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The first Republican in Congress has signed on to an assault weapons ban


Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is a name you should remember. If you don't follow politics closely, remember his name because he's the first Republican in Congress to openly join the call for a renewed federal ban on assault weapons.

If you're a Democrat or a diehard progressive partisan, remember his name because it's proof that as a nation we can put principles before party and walk across the political aisle to get things done.

If you're a Republican, remember his name as evidence that real leadership in politics sometimes means risking your reputation to do what is right even when most of your colleagues disagree or lack the political courage to go first.

But let's allow Rep. King to explain himself in his own words:


"They are weapons of mass slaughter," he explained on Monday. "I don't see any need for them in everyday society."

And that just about sums it up. You can believe in the Second Amendment as an unbreakable protection of the individual right to bear arms and still recognize the limits for a functioning, decent society.

201 Democrats have already signed on to the 2019 bill that would renew a federal assault weapons ban that was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1994 and stood in place until George W. Bush allowed it to expire under his presidency.

In the U.S. Senate, 30 Democratic Senators have signed onto a similar bill sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

King is from a so-called swing district in New York, meaning it's not unusual for him to take moderate stances. He's also the co-sponsor of a bill in the House that would expand federal background checks for potential new gun owners.


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But in today's era of heightened focus on mass shootings, King's decision to support an assault weapons ban doesn't make him a partisan extremist, it makes him a sensible moderate backing simple legislation that a majority of Americans support. And in today's climate that small act of common sense and courage is an act of "extremism" in the best possible sense.

King knows what that means. It could save lives. It could transform our national diglogue about guns. But it's a long, hard road to walk. Still, if his small act gets the ball rolling, it will mark a turning point for the better in the political history of modern America. And for that reason alone, we should remember Rep. Peter King's name today.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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