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Obama's emotional message on gun violence is worth hearing over and over again.

"Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights that we care about as well."

Obama's emotional message on gun violence is worth hearing over and over again.

President Obama just revealed a series of executive actions to address gun violence.

After trying and failing to get a gun safety bill through Congress in 2013, shortly after the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, he's making his last stand on the issue.


Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

With family members of shooting victims at his side, the president delivered an emotional address stating his case for moving forward on a plan without Congress:

"Second Amendment rights are important, but there are other rights that we care about as well. ... Our right to worship freely and safely — that right was denied to Christians in Charleston, South Carolina. And that was denied Jews in Kansas City, and that was denied Muslims in Chapel Hill and Sikhs in Oak Creek.
...
Our right to peaceful assembly, that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora and Lafayette. Our inalienable right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, those rights were stripped from college kids in Blacksburg and Santa Barbara, and from high- schoolers in Columbine, and from first-graders in Newtown."

The executive actions have been described as Obama's boldest move on the issue so far.

The measures include a mandate for anyone who sells guns (not just firearm retailers) to get a license and run background checks, investments in improved gun safety technology, authorization to hire more federal agents to process background checks and enforce gun laws, and funding increases for mental health care.

It all sounds so ... reasonable. Sure, politically speaking, it may be fair to call it "bold," but if we're being honest, that's kinda sad.

Addressing gun violence should never have been a last-ditch effort.

Before the plan was even unveiled, gun rights advocates were threatening to challenge the plan in court. Republican presidential candidates have vowed to reverse the measures if they're voted into office. (Something to keep in mind in November.)

Jeb Bush speaks at an NRA rally. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

These are executive actions, not an ironclad piece of approved legislation, so that iffiness just comes with the territory.

But the president has been periodically forced into a corner, first when Congress rejected a bill containing provisions similar to those in this proposal after the Newtown massacre, then with each failure to act after the more than 1,000 mass shootings since.

The executive actions will do a lot of important things, but they won't solve the problem.

Studies have shown that gun ownership is a powerful predictor of gun homicide rates. And the United States will continue to have an unmatched volume of guns in homes and on the streets.

Photo by Dugan Ashley/Wikimedia Commons (altered).

If nothing else, however, the president is forcing the conversation and, hopefully, getting more voters to snap out of their dazes and respond with the passion and resolve we see in the NRA and other trigger-happy lobbies.

"All of us need to demand that Congress be brave enough to stand up to the gun lobby's lies. ... We need voters who want safer gun laws, and who are disappointed in leaders who stand in their way to remember come election time." — President Obama

Beating gun violence will require a huge reassessment of values. And it really does come down to one simple question:

Is it worth protecting one right, vague and dated as it may be, if it costs shooting victims so many others?

Watch President Obama's tearful address:

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

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Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Images via Canva and Unsplash

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Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

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