The story of the NRA's ridiculous boycott of a Dallas diner has a happy ending.

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...


Posted by Ellen's on Friday, May 4, 2018

After a bit of confusion over what the restaurant meant, they later added "that protect citizens' 2nd Amendment rights and also help reduce needless gun violence" to the end of the message. They published a Facebook post apologizing for confusion, but by then, it was too late.

The NRA had already published a tweet containing a copy of the original version of the receipt, urging its members to "steer clear" of the restaurant as well as to "#StandAndFight," calling on convention attendees to boycott.

Now, there's nothing wrong with boycotts. People are more than welcome to decide where they want to spend their money. It's just a little ironic given that the NRA's response to people calling for boycotts of NRA-affiliated companies was to call the ordeal a "a shameful display of political and civic cowardice."

In addition, NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch has regularly tweeted about how she doesn't believe in boycotts and wouldn't call for one, once writing, "I hate boycotts." Again, though, that's exactly what the group's "steer clear" message was encouraging: a boycott.

As soon as the NRA's tweet went up, Ellen's said it began receiving a flood of hateful calls and reviews from NRA supporters.

In a video for Now This News, Ellen's co-owner Joe Groves recalled the immediate aftermath of the NRA's tweet.

"We were being told that we were being shot up, to expect a bomb at any time, that they would be visiting but they don't want to be there when the explosion happens. Our staff has been harassed," he said.

Thankfully, no one followed through on the violent threats. Instead, NRA supporters apparently tried to mess with the restaurant's online booking system by filling it with fake reservations so it couldn't take actual reservations and leaving a bunch of one-star reviews on Facebook and Yelp. Boycotters also did the same to an unaffiliated Houston-area restaurant of the same name, causing the restaurant to decide to rebrand entirely.

NRA spokesperson Dana Loesch speaks at the group's annual meeting on May 4. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending for the Dallas restaurant and people who support reasonable gun safety regulations.

Thanks in part to the added publicity directed its way by the NRA's boycott, Ellen's had an extremely busy weekend, bringing in more money than usual. In the end, $15,000 was raised for charity, to be donated to gun safety group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

It's disturbing that the NRA sees the words "reasonable and effective" and immediately urges its members to "#StandAndFight," but it seems that's the world we live in.

As the convention came to an end, the restaurant updated its receipts one final time with a message we should all be able to get behind: "Love one another. Protect the vulnerable. Find common ground. Say 'yes' to peace."

As the NRA convention adjourns in Dallas and its attendees make their ways back home, we wish them all safe and easy...

Posted by Ellen's on Sunday, May 6, 2018
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

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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