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girl scouts, gun violence

Amerie Jo Garza was one of 19 schoolchildren killed by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Fellow Americans, it's long past time to take a good, hard look in the mirror.

The fact that we just had yet another horrific school shooting, with 19 children and two teachers being massacred in their classrooms by a guy with military-style guns that he easily and legally obtained, is maddening. The fact that we've seen this same story play out in schools across the country over and over and over again is enraging. The fact that too many of our lawmakers refuse to take any legislative action whatsoever to try to curb the constant carnage, completely ignoring the vast amounts of data that show gun laws do work to reduce gun violence, is disgusting.

Sandy Hook should have been enough. Parkland should have been enough. Columbine should have been enough. Every single school shooting should have been the end of it. But here we are.

As the individual stories of the children killed at Robb Elementary School come to light, we can't turn away. We must bear witness to what they experienced, to the terror they and their surviving classmates endured, to the anguish and heartbreak of their loved ones.

But as we do that, let's not embrace "brave hero" narratives for these children the way we do with soldiers on the battlefield. Please. Let's just not.


The Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas posted a tribute to Uvalde fourth grader Amerie Jo Garza on Twitter, sharing that the organization had posthumously bestowed upon the slain 10-year-old the Bronze Cross, one of the highest honors in the Girl Scouts, and it was like a punch right in the gut. I'm not sure if I've ever seen anything so well-intentioned feel so dark.

"The Bronze Cross is awarded for saving or attempting to save life at the risk of the Girl Scout’s own life," the tweet thread read. "On May 24, Amerie did all she could to save the lives of her classmates and teachers. It was our honor as Amerie’s council to present the Bronze Cross to her family, and Girl Scouts will continue to pay tribute at her funeral services today with a Presentation of Colors."

"We will carry her story with us always and ensure her brave actions will endure for generations," they wrote.

I'm sorry, what fresh hell dystopian reality did I just fall into? As a parent, I cannot even begin to fathom how I would process being handed a Girl Scout honor for my daughter for her bravery during a school shooting. Only in America, right?

To be clear, I'm not faulting the Girl Scouts for doing something to honor Amerie Jo Garza. She was a Girl Scout. To say nothing and do nothing would be wrong. But this also feels wrong. Everything about this situation feels wrong, because it is wrong.

The Girls Scouts shouldn't have felt the need to posthumously awarded Amerie a Bronze Cross, because they shouldn't have had to figure out what to do in light of her death, because she shouldn't have had to try to save her classmates before being shot to death in her classroom, because the 18-year-old who murdered her should never have been able to obtain two AR-15 rifles and 1,657 rounds of ammunition. It simply shouldn't have happened. Period.

The Uvalde gunman had more ammunition than soldiers carry into war. Let that sit for a second. There is zero—absolutely zero—reason for any civilian to have access to that much killing power.

And the result of our insistence on repeatedly doing nothing about this reality is that we talk about fourth graders—who should be doing fractions, not hiding from gunfire in their classrooms—with the same heroic language we use for soldiers who make the ultimate sacrifice. It's unbelievably disturbing.

This is it, America. This is the bottom. And it's not like we just got here. We've been dragging ourselves along the bottom for decades now. Are we going to stay there or are we going to finally snap out of our delusion that our country's gun culture equals safety and freedom? Because all signs point to that being a complete and total myth.

When our kids and teachers can't go to school without worrying about being gunned down at their desks, it's clear that we are not free. When little Amerie Jo Garza's parents are handed a Bronze Cross for their 10-year-old's brave actions in a school massacre—when there were armed and trained officials at the scene—it's clear that we are not made safer by guns.

Enough is enough, and enough came and went a long time ago. Our lawmakers need to borrow a backbone and pass the gun legislation most Americans agree on before our kids start earning scout badges for successfully surviving a mass shooting.

Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Photo by Pixabay/Pexels

Train tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp.

Kanye West (who has legally changed his name to Ye) has been making headlines—again—not only for his bizarre public behavior, but for blatantly antisemitic remarks he made in recent interviews.

There's no question that Ye's comments praising Hitler and Nazis and denying that 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust are hurtful and dangerous. There's no question that bad actors are using Ye's antisemitic comments to push their white nationalist agenda. The question is whether Ye fans would allow their admiration of his musical talents—or whatever else they like about him—to overshadow the fact that he is now regularly spewing pro-Nazi rhetoric to millions of people.

In at least one corner of the internet, fans are responding in what may be the most effective and meaningful way possible—by countering Ye's commentary with a deluge of Holocaust education and remembrance.

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Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Pop Culture

'Princess Bride' star Mandy Patinkin shared a moving detail about the film with a grieving woman

Two souls connecting over the loss of their fathers. (Phew, grab a tissue for this one, folks.)

via Mandy Patinkin / TikTok

This story originally appeared on 08.25.21


There was an emotional exchange on TikTok between two people who lost their fathers to cancer. One was actor Mandy Patinkin, the other was TikTok user Amanda Webb.

Patinkin currently stars on "The Good Fight" but one of his most famous roles is Inigo Montoya in the 1987 classic "The Princess Bride." In the film, Montoya is a swordsman who is obsessed with confronting a six-fingered man who killed his father.

Webb recently lost her father Dan to mantle cell lymphoma. She had heard a rumor that Patinkin used his father's death from cancer as motivation in a pivotal scene where he confronts the six-fingered Count Rugen (Christopher Guest) in a duel.

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