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Democracy

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.

guns, gun violence, celebrities, politics, demanding a plan, accountability
Image from YouTube video.

Will Ferrell and Beyonce Knowles-Carter.

This article originally appeared on 06.23.15


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.

Demand A Plan is a campaign of Everytown for Gun Safety. Join us: https://every.tw/1q7VRZh

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

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Pop Culture

Nazis demanded to know if ‘The Hobbit’ author was Jewish. He responded with a high-class burn.

J.R.R. Tolkien hated Nazi “race doctrine” and no problem telling his German publishing house about it.

In 1933, Adolf Hitler handed the power of Jewish cultural life in Nazi Germany to his chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels. Goebbels established a team of of regulators that would oversee the works of Jewish artists in film, theater, music, fine arts, literature, broadcasting, and the press.

Goebbels' new regulations essentially eliminated Jewish people from participating in mainstream German cultural activities by requiring them to have a license to do so.

This attempt by the Nazis to purge Germany of any culture that wasn't Aryan in origin led to the questioning of artists from outside the country.

Nazi book burning via Wikimedia Commons

In 1938, English author J. R. R. Tolkien and his British publisher, Stanley Unwin, opened talks with Rütten & Loening, a Berlin-based publishing house, about a German translation of his recently-published hit novel, "The Hobbit."

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Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

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Health

Artists got fed up with these 'anti-homeless spikes.' So they made them a bit more ... comfy.

"Our moral compass is skewed if we think things like this are acceptable."

Photo courtesy of CC BY-ND, Immo Klink and Marco Godoy

Spikes line the concrete to prevent sleeping.


These are called "anti-homeless spikes." They're about as friendly as they sound.

As you may have guessed, they're intended to deter people who are homeless from sitting or sleeping on that concrete step. And yeah, they're pretty awful.

The spikes are a prime example of how cities design spaces to keep homeless people away.

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Family

13 comics use 'science' to hilariously illustrate the frustrations of parenting.

"Newton's First Law of Parenting: A child at rest will remain at rest ... until you need your iPad back."

All images by Jessica Ziegler

Kids grab everywhere.


Norine Dworkin-McDaniel's son came home from school one day talking about Newton's first law of motion.

He had just learned it at school, her son explained as they sat around the dinner table one night. It was the idea that "an object at rest will remain at rest until acted on by an external force."

"It struck me that it sounded an awful lot like him and his video games," she joked.

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When the attack on Pearl Harbor began, Doris "Dorie" Miller was working laundry duty on the USS West Virginia.

He'd enlisted in the Navy at age 19 to explore life outside of Waco, Texas, and to make some extra money for his family. But the Navy was segregated at the time, so Miller, an African-American, and other sailors of color like him weren't allowed to serve in combat positions. Instead, they worked as cooks, stewards, cabin boys, and mess attendants. They received no weapons training and were prohibited from firing guns.

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