Donald Trump Jr. dismisses mass shootings as 'statistically very insignificant' in call to fight Biden agenda
During remarks at a gun mega-store in Georgia on Wednesday, Donald Trump Jr. said parts of the Biden agenda that are "being pushed on us" show "why the Second Amendment is so important."
Trump Jr. also dismissed mass shootings as "statistically very insignificant," and criticized the treatment of Capitol insurrectionists who remain in jail.
"Asked about defending gun rights in the wake of mass shootings, Trump Jr. said that gang violence and movements to rein in police cause many more deaths," according to a report from the Marietta Daily Journal.
"In terms of, as a percentage of crime, it's like nothing, right? ... It's statistically very insignificant," Trump Jr. said. "That's not saying that we want to allow those things to happen. Obviously, that's not the case. But they're (the left) able to manipulate the data."
Referring to himself as a "Fifth Avenue redneck," Trump Jr. reportedly addressed about 50 people at Adventure Outdoors, a "massive" gun store and firing range, prior to attending a rally with Georgia Lt. Gov. candidate Burt Jones.
Speaking without notes at Adventure Outdoors, Trump Jr. focused mostly on gun rights, according to the report.
Detailing his gun-rights activism in the first year of the Biden administration, Trump Jr. said: "As I see the other parts of the agenda that are being pushed on us, you realize and understand why the Second Amendment is so important."
While he steered mostly clear of "big lie" conspiracy theories, Trump Jr. said in response to a question about "election integrity" that "we need people in the state legislatures, people in those positions of power in government, that have the guts to actually stand up."
Trump Jr. told the crowd that he personally underestimated Biden, claiming his father's successor has "destroyed" America in only eight months.
"America may have to hit rock bottom to realize that maybe (former president Trump's) tweets weren't so bad," Trump Jr. said, prompting laughter.
Maine's bombastic former governor Paul LePage has returned to the state in hopes of winning back his old job, and both Democrats and Republicans are unhappy about it.
The foul-mouthed former governor retired to Florida after term limits ended his tenure in 2018, but LePage -- who called himself "Donald Trump before Donald Trump" -- launched a challenge to Democratic incumbent Gov. Janet Mills, who handily defeated his hand-picked successor three years ago, reported Politico.
Even some Republicans are worried about his return to Main politics.
"There was nothing in his background that would have led a thinking person to think he would be good for the state of Maine, other than his rhetoric about lower taxes and less government intrusion," said GOP political consultant Lance Dutson. "All of us jerks who thought we knew everything laughed behind our hand at him."
Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has already endorsed LePage, who declared her political career finished in 2016 for insufficiently loyalty to Trump, and his newly launched campaign has quickly energized the right-wing GOP base.
"LePage needs to shore up his base, and it's made up of white supremacists, anti-vaxxers, QAnon believers and hardcore conservatives who believe the 2020 election was stolen and are pushing for some sort of authoritarian rule," said former journalist Andy O'Brien, who now tracks and exposes extremist groups, "and Paul LePage is a very authoritarian person. I don't think this next year is going to be pretty."
The state's Republican Party has changed dramatically since LePage was first elected in 2010, and after four years of Trump -- and the Waldo County GOP banned two former state legislators from running for office because they had turned against the former president before the 2020 election.
"The party has been almost completely replaced from what I recognize, or have ever known, as the Republican Party," said former state Senate president Kevin Raye, one of the lawmakers who was banned. "Many of the people who were involved, and activists who worked in the trenches for years, are no longer even involved in the party."
Infants have an average of 10 times the concentration of a type of microplastic in their poop than adults, a pilot study released Wednesday found.
The research, published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters, follows previous studies reflecting the ubiquity of microplastics—small fibers less than 5 mm in size originating from everyday objects like plastic bottles and polyester clothing and that end up in the planet's waterways and human guts.
"Human exposure to microplastics is a health concern," said lead author Kurunthachalam Kannan, a professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics.
Researchers focused on two types of common microplastics—polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polycarbonate (PC)—and measured feces from six infants and 10 adults. They also looked at three samples of newborns' first waste, which is known as meconium. All were from New York state, and they were all found to have at least one kind of microplastic.
PC levels, the researchers found, were similar between the infant and adult groups. PET concentrations, however, revealed a stark difference, with those in infants' feces found to have levels more than 10 times higher on average.
"Our study suggests that infants are exposed to higher levels of MPs than adults," the scientists wrote.
Researchers suggested the higher concentrations could be a result of products they commonly use like teethers and bottles but said larger studies should be done.
"We need to make efforts to reduce exposure in children," Kannan said. "Children's products should be made free of plastics."
Responding to the study, Natalie Bennett, a former Green Party leader in the U.K., tweeted, "The future is going to wonder what on earth we thought we were doing with plastic."
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