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One minute of fed-up celebrities talking about guns is actually worth your time.

There are so many celebrities in this video that I honestly lost count. But I'm SO GLAD they came together to make it, because people tend to listen to celebrities — for better and worse. And this is definitely a case of the better.

One minute of fed-up celebrities talking about guns is actually worth your time.

There were nearly 100 school shootings in the two years after Newtown.

Despite that, Congress still hasn't found the will to deal with gun violence in the U.S. Suffice it to say a lot of people are angry. Including the pile of celebrities you'll see below.

The plan is simple...


1. Close the loopholes.

Almost anyone can skirt the system by buying from private sellers at gun shows or even on the Internet in a lot of states. Current federal law only requires licensed gun dealers to run background checks. Only 17 states have expanded background checks to require them on all gun sales, including by private sellers.

2. Keep better records — and use them.

Background checks are one of the best ways to keep guns out of the wrong hands, but they can only work if states participate. States should be required — and given the tools they need — to track and log criminal and mental health records in the national criminal background database.

3. Keep assault rifles out of the public.

A 10-year ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines expired in September 2004. A lot of gun safety groups have moved away from this strategy for political reasons. But it's still a good idea. When Australia banned assault rifles, reports of mass shootings dropped to, believe it or not, zero.

4. Crack down on gun runners.

The current penalty for gun trafficking is the same as it is for illegally trafficking livestock. Law enforcement should be equipped to find and stop gun traffickers. And when they do, the penalties should be severe enough that others will think twice before doing it.

Let's not hold our breath for Congress to act.

An overwhelming share of voters approve of smarter gun safety rules, and state legislatures can start answering those calls. Just weeks after a school shooting in Washington state, voters passed a ballot initiative for background checks on all gun sales in the state.

Voters, you can make this a priority in your states. If that approval can get translated into state policy around the country, Congress could be left with no choice but to act.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

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.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.