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This handgun is an abomination, but the fact that people are defending it is even worse

A toddler found a gun in the back of a car and shot a 30-year-old woman in the back in Louisiana. A 4-year-old found a handgun and shot himself in Missouri. Another 4-year-old found a gun and did the same thing in Colorado. A 10-year-old in Pennsylvania accidentally shot and killed himself in front of his 8-year-old sister after finding his family's loaded gun.

That's just a sampling of headlines from just the past few weeks in the U.S. According to Everytown Research, a child was killed in an accidental shooting every day prior to the pandemic, and those numbers surged by nearly 30% in 2020. And that's just the kids who are killed. Countless more are injured by accidental gunfire.

Laws exist to make sure toy guns don't look exactly like real guns (orange tips are supposed to be the giveaway), but not vice versa. In light of the fact that gun violence is the second leading cause of death for children under age 19 in the U.S., the idea of someone intentionally making a real gun look like a toy is unfathomable. The idea of marketing and selling and a real gun that looks like a toy is even worse. And the idea of celebrating a gun that looks like a toy is so weird and disturbing it's not even funny.


That didn't stop Utah custom gun maker Culver Precision from doing just that, though. The company shared a photo of its "Block19"—a Glock handgun covered in LEGO-style brick pieces—on its social media pages. So bright and colorful, right? "SUPER FUN," as the company described it, according to the Washington Post.

"We have been building guns out of blocks for the last 30 years and wanted to flip the script to aggravate Mom," the Culver Precision website read, prior to the listing being removed. "There is a satisfaction that can ONLY be found in the shooting sports and this is just one small way to break the rhetoric from Anti-Gun folks and draw attention to the fact that the shooting sports are SUPER FUN! Here's the thing. Guns are fun. Shooting is fun. 30 rounds full auto is fun."

Maybe that's true, for some people. And maybe this prototype was made as a joke "to aggravate Mom." Well, mission accomplished. This mom is aggravated, because I don't think there's anything funny about making a Glock look like an actual toy when kids already have a hard time differentiating between a toy gun and a real gun and American children are being shot every day.

LEGO apparently doesn't find it funny either, since they sent Culver Precision a cease and desist letter. (Worth noting that the company's posts were careful not to mention LEGO by name.)

Culver Precision president Brandon Scott spoke to the Post about the gun, saying he'd sold less than 20 of them, but that the majority of online commenters thought it was "super cool," "hilarious," or a "10/10 meme gun." Perusing the comments on their social media posts, it does appear that their fans see absolutely nothing wrong with a Glock that looks like a LEGO toy. It feels like an alternate universe where down is up, left is right, and preschoolers don't shoot themeslves or their loved ones every damn day.

Scott told the Post that the company would not be responsible if a child got hold of this kind of gun and killed or harmed themselves or others, that parents are responsible for keeping their guns away from kids, but also that parents shouldn't be held criminally liable in such a scenario.

In other words, Scott is living in a world divorced from reality. Yes, adults should be responsible gun owners. But far too often, they are not, and children pay the ultimate price. Sure, shooting might be fun for some people. But the last time I checked, an adult pastime that is actually fun doesn't need to be dressed up in a childlike way. (In fact, in most scenarios that would just be considered weird.) Absolutely, gun ownership is a constitutional right. But the entire gun rights argument for opposing government regulations hinges on responsible gun ownership, and creating a gun to look like LEGO toy is one of the most irresponsible things I've ever seen a gun enthusiast do.

As I'm sitting here writing this, just now, my 17-year-old looked over my shoulder at the photo of the Block19. Our brief conversation about it:

"What is that?"

"It's a Glock covered in LEGOs."

"That's a real gun?"

"Yep."

"Doesn't it look like a toy, though?"

"Yep."

"That is SO freaking stupid."

"Yep."

It really is that simple.

I'm well aware that people collect guns and that there are guns for display and guns for art purposes, and I'm also aware that this gun isn't being marketed as a serious weapon. But that in and of itself is a problem, because a gun is a serious weapon. Responsible gun owners acknowledge that fact, respect it, and teach it. They don't superglue LEGOs onto a Glock because they know that making a serious weapon look like a toy removes the seriousness from it and creates a confusing message.

You think shooting is fun? Have at it. But don't pretend that making a gun look like a toy isn't incredibly irresponsible when far more preschoolers are killed by guns than on duty police officers in the United States. It's a bad look and absolutely flies in the face of every "responsible gun owner" argument used to argue against common sense gun legislation.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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Justice doesn't just explain why the flag is seen as a symbol of racism. He also explains the history of when the flag originated and why flying a Confederate flag makes no sense for people who claim to be loyal Americans.

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