Hours after a mass shooting, this is what candidates had to say about gun control.

It was around 5 p.m. CST on Thursday, Feb. 25, when an employee at a Kansas lawn care factory opened fire on his colleagues.

As always, there has been plenty of speculation about this man's motives and the past indications of his violent potential. But none of those details change the fact that he used a semi-automatic rifle to murder four people and injure 14 more, 10 of whom were put in critical condition.

This was the 49th time in 54 days that an armed American citizen has shot four or more people in a single assault.


Less than three hours later, the 10th Republican presidential debate kicked off in Houston, Texas.

Gun control is clearly a hot-button topic in America. So what did the candidates have to say about this most recent tragedy?

Oh, whoops, sorry: That was Carson talking about how he would select a new Supreme Court justice. (Though I'm still not sure exactly what that means?)

Wait, I messed up. That was Rubio smack-talkin' Apple for refusing to comply the FBI. My bad.

And that was also about the standoff between Apple and the FBI. Or maybe about Kasich's bathroom habits, I'm not really sure.

Ah crap, I screwed up again! That was actually in response to the less-than-flattering polling numbers that the co-hosting network reported for Trump. (And that should not be confused with the time he said "I love them" when asked about Telemundo later in the debate.)

D'oh! That wasn't about gun control, either! That was ... y'know, I'm still not exactly sure what that was about, other than Trump talking over Cruz, as Trump is wont to do.

Huh. Apparently no one said anything about it. In fact, no one mentioned the word "gun" at any point at all. Weird, right?

In his defense, John Kasich did make a comment after a different mass shooting one week earlier, where he at least said, "We have to take this issue seriously" and ... not much else of substance.

Other than that, it's pretty much a non-issue in the GOP. Like once Obama's out of the way, he'll stop taking all our guns, and we can all go back to killing each other like good Americans.

Let's hope we see something different at the next Democratic debate on Sunday, March 6. If nothing else, well, there's always Judicial Fruit Salad. Maybe that'll save us from the wrong end of an AK.

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Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

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Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

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