Democracy

David Spain, MD, Chief of Trauma at Stanford Health Care teaching 17-year-old Sequoia High School student Alex Rojo how to stop bleeds on mannequin

I was teaching in a public high school classroom the day that two heavily armed students walked into Columbine High School in Colorado and shot 36 people, killing 15 of them. My students and I watched in horror as aerial news footage showed blood-splattered students fleeing the building. I looked around at the 15 and 16-year-olds under my supervision, watching a piece of their innocence shatter.

The thought of preparing for such terror ourselves didn't cross our minds, though. It was a terrible tragedy, but it was a fluke. A one-off. An anomaly.

Then came Red Lake, Virginia Tech, Marysville, Umpqua, Sandy Hook, Parkland, Santa Fe, and more.

"School shootings" have become a thing—a distinctly American phenomenon. After every single one, the U.S. has exploded into debates over guns and rights and what should be done. And after every single one—even after 20 six- and seven-year-olds were shot to death in their classrooms—federal gun legislation has never gotten off the ground.

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Democracy

Americans seem to have a seriously hard time not messing with freedom when it comes to the national anthem—as well as some super inconsistent definitions of patriotism.

Case in point: A Montana man has been arrested for felony assault after slamming a 13-year-old to the ground during the national anthem prior to a rodeo. The boy was wearing a baseball cap and refused to take it off when Curt James Brockway, 39, asked him to.

The boy swore at Brockway in response, and then the military veteran grabbed the boy the neck and slammed him into the ground. His injuries were so serious he had to be airlifted to a hospital two states away.

After the assault, Brockway insisted to the people at the scene that he had done the right thing because the boy was disrespecting the anthem.

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Democracy
via Lauren Book for State Senate

Earlier this year, the country saw a veritable tidal wave of abortion bans. Nine states, including Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, and Missouri, all passed new laws that only allow abortions early in pregnancy while some don't allow the procedure at all. These laws were largely decided by men. If more women had been involved in the voting, things might have gone differently, which is why one Florida state senator wants to prevent voting on abortion bans until at least half of the legislature is actually physically capable of getting pregnant.

State Sen. Lauren Book filed SB60, a bill that would allow Floridians to vote on a constitutional amendment that prevents the state legislature from voting on abortion bans unless half of the legislative body is female. "No vote about us without us," Book told the Tallahassee Democrat.

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Democracy
NDU Audio Visual / Flickr

Last May at a rally in Florida, President Trump asked the crowd how to deal with immigrants illegally crossing the U.S. border.

"How do you stop these people?" he asked.

"Shoot them!" one man shouted.

The crowd responded with a wicked laugh and Trump didn't even bother to denounce the man in the audience. Instead, he replied with humor. "That's only in the Panhandle you can get away with that stuff," he said. "Only in the Panhandle."

Trump has said that unauthorized migrants "pour into and infest" the United States. "You look at what is marching up, that is an invasion!" he declared at one rally. "That is an invasion!"

On Saturday morning, a 21-year-old man murdered 21 people in the border town of El Paso, Texas at a Walmart. Before the shooting rampage, he wrote a manifesto decrying an "invasion" of immigrants. He also stated that his anti-immigrant sentiments "predate Trump."

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Democracy