The National Rifle Association called for a boycott of a Dallas diner. It backfired spectacularly.

With the NRA coming to town for its annual meeting in May 2018, Dallas restaurant Ellen's printed a special message on the bottom of its receipts. It read:

"Thanks for visiting Ellen's! A portion of this week's proceeds will be donated to organizations dedicated to implementing reasonable and effective gun regulations. Welcome to Dallas!"

What a day this has been! We want to give some clarification to an issue that has caused quite a bit of confusion and...

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A group of NBA players opened the ESPYs with a bold statement about violence.

They called on athletes to use their voices to bring attention to violence.

Professional athletes hold a unique position within our culture.

Their job, in its most basic sense, is to be really, really good at a game. For this, top players make tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars. Sounds pretty good, right? They're also idolized by men, women, and children around the world, giving them another form of currency at their disposal: influence.

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The shootings that interrupted an otherwise peaceful protest in Dallas on July 7, 2016, were terrible.

They were also a statistical anomaly and not evidence of a pattern of wider violence. I'll explain that in a moment.

First, here are three images that can help us understand how to process our feelings about this truly awful event. They represent three different, contrasting realities that currently exist in the U.S.:

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