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NRA lobbyist asking how to tell a 10-year-old she can't have her pink assault rifle is peak NRA

There are reasonable arguments to be had on all sides of America's debates about guns.

Then there are NRA lobbyists.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Florida National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer spoke to state economists last week to explain why a proposed assault weapons ban would devastate gun manufacturers in the state. The proposed amendment, which is being led by the aunt of a student killed in the Parkland school shooting, would ban the future sale of assault rifles in Florida and mandate that current owners either register their guns with the state or give them up.

The back and forth between those proposing and opposing the amendment appears to be a pretty typical gun legislation debate. Only this time, the NRA lobbyist pulled out one of the most bizarre arguments I've seen yet.


First, Hammer warned economists that the $1 billion Florida gun manufacturing industry would flee the state if the amendment even went on the ballot. "If I were the owner of one of these firearm manufacturing companies, I wouldn't wait to see what voters do," she said. "If this were allowed to go on the ballot, I'd say, 'I'm outta here.'"

Nothing like having our laws determined by the will of gun manufacturers instead of the will of the people. Yay, democracy!

RELATED: The NRA was rightfully lambasted after telling trauma doctors to 'stay in their lane.'

But then she pulled out this gem:

"How do you tell a 10-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to government or be arrested for felony possession?"

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold the freaking phone, Marion.

First of all, having to register a firearm is not the same as having to turn it over to the government. Second, I'm not sure if a Ruger 10/22 would even quality under this assault weapons ban—the definition is still under debate—but for the sake of argument let's say it fits because it's a semi-automatic weapon and takes a detachable magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds.

I have a 10-year-old, and have raised two other children past the age of 10. They are all responsible, well-behaved kids. But my son had to wait until he was 10 to get his own Swiss army knife, for crying out loud. He's just starting to learn to safely use a power drill. There is no way on God's green earth I would feel comfortable with any 10-year-old possessing their own firearm.

And pink. Let's talk about how disturbing it is to make something designed to be a deadly weapon look like a toy. Let's talk about the 7- and 3-year-old children who found an unsecured pink pistol in a bedroom and how the 3-year-old got shot in the head and died. Let's talk about how confusing it is to teach kids that guns are not toys and then manufacture guns that look like toys. (And I'm not just saying that as someone who isn't a big fan of guns. There are plenty of gun enthusiasts who feel that painting guns fun colors is a bad idea.)

I am well aware that there is a whole gun culture out there that I don't personally relate to and struggle to understand. I recognize the fact that there are families for whom guns and hunting and shooting sports are beloved, long-held traditions. I know that there are millions of responsible gun owners out there who teach their kids to respect the dangers inherent in operating a firearm and train them in all the safe handling rules and practices.

But I also know that there are a whole lot of irresponsible gun owners out there as well, and that toddlers kill more Americans with guns than terrorists do. I know that we have a gun death rate ten times higher than what it should be for a country with our socioeconomic status. I know that no other developed country deals with the frequency of mass shootings or the overall gun violence rates that we do here.

Giffords Law Center explains why children possessing guns is a dangerous game. There's a reason kids are banned from driving a car or drinking alcohol or voting until they are adults. Kids' brains are still developing well up to the early 20s—and the parts of the brain responsible for impulse control and judgment are among the last areas of the brain to develop. I don't care how mature a 10-year-old may appear to be—I can't see any good reason for a child to have their own assault weapon.

RELATED: Twice as many American children die from gun violence as police officers and soldiers combined.

Of course, since some 30 states allow children to possess guns, we have no choice but to trust that parents are teaching their kids well. So to answer Ms. Hammer's question about how to tell a 10-year-old her weapon is now illegal or has to be registered? You just tell her just that. If you think she's mature enough to have her own semi-automatic rifle, then surely she is mature enough to be able to handle having to register her gun. I mean, what do you think will happen if you tell her that? Will she cry? Will she get angry? Will she turn violent? I mean, what is the real concern here? I'm sure she'll get over it, especially if a caring adult explained that the law was enacted to try to curb our country's insane rate of gun violence.

Teach her by example. Show her the response of Dr. Charles Tate, a Broward county radiologist who owns multiple guns including ones that would be banned under the assault weapons amendment, who said he'd happily give them up if they were outlawed.

"I am far more interested in the safety of my wife, my children, and my grandchildren," he said.

It really is that simple.

Education

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Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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