Rep. Debbie Dingell's speech about the time her dad held a gun on her gave me chills.

Congressional Democrats are staging an epic sit-in in support of a bill to deny guns to people on the no-fly and terror watch lists.

The protest began yesterday morning (June 22), led by Rep. John Lewis of Georgia.


Photo by Michael Reynolds/Getty Images.

Democrats have been holding the floor for almost 24 hours while their Republican colleagues gaveled the House into recess late into the night.

The protest has already produced some incredible moments.

Including Lewis' epic speech, recalling his days as a civil rights' leader, a congresswoman hiding her phone in her prosthetic leg so it wouldn't be confiscated, and an anonymous California resident having pizzas delivered to the exhausted, hungry lawmakers.


But the most chilling moment from the overnight sit-in so far might have been Rep. Debbie Dingell's jaw-dropping personal story of a time when she was almost a victim of gun violence at the hands of an abusive father.

The video was taken on Periscope by Rep. Eric Swalwell of California after Republicans banned cameras from the chamber.

(Transcript below, emphasis added).


"I lived in a house with a man that should not have had access to a gun," the Michigan congresswoman said to cheers and amens.

"I know what it's like to have a gun pointed at you and wonder if you were going to live."

"And I know what it's like to hide in a closet and pray to God to not let anything happen to me."

"And we have never — we don't talk about it. We don't want to say that it happens in all kind of households."

"And we still live in a society where we will let a convicted felon who was stalking somebody of domestic abuse still own a gun."

Dingell is far from alone — and she is one of the lucky ones.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images.

While more men are likely to be murdered, women are far more likely to be killed by a partner or family member. A Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health review found that 40% of female homicide victims were murdered by intimate partner, and over half (55%) of them were killed with a gun.

The researchers concluded that having gun in the home increases the risk a homicide will occur by 300%.

The bill the Democrats are holding out for with the sit-in isn't perfect. Far from it.

Critics, including the ACLU, argue that the no-fly list itself is unconstitutional, biased against Muslim Americans, and that passing the "no-fly, no-gun" law would serve to further legitimize it.

But speeches like Dingell's send a crucial message: America needs to face the stark reality of gun violence and to take action to protect the vulnerable people who are its primary victims.

Actor Michael Jace (center), who was convicted of shooting and killing his wife in 2014. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

Sometimes that violence looks like what happened in Sandy Hook and Orlando. Far more of the time, however, it looks like a father with a gun, forcing his daughter into a closet as she prays to God he'll let her live.

As long as violent, abusive, dangerous people can own powerful firearms with little oversight, no one is safe. And if we do nothing, stories like Dingell's will continue to be terribly, tragically common.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

As Canada's women's soccer team prepares for its gold medal match against Sweden this week in Tokyo, it also prepares to make history as the first Olympic team to have an openly transgender, non-binary athlete win a medal at the games.

Quinn, the 25-year-old midfielder, announced their non-binary identity on social media last September, adopting they/them pronouns and a singular name. Quinn said they'd been living openly as a transgender person with their loved ones, but this was their first time coming out publicly.

"I want to be visible to queer folks who don't see people like them on their feed. I know it saved my life years ago," they wrote. "I want to challenge cis folks ( if you don't know what cis means, that's probably you!!!) to be better allies."

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