The Justice Department just banned bump stocks used in the Las Vegas mass shooting.

A big loss for the NRA and a big win for common sense.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On December 18, the U.S. Department of Justice announced they are implementing the proposed ban on bump stocks, a modification that allows semi-automatic weapons to operate more like machine guns. After Congress failed to take action on a proposed bump stock ban, President Trump’s Justice Department proposed a direct agency ban. The original story continues below:


Today is the anniversary of the Las Vegas mass shooting, the largest mass shooting in recorded history. It’s a painful reminder of the lethal reckoning that mass shootings continue to have across our divided nation and how our elected leaders still refuse to make even incremental progress on enacting basic, common-sense gun safety laws.

But in a Rose Garden address on Monday, President Trump offered a surprising ray of hope, telling reporters that bump stocks, like those used in the Las Vegas shooting, would officially be banned “over the next couple of weeks.”

Bump stocks were used on 12 of the firearms that ultimately killed 58 people and injured several more in the Las Vegas shooting in 2017.

The devices allow semi-automatic guns to operate more like machine guns, firing off a rapid succession of shots in a short span, effectively mimicking a fully automatic firearm.

“In order to eliminate -- terminate -- bump stocks, we have to go through procedure. We are now at the final stages of that procedure,” Trump said.

“I have told the (National Rifle Association) -- bump stocks are gone,” Trump added.

It’s that last part that is most surprising coming from Trump, an avowed supporter of gun rights who is generally opposed to any gun control legislation.

Last November, the NRA came out against legislation in the House and Senate that would have banned bump stocks.

Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Thankfully, this isn’t another decision left to the ever-changing whims of Trump. The law change is all but already in place with the Justice Department having sent a formal recommendation to the Office of Management and Budget. The OMB is finishing up its mandatory 90-day review of the change, which Trump says will be completed in “two or three weeks.”

There are still a number of basic, common-sense gun safety measures that Congress can pass if it’s willing to stand up to the influence of the NRA. Reforms like strengthening background checks and better enforcing laws that are already on the books are hugely popular with a super majority of Americans.

The irony should not be lost on anyone that it’s President Trump, a man who literally bragged about theoretically shooting someone with a gun in public during the 2016 campaign, who has helped direct the nation’s first meaningful gun control change in years. Now, it will be up to Congress to show some backbone of its own and pass measures which protect the rights of responsible gun owners while helping to keep deadly weapons away from those who would use them to illegally hurt others.

via Chela Horsdal / Twitter

Amazon's "The Man in the High Castle" debuted the first episode of its final season last week.

The show is loosely based on an alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick that postulates what would happen if Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan controlled the United States after being victorious in World War II.

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via Mike Mozart / Flickr

Chick-fil-A is the third-largest fast food chain in America, behind McDonald's and Starbucks, raking in over $10 billion a year.

But for years, the company has faced boycotts for supporting anti-LGBT charities, including the Salvation Army, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Paul Anderson Youth Home.

The Salvation Army faced criticism after a leader in the organization implied that gay people "deserve to die" and the company also came under fire after refusing to offer same-sex couples health insurance. But the organization swears it's evolving on such issues.

via Thomas Hawk / Flickr

The Fellowship of Christian Athletes explicitly announced it was anti gay marriage in a recent "Statement of Faith."

God instituted marriage between one man and one woman as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. For this reason, we believe that marriage is exclusively the union of one man and one woman.

The Paul Anderson Youth Home teaches boys that homosexuality is wrong and that same-sex marriage is "rage against Jesus Christ and His values."

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In 2012, Chick-fil-A's CEO, Dan Cathy, made anti same-sex marriage comments on a radio broadcast:

I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, "We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage". I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about.

But the chicken giant has now decided to change it's says its charitable donation strategy because it's bad for business...Not because being homophobic is wrong.

The company recently lost several bids to provide concessions in U.S. airports. A pop-up shop in England was told it would not be renewed after eight days following LGBTQ protests.

Chick-fil-A also has plans to expand to Boston, Massachusetts where its mayor, Thomas Menino, pledged to ban the restaurant from the city.

via Wikimedia Commons

"There's no question we know that, as we go into new markets, we need to be clear about who we are," Chick-fil-A President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Tassopoulos told Bisnow. "There are lots of articles and newscasts about Chick-fil-A, and we thought we needed to be clear about our message."

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Instead, the Chick-fil-A Foundation plans to give $9 million to organizations that support education and fight homelessness. Which is commendable regardless of the company's troubled past.

"If Chick-Fil-A is serious about their pledge to stop holding hands with divisive anti-LGBTQ activists, then further transparency is needed regarding their deep ties to organizations like Focus on the Family, which exist purely to harm LGBTQ people and families," Drew Anderson, GLAAD's director of campaigns and rapid response, said in a statement.

Chick-fil-A's decision to back down from contributing to anti-LGBT charities shows the power that people have to fight back against companies by hitting them where it really hurts — the pocket book.

The question remains: If you previously avoided Chick-fil-A because it supported anti-LGBT organizations, is it now OK to eat there? Especially when Popeye's chicken sandwich is so good people will kill for it?


Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr and nrkbeta / flickr

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) dropped a bombshell on Tuesday, announcing it had over 900 emails that White House aide Stephen Miller sent to former Breitbart writer and editor Katie McHugh.

According to the SPLC, in the emails, Miller aggressively "promoted white nationalist literature, pushed racist immigration stories and obsessed over the loss of Confederate symbols after Dylann Roof's murderous rampage."

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via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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