitchen table issue, it’s a problem that’s in voters’ kitchens. The problem for Republicans is that no one wants to take away anyone’s kitchen stove.

The kerfuffle began on January 9 when Richard L. Trumka Jr. of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission told Bloomberg that a ban “was on the table” for gas stoves. "Products that can't be made safe can be banned," Trumka added.

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Democracy

Congressman wears his 4-month-old son during historic vote on the House floor

Bringing your baby to work can be a challenge, whether you work from home, in an office or in Congress.

Congressman wears 4-month-old son during vote.

In 2020, most parents got a crash course on bringing their kid to work, when work was suddenly at the kitchen table. Overnight, the roles of work and parenting collided, notwithstanding that for some parents this is the norm due to high child care costs or other life circumstances. Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., is making sure that families don't get lost in the shuffle in the U.S. House.

The congressman's family came into Washington, D.C., from California to watch him get sworn in on January 3. But when things took a bit longer due to the prolonged speaker vote, Gomez felt it was important for his son to be on the floor with him when he cast his historic vote for Hakeem Jeffries. Jeffries will be the first Black minority leader in the House.

Bringing your baby to work can be a challenge, whether you work from home, in an office or in Congress. Babies may be little bundles of joy but if you miss their feeding time they become hungry bundles of anger. And Gomez's 4-month-old son, Hodge, was on a strict feeding schedule so he knew things could get a bit more complicated. It didn't discourage his decision.

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New Zealand prime minister's hot mic insult helped raise $100,000.

Not every moment is our best and sometimes those not-so-great moments are caught on tape or, in Jacinda Ardern's case, over a hot mic. Ardern is the prime minister of New Zealand and recently, during a parliamentary debate, she was feeling a bit frustrated with a colleague, ACT leader David Seymour. During the exchange, Ardern turned to her deputy and muttered "arrogant prick," referencing Seymour, who was apparently on the prime minister's last nerve.

The problem was, her mic was still on and picked up the hushed insult so others could hear. Probably not her proudest moment but, to be fair, they were discussing really heavy stuff like hate-speech and immigration. She didn't let the comment hang in the air, according to RNZ. Seymour told reporters that the prime minister texted him shortly afterward to apologize.

Later, the two were photographed holding a framed copy of the parliamentary debate where the insult was hurled. Turns out they've used the moment to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation by allowing people to bid on the framed debate via Trade Me.

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