Is the Armed Teacher 'Debate' America's Lowest, Stupidest Idea Yet

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How absurd that we are here. It is dumb, shameful and internationally embarrassing that our country is having a serious discussion about why arming teachers is a bad idea. Apparently, the $54 million the NRA/Russains  spent buying the GOP in 2016 paid Republicans to put on a big show of pretending not to see the underlying problem behind every mass shooting. The party that otherwise hates nuance is now acting like it couldn’t recognize a smoking gun if you paid it to, especially since the NRA is paying it so much more.
The party’s leader is now genuinely proposing that teaching entail not only educating children, but also working schools like a beat. Trump suggested Wednesday that at least 20 percent of teachers should get special weapons training so they can include “shoots to kill” under the “special skills” section of their resumes. He also said teachers should be given a “bonus” of 10 to 40 percent to carry guns because, per the president, “I want my schools protected just like I want my banks protected.” That’s a tired NRA line so out of sync with reality it actually disproves itself: The vast majority of banks, 98 percent, don’t have armed guards because studies show “the presence of armed security during bank robberies increased threefold the likelihood of a violent event.” Schools wouldn’t be any safer. Leave it to conservatives to come up with an analogy that compares children to safety deposit boxes.
And where are the funds for this monetary bonus going to come from? No really, I'm asking. Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have proposed drastic spending cuts to public education, including a $7.1 billion—or 10.5 percent—decrease for 2019. On average, teachers spend $500 to $1,000 of their own money bridging the funding gaps politicians keep deepening every time they have a chance. There are schools in this country that lack heat during bitterly cold winters, and places where clogged toilets are everyday realities. Since 2000, DonorsChoose, a website that lets teachers crowdfund costs that aren’t covered by their budgets, has been overfilled with educators begging for desperately needed dollars for school supplies. While there’s no money to restore music and art programs in schools, nor funds to give poor schools the same amenities rich schools have, Trump has somehow located billions to turn teachers into soldiers. They should take that money and give it to all the underpaid teachers who pay for erasers and toner ink out of their own pockets.
There’s also the not inconsiderable delusion of assuming teachers will be able to morph from educators to cool-handed sharpshooters in a pinch. Numerous educators have mishandled guns and shot themselves, often while classes are in session, over the last few years. That includes the Idaho State University chemistry professor who shot himself in the foot, the Utah elementary school teacher who shot herself in the leg and the Long Island University professor (and ex-cop) who also shot himself in the leg. An Atlanta high school teacher intentionally shot himself in the face last year, and since studies show the presence of a gun increases the chances of suicide, that’s something to consider when you start suggesting schools stockpile weapons
But these teachers will be trained—we’ll just take the money out of children’s health insurance or something, some partisan hack is yelling at this very moment. That will ensure they’ll avoid those kinds of sloppy mistakes! First of all, an NRA employee accidentally shot himself at the group’s headquarters last year, and once you get past the staggering irony of the story, you note that training is no guarantee against mistakes. (Or fear: Recall that four sheriff's deputies cowered in the parking lot as the Parkland shooting went on.) A 2008 Rand Corporation study of New York City police officers found their “average hit rate in situations in which fire was not returned was 30 percent.” When police were involved in gunfights, meaning the kinds of gunfights Trump is asking teachers to engage in, their average hit rate descended to a mere 18 percent. Again, we’re talking about accuracy rates for cops whose training focuses heavily on actually hitting the people they are aiming for. What idiot could possibly believe a panicked teacher in a chaotic moment will outscore the shooting accuracy of the police? Who really thinks accidental shootings won’t add further to the body count of mass shootings? Politicians who insist none of this is a big deal should be forced to send their kids to schools with armed guards and stressed-out teachers, just as a good-faith gesture.
On top of all this, I am petrified by what armed teachers and in-school arsenals could mean for black students and educators. Studies show that by pretty much every measurable standard, schools are more punitive toward black children than their white peers, even at the youngest ages. Black students, even kindergarteners, are exponentially more likely to be suspended and expelledthan white kids for the same infractions. School resource officers are more physically violent toward black and brown kids. Penn State sociologist and criminologist David Ramey has explained that while misbehaving white students often receive medical interventions, black kids are more likely to be seen as “unruly and unwilling to learn,” and studies show black children are viewed as older and “less innocent” than white kids. These problems virtually ensure we'd see the same life-or-death consequences in teaching as policing, with black students being shot for reasons that have more to do with white fear than black aggression. There’s little reason to trust that armed black teachers and faculty members will be instantly recognized as “good guys with guns” by worked-up cops arriving on the scene. How often might police shoot first and ask questions later? Philando Castile was a well-liked school employee and licensed gun carrier in what should have been a low-intensity scenario. We all know how the cops handled that situation.
What’s more, while this country has made a habit of not listening to teachers, it might do well to pay attention in this moment when kids’ lives are on the line. Because the nation's teachers are basically yelling that they don’t want marksmanship to be among their required abilities. Early this week, teachers used the #ArmMeWith hashtag to request that instead of guns, Trump provide them with everything from “students with full stomachs” to “leaders who care more about the safety of our nation’s children than receiving personal profit from special interest groups.” A chorus of teachers has spoken out to say they’d rather quit their jobs than teach armed. “I served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003-2007, I worked my way through college as a paid-on-call firefighter, and for the past 7 years I’ve worked as a special education teacher in the resource side and with students with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities on the life-skills side. On paper I’d be an ideal candidate for being an armed teacher, but I would resign immediately if I was told I was going to carry a weapon at school,” one educator wrote to the Daily Beast.
Political cover and NRA money are the real priorities of the politicians pitching this idea (44 percent of Americans support arming teachers, because some people will buy whatever you're selling). The safety of kids and teachers has absolutely nothing to do with it. Society already overburdens teachers with unrealistic expectations, saddling them with the impossible job of correcting problems from poverty and hunger to a lack of mental health care. Now this administration is actually suggesting teachers make up for legislators’ refusal to do their jobs. Arming teachers is a losing proposition from the outset, certain only to mean more mayhem, violence and death. 
Source: Alternet Kali Holloway is a  senior writer and the associate editor of media and culture at AlterNet.

Pledging “change is coming” and “never again,” Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislative leaders on Friday released proposals encompassing gun laws

Pledging “change is coming” and “never again,” Gov. Rick Scott and Republican legislative leaders on Friday released proposals encompassing gun laws, safer schools and mental health, with the goal of preventing future tragedies like last week’s mass shooting at a Broward County high school that left 14 students and three faculty members dead.
The plans came nine days after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz went on a shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder in the school deaths.
The sweeping plans --- which total up to $500 million --- swiftly drew the ire of Democrats, who said the measures don’t go far enough, and National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer, who blasted the proposals as punishing gun owners for the crimes of a madman.…


Gov. Rick Scott on Friday held a news conference announcing a plan to revamp state laws after the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Here are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

Alyssa Alhadeff, Scott Beigel, Martin Duque Anguiano, Nicholas Dworet, Aaron Feis, Jamie Guttenberg, Chris Hixon, Luke Hoyer, Cara Loughran, Gina Montalto, Joaquin Oliver, Alaina Petty, Meadow Pollack, Helena Ramsay, Alexander Schachter, Carmen Schentrup, Peter Wang.
Unfortunately, none of the plans I’m announcing today will bring any of them back, but it’s important to remember them. The seventeen lives that were cut short and all the hopes and dreams that were ruined have changed our state forever. Florida will never be the same.
Today, I am announcing a major action plan. I will be working with the legislature aggressively over the next two weeks to get it done.
This week we asked law enforcement leaders, education leaders, and health leaders from all over the state to drop what they were doing, clear their schedules, and immediately get up to Tallahassee for urgent conversations about what we can – and must do – to make our schools and communities safer. We must take care of our kids.
I can tell you that everyone said yes, and they came, and they got to work.
I have also spent a lot of time in Parkland meeting with families and students. I’ve been there nearly every day since the shooting. I have listened to their ideas to make sure this never happens again.
I also met with students who courageously came to Tallahassee to have their voices heard. What we saw in this building on Wednesday is what our democracy is about and why we live in the greatest nation on earth.
My message to them has been very simple – you are not alone. Change is coming… and it will come fast.
This is a time when I believe we must all come together, and even cross party lines. Of course, we won’t all agree on every issue, but I do believe this is a moment when our state can come together around a common sense set of actions.
I also want to encourage people to listen to each other and keep listening to each other. I’ve done a lot more listening than talking this week. Sometimes leading involves more listening than talking.
I’ve listened to things that I agree with, and to things I don’t agree with. It’s important to consider all viewpoints.
I’ve broken my action plan down into three sections. Gun laws, school safety, and mental health. We must get this done in the next two weeks.
First, on guns:
I want to make it virtually impossible for anyone who has mental issues to use a gun. I want to make it virtually impossible for anyone who is a danger to themselves or others to use a gun.
I want to create a new program in Florida – I call it the Violent Threat Restraining Order. This concept is very simple, and very common sense in my view.
This will allow a court to prohibit a violent or mentally ill person from purchasing or possessing a firearm or any other weapon when either a family member, community welfare expert or law enforcement officer files a sworn request, and presents evidence to the court of a threat of violence involving firearms or other weapons. There would be speedy due process for the accused and any fraudulent or false statements would face criminal penalties.
Let’s take a moment to look at the case of this killer. This person was not stopped from legally purchasing a weapon, was not arrested, was not detained, and was never forced to turn in his weapons.
Let’s review the warning signs here… he had 39 visits from police, his mother called him in, DCF investigated, he was kicked out of school, he was known to students as a danger to shoot people, and he was reported to the FBI last month as a possible school shooter.
And yet, he was never put on the list to be denied the ability to buy a gun, and his guns were never removed from him.
We will also strengthen gun purchase and possession restrictions for mentally ill individuals under the Baker Act. If a court involuntarily commits someone because they are a risk to themselves or others, they would be required to surrender all firearms and not regain their right to purchase or possess a firearm until a court hearing. We are also proposing a minimum 60-day period before individuals can ask a court to restore access to firearms.
Also, we will require all individuals purchasing firearms to be 21 or older. Let me repeat – we will require all individuals purchasing firearms to be 21 or older.
There will be exceptions for active duty and reserve military and spouses, National Guard members, and law enforcement.
Next, we will prohibit a person from possessing or purchasing a firearm if they are subject to an injunction for protection against stalking, cyberstalking, dating violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or domestic violence.
We will establish enhanced criminal penalties for threats to schools, like social media threats of shootings or bombings. We will also enhance penalties if any person possesses or purchases a gun after they have been deemed by state law to not have access to a gun.
And, we will completely ban the purchase or sale of bump stocks.
The second part of my action plan provides $450 million to keep students safe.
Today, I am calling for a mandatory law enforcement officer in every public school. These law enforcement officers must either be sworn sheriff’s deputies or police officers and be present during all hours students are on campus.
The size of the campus should be a factor in determining staffing levels by the county sheriff’s office, and I am proposing at least one law enforcement officer for every 1,000 students. This must be implemented by the start of the 2018 school year.
We will also provide sheriff’s departments the authority to train additional school personnel or reserve law enforcement officers to protect students if requested by the local school board.
And, we will require mandatory active shooter training as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security. All training and code red drills must be completed during the first week of each semester in all public schools. Both faculty and students must participate in active shooter drills and local sheriff’s offices must approve and be involved in training.
We are also increasing funding in the Safe Schools Allocation to address specific school safety needs within each school district. This includes school hardening measures like metal detectors, bullet-proof glass, steel doors, and upgraded locks. The Florida Department of Education, with FDLE, will also provide minimum school safety and security standards by July 1st to all school districts.
All school safety plans must be submitted to their county sheriff’s office by July 1st each year for approval. Once all plans and requests for school hardening have been approved by the county sheriff’s office, in consultation with local police, plans will be forwarded to the Department of Education by the school district to receive any state funds.
School districts must also take all capital outlay funds received from taxpayers and use it for school hardening before it can be spent on any other capital outlay. All safe school allocations must be spent in accordance with the sheriff approved plans.
We will also require each school district that receives a Safe Schools Allocation to enter into an agreement with the local sheriff’s office, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Law Enforcement and any community behavioral health provider for the purpose of sharing information. That will allow us to better coordinate services in order to provide prevention or intervention strategies.
We will also establish a new, anonymous K-12 “See Something, Say Something” statewide, dedicated hotline, website and mobile app.
Next, we will establish funding to require access to dedicated mental health counselors to provide direct counseling services to students at every school. These counselors cannot serve dual roles, like teaching or academic advising. Every student must have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a mental health professional, and receive ongoing counseling as needed.
Each school will be required to have a threat assessment team including a teacher, a local law enforcement officer, a human resource officer, a DCF employee, a DJJ employee, and the principal to meet monthly to review any potential threats to students and staff at the school.
Finally, we will require crisis intervention training for all school personnel. This training must be completed before the start of the 2018 school year.
The final part of my action plan includes $50 million in additional funding for mental health initiatives.
We must expand mental health service teams statewide to serve youth and young adults with early or serious mental illness by providing counseling, crisis management and other critical mental health services.
We are also requiring every sheriffs’ office to have a DCF case manager embedded in their department to solely work as a crisis welfare worker for repeat cases in the community. This will require 67 additional employees to be hired at DCF by July 15th.
Finally, we will provide law enforcement and mental health coordination matching grants to allow sheriffs to establish special law enforcement teams to coordinate with DCF case managers.
Before I take your questions, I want to close with this.
The goal of this plan of action is to make massive changes in protecting our schools, provide significantly more resources for mental health, and do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of those dealing with mental problems or threating harm to themselves or others.
I know there are some who are advocating a mass takeaway of 2nd amendment rights for all Americans. That is not the answer.
Keeping guns away from dangerous people and people with mental issues is what we need to do.
I do know that some are going to accuse me of unfairly stigmatizing those who struggle with mental illness. I reject that. I am not asking them to wear a scarlet letter, nor am I unsympathetic to their plight. I have a family member who has dealt with these issues. It is hard on them and it is hard on the family.
But, what I am saying is no one with mental issues should have access to guns.
It’s common sense, and it is in their own best interest, not to mention the interests of our communities.
And much of what I’m proposing involves giving law enforcement the ability to stop people from harming themselves and others, while giving them the tools to keep our schools safe.
We know for certain that we cannot simply rely on the current federal background check system.
This killer should not have been able to purchase or even possess a weapon.
And we know that the federal government can’t even be counted on to investigate or act on serious and credible threats as we saw with the FBI’s complete failure.
It’s obvious we can’t trust the federal process which is why we have to make these changes here in Florida.
I’m an NRA member, a supporter of the 2nd amendment, and the 1st amendment, and the entire bill of rights for that matter. I’m also a father, and a grandfather, and a Governor.
We all have a difficult task in front of us… balancing our individual rights with our obvious need for public safety.
But of course, some will say it’s too much, and some will say it is not enough. I respect everyone’s opinion, and I don’t ridicule those who disagree with me. An open dialogue is crucial.
But, I will not accept the old, tired political notion that we don’t have enough time to get anything done. Government does not have to be slow or lethargic. And when it comes to protecting our schools and our kids, we need to be swift and decisive.
I also understand that I am proposing half a billion dollars for school safety and mental health initiatives.
But let me be clear – there is nothing more important than the safety of our children. Our kids deserve nothing less. Fortunately, our economy is booming, and we have the resources to protect our schools and our students.
And, if providing this funding means we won’t be able to cut taxes this year – so be it.
And, if we have to give up some of the projects we all hold near and dear – so be it.
We are all elected to come to Tallahassee to represent the best interests of Floridians. And, today, there is nothing more important than to do all we can to make sure a horrific and evil act like the Parkland shooting never happens again.

Fox News host asks what parents would do if their kid ridiculed a Senator—and they answered

Fox News host asks what parents would do if their kid ridiculed a Senator—and they answered

During a CNN Town Hall on Wednesday, survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting confronted Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) about his pro-gun stances and the conversation got heated. RELATED: NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre gives a firebrand speech condemning socialism and blasting the FBI Most notably, student Cameron Kasky asked Rubio if he will stop accepting money from the National Rifle Association but the Florida lawmaker denied that request,...

Mental health and guns

In the wake of mass shootings, there's always a lot of talk about "mental health." But what does that mean, exactly? What are the existing checks that are supposed to keep dangerous people from buying weapons, and how do they fail?'s  Caitlin Owens has the answers.
The big picture: There's a relatively broad agreement that some people's mental illness should stop them from buying an AR-15, but the politics of mass shootings can easily inflame some unfair stigmas about mental health. Keep in mind that most people with a mental illness are not violent, and most gun crimes are not committed by people with serious mental illnesses.
The details: There are 3 layers to how the existing system tries to bar mentally ill people from buying guns, Caitlin reports, and they all have some pretty big holes.
  1. The system only flags people based on certain interactions with law enforcement — namely, being involuntarily committed or found unfit in a criminal trial. That won't catch people who haven't been treated, yet it sweeps up others who may not actually be dangerous.
  2. Even if you've had an interaction with the mental health system that would qualify, your name might not be reported to the federal background check system. There's a bipartisan Senate bill to encourage more reporting.
  3. Even if your mental illness has been deemed dangerous, and even if you're in the system for background checks, that only matters if you're subject to a background check. And private sellers don't have to perform them.
Go deeper: Caitlin has more details about the existing system and the chances that Congress will change it.


Teenage survivors of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, rallied at the state Capitol in Tallahassee

Teenage survivors of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, rallied at the state Capitol in Tallahassee on Wednesday to demand that their lawmakers take action on gun control, delivering speeches about how they will not relent until change takes place.
Shooting survivors told their stories of survival, what they lost and how they will not let conspiracy theorists hold them back from demanding change.
“We will not be silenced,” shooting survivor Alfonso Calderon said in a speech. “It has gone on long enough that we, just because we are kids, we are not allowed to understand. But trust me, I understand.”
The students who spoke had traveled to Tallahassee to meet with state lawmakers and demand gun reform. However, most lawmakers refused to meet with them, students said, adding in their speeches that they were discouraged by being brushed to the side.
Across the country, hundreds of other students walked out of class to demand gun reform, including students in Washington, D.C., who gathered at the U.S. Capitol for a rally.

Gun-safety groups take out NY Times ad naming lawmakers who have accepted NRA donations:

Two gun-Safety advocacy groups have purchased a massive ad in the New York Times to call out lawmakers who have accepted money from the National Rifle Association, according to the Associated Press.
Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America spent $230,000 on the two-page ad, which will run on Wednesday, the AP reported.
The ad reportedly lists about 100 names of lawmakers as well as their phone numbers and the amount they have received from the NRA.
See The Names Here

Call South Florida Reps who refused to hear bill to ban assault rifles today

Less than a week after the massacre in Parkland Florida that cost the lives of 17, the Florida House Of Representatives, with over 100 young teens who had just a week ago saw their lives torn apart by destruction from a legally purchases assault rifle by a known teen with mental challenges. The Florida House in front of these teens voted not to take up a bill that would ban the gun used in this horrific attack, and instead opted to take up a bill about porn and it's health effects. Please call these South Florida Reps and let them know how disappointed you are.
#VoteThemOut #NeverAgainMSD
South FL members who voted no include 1 no show.
Miami-Dade County:
Michael Bileca: 850-717-5115
Jose Oliva: 850-717-5110
Carlos Trujillo: 850-717-5105
Bryan Avila: 850-717-5111
Daniel Anthony Perez: 850-717-5116
Jeanette Nunez: 850-717-5119
Manny Diaz Jr.: 850-717-5103
Holly Raschein: 850-717-5120
Broward County:
George Moraitis (skipped vote): 850-717-5093
Palm Beach County:
Bill Hager: 850-717-5089
Rick Roth: 850-717-5085
- Thanks To Mia Sherman 
Sample script below 
Hello, my name is __________, and I’m calling today from _______ to urge Representative __________ to support banning assault rifles and  expanded background checks to reduce gun violence in Florida, and to work to prevent those with mental challenges and suspected terrorists from buying firearms. The federal government currently can’t block firearm sales to suspected terrorists, or even someone with mental challenges or with a record of abuse and I’m begging you to close this deadly loophole in our gun laws immediately.
Background checks and a ban on assault weapons are supported by over 67 percent of all Americans and are a commonsense tool for keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the dangerously mentally ill. If you’re a suspected terrorist, you shouldn’t be able to buy a gun, and I hope you will address this glaring issue in Florida.  

Please email me at to let me know how your call went 

Rep. Deutch Op-Ed: To the Stoneman Douglas Community, I Hear You and I Am with You.


, Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22), representing Parkland and Coral Springs, published an op-ed in the Sun Sentinel in which he pledged to the Stoneman Douglas community to "do everything in my power to make this time different. I will be with you as we demand: Never again."

"To you, the parents who will forever worry that school simply isn’t the safe place it needs to be...
"To my South Florida community, who feels the personal pain of an attack on our neighbors and friends...
"As you grieve and mourn, you’ve been clear about one thing: You want action.
"I hear you. And I will do everything in my power to make this time different. I will be with you as we demand: Never again."

The op-ed can be read here and below.

This community wants action after school shooting. I hear you. 
Congressman Ted Deutch

Throughout these painful days for our community, I’ve spoken with dozens of Stoneman Douglas students.

One clutched my arm, with tears streaming down her face as she recalled horrific scenes no one should ever encounter.

Another looked me squarely in the eye and pleaded for more than thoughts and prayers; condolences that will ring hollow if there is not change — in Tallahassee and in Washington.

To you, the students — the young adults — of Stoneman Douglas High School, who will forever live with the memories of lockdown and gun shots and unspeakable violence...

To you, the parents who will forever worry that school simply isn’t the safe place it needs to be...

To my South Florida community, who feels the personal pain of an attack on our neighbors and friends...

As you grieve and mourn, you’ve been clear about one thing: You want action.

I hear you. And I will do everything in my power to make this time different. I will be with you as we demand: Never again.

The brave students of Stoneman Douglas are setting an inspirational example for grown adults, self-proclaimed civic leaders, in Washington.

We demand action. We know that we can stop this from happening in other communities. We have legislation drafted, introduced, and supported. We should vote — next week — to ensure that those who need help receive the mental health care they need, to require background checks on every sale and transfer, to keep suspected terrorists from buying guns as easily as everyday Americans buy groceries, to outlaw bump stocks and other devices that enable automatic rates of fire, and require that everyone be 21 in order to buy a gun.

In the U.S. House, the Speaker controls what bills get a vote. We demand that these bills, all of them popular, all of them bipartisan, be given a vote. It’s time for the people that members of Congress represent see how they vote. It is time to know whose side they are on.

Now is the time.

Like so many others before, the gunman who stalked your halls used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle to fire more than 100 rounds of ammunition, and dropped his weapon within minutes of firing the first shot. This gun isn’t necessary for hunting or for sport. It is a weapon of war designed to maximize killings.

Twenty-four years ago, it was Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, along with Democratic President Jimmy Carter, who urged Congress to pass an assault weapons ban.

Fourteen years ago, that ban expired, and our country was flooded with assault weapons. We are drowning in these weapons and the blood they have spilled.

In the wake of school shooting, follow the money | Editorial
We need to get these weapons of war off our streets. We need to reimpose the assault weapons ban.

We cannot let ourselves lose hope.

We can take meaningful action on mental health, school safety, and yes, gun safety.

For those who say it is too soon, who always say it is too soon to make change, you must live with the knowledge that it is too late for the grieving parents, too late for the survivors who will live with this forever, and too late for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas community.

We must remember the 17 angels that we lost. And we must join together to demand action to strengthen our country and make our communities safe. The students will lead us — to the March for Our Lives on March 24, to the halls of power, and, ultimately, to the change our nation so desperately needs.

Congressman Ted Deutch represents Florida's 22nd district.

Televangelist Pat Robertson said that Americans had brought school shootings on themselves.

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The school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla. has Christians pointing the finger at every other excuse apart from guns. Televangelist Pat Robertson said that Americans had brought school shootings on themselves.
“The Obama presidency allowed foreign religions, witchcraft and lesbianism into the White House,” said Robertson on “The 700 Club.” “We turned our back on God and now we see evil like school shootings.”
Robertson’s views were shared by other Christian fundamentalists.

Russian Bots Went to work for the NRA 1 hour after Parkland Shooting

  • A weekend gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. One hour after news of the school shooting in nearby Parkland spread, Twitter accounts that researchers have linked to Russia shifted their focus to the gun control debate.
  • A weekend gun control rally in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. One hour after news of the school shooting in nearby Parkland spread, Twitter accounts that researchers have linked to Russia shifted their focus to the gun control debat

  • Before the world had even absorbed the reality of the school shooting in Florida, hundreds of Twitter accounts thought to have Russian ties jumped into the gun control debate. “The bots focus on anything that is divisive for Americans,” said one disinformation expert. “Almost systematically.”

Will the Parkland shooting help propel Florida Democrats in 2018

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Unlike past years, Democrats are looking to take the fight to incumbent Republicans in the Florida delegation. Most of these Republican incumbents have had little in the way of serious challenges in recent years but 2018 is starting to look a little different.
Take Congressman Vern Buchanan for example. Buchanan might be feeling a little heat after his son James lost in a special election for a Sarasota County state House seat that leans Republican. At the end of December, attorney David Shapiro had already raised more than $250,000 for his campaign. Now Democrats have tried to take Buchanan down, most recently in 2012 when former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald came up short, losing by 7 percent. Buchanan blew out his two most recent Democratic challengers in impressive fashion, winning by almost 20 percent last time out and by 23 percent in 2014. He’ll have the edge in November but, at the very least, Shapiro will put up a fight, making the GOP spend time and money in a district which has been reliably safe in recent election cycles.
Congressman Gus Bilirakis is in a similar position. Former FBI agent and federal prosecutor Chris Hunter is running for the Democratic nomination and he has already shown a knack for getting media attention at the national and local levels. Hunter’s an underdog to be sure but Bilirakis should not count on this year being as easy as recent election cycles where he ran unopposed or blew out Democrats by more than 30 percent every time out.
Buchanan and Bilirakis aren’t alone. Retired Navy officer Phil Ehr raised $80,000 to challenge Congressman Matt Gaetz though the Democrat spent almost $70,000 of it by the end of December. Gaetz is the favorite of course in the conservative Panhandle but Ehr might make some inroads with veterans, no small factor in that area. A host of Democrats is already running against Congressman Neal Dunn in the Big Bend, including Bob Rackleff who served on the Leon County Commission. Congressman Dennis Ross is also facing a field of challengers including businessman Andrew Learned who raised more than $60,000 by the end of last year and businessman James Pilkington who has thrown in more than $36,000 of his own funds. Businessman David Holden brought in more than $40,000 by the end of the year as he looks to upset Congressman Francis Rooney in Southwest Florida. All of these Democrats are underdogs but they’re an upgrade over their party’s usual candidates in these traditionally Republican districts.
Former Congressman Alan Grayson and his wife Dena could also add to the equation. The former congressman is currently running against Congressman Dan Webster in a rematch of their 2010 contest but he could take on Congressman Darren Soto who bested his wife in the 2016 Democratic primary. Still, if Grayson opts for a rematch against Webster, he will rely on his warchest. Of course, Grayson could decide to take on Republican Congressman Bill Posey who is currently being challenged by Dena Grayson. While either of the Graysons would be underdogs if they take on Webster or Posey, they’ll also offer more of a challenge than those Republicans have faced in the recent past.
With Congressman Ron DeSantis running for governor, the Democrats are also targeting his Northeast Florida district. They also have a solid candidate in Nancy Soderberg, a former NSA staffer in the Clinton administration who had brought in almost $545,000 by the end of December. Even though Soderberg didn’t exactly shine when she ran for a state Senate seat, with a competitive Republican primary and a healthy warchest, she can make an impact here even if she’s not the favorite by any means to flip this GOP leaning seat.
The Democrats face long odds in most of these races of course but they will force the GOP to allocate resources in races they usually take for granted. The Republicans have their pick up opportunities of course—namely against Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy—and they do have a few candidates who look like they will spend money against the likes of Democrat incumbents like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lois Frankel and Frederica Wilson. While he might represent a swing district, for the moment it looks like Congressman Charlie Crist will have an easier time this year than he did in 2016 unless former Congressman David Jolly wants a rematch.
Part of this might come from Democrats being fired up to take on President Donald Trump and the GOP. The Democrats have the wind behind them in Florida as they flipped two state legislative seats in special elections. But there’s more to it than that. The various rounds of redistricting have helped the Democrats. Demographic shifts are also starting to change the Sunshine State and that’s having a political impact.
Murphy’s success is probably the best example of that. She came out of nowhere to upset longtime Congressman John Mica in 2016 thanks, in part, to the growing Hispanic population in Central Florida. It also showed that a Democrat can have success against an established congressional Republican.
That lesson hasn’t been lost on some Democrats. While it’s unlikely that Hunter or or Shapiro or Soderberg or some of the other candidates will repeat Murphy’s success, the Democrats have a far better crop of candidates this time out across Florida to run against Republicans in the Florida delegation than they usually do. If there is a blue wave in November—and that is still a big if at this point—one or two of them might come close on Election Day. 

Source SunShineStateNews 

NBC just hired Adam Rippon to join them for the rest of the 2018 Olympic Games

Image result for adam rippon a star is bornNBC just hired Adam Rippon to join them for the rest of the 2018 Olympic Games

He won’t be competing in any more events, but the Winter Olympics are far from over for figure skater Adam Rippon! NBC has hired the 28-year-old bronze medalist as a correspondent for the rest of the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, according to USA TODAY.

Marco Rubio Feeling The Heat In South Florida

One of the NRA's favorite sons in congress has been getting lambasted for his stupid media appearances this week and his inane tweets, such as this one: Not surprisingly editors chose to use misleading headline.Should say that gun law ALONE wont prevent mass shootings - Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 16, 2018 Bess Kalb, a senior…