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NRA chief blames government ‘failures,’ media for Tucson shooting

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The head of the National Rifle Association came out swinging Thursday against a wave of gun-control legislation proposed in the wake of the Tucson shooting, saying that government policies and media sensationalism — rather than lax gun laws — were to blame for the tragedy.

“If Tucson told us anything, it told us this: government failed,” Wayne LaPierre said in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference, as quoted at The Hill.

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LaPierre argued guns laws offer more protection to killers than to their victims, and criticized “gun-free zones and anti-self defense laws that protected the safety of no one except the killers and condemned the victims to death without so much as a prayer,” CBS reported.

He had particularly tough words for a proposal to ban high-capacity ammunition clips, such as the ones accused Tucson shooter Jared Loughner allegedly used to fire 31 shots in a matter of seconds on Jan. 8, hitting 19 people, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and killing six, including a nine-year-old girl.

“These clowns want to ban magazines,” LaPierre said. “Are you kidding me? But that’s their response to the blizzard of violence and mayhem affecting our nation. One more gun law on top of all of the laws already on the books.”

The Arizona state legislature this month began debating a bill that would ban ammunition clips that hold more than 10 rounds. Among its backers is Kelly O’Brien, the fiancee of Gabe Zimmerman, an aide to Rep. Giffords.

“Extended magazine clips are currently an easily accessible weapon for troubled individuals to use in mass murder,” O’Brien said Tuesday. “That is what happened on Jan. 8, and that is how Gabe was killed. This must not be allowed to happen again.”

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LaPierre argued the law would not stop violence.

“When they tell you that a government ban on certain guns or magazines will stop violence, don’t you buy it, not for one second,” he said.

LaPierre also suggested that the media was partly to blame for tragedies such as Tucson because its coverage of shooting tragedies breeds copycats.

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The media “turns a madman into a hero for every potential deranged copycat out there,” he said, as quoted at CBS. “It’s sick, it’s wrong and the media out to be ashamed of themselves.”

A number of gun-control proposals were put forward in Washington and Arizona following the Jan. 8 shooting, and the Obama administration indicated it would support some sort of legislative reaction. But in the weeks since, momentum for gun control has fizzled, and top Democrats have played down the prospects of passing legislation.

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Dershowitz is running a ‘bizarro defense’ of Trump: Harvard Law colleague says ‘Alan is just completely wacko’

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Two of the most famous names associated with Harvard Law School had competing appearances on MSNBC on Friday.

It began when Alan Dershowitz, a professor emeritus, was interviewed MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber about his new role officially representing President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial.

Dershowitz claimed that neither abuse of power nor obstruction of Congress count as "high crimes" under the constitution.

Professor Alan Dershowitz, who has also been associated with Harvard Law for five decades, was asked about Dershowitz's argument during an interview with Chris Hayes.

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Why was Lev Parnas wearing a ‘Presidential Service Badge’ awarded to troops who serve in the White House?

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Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist Maggie Haberman posted a fascinating update about a photo of impeachment figure Lev Parnas.

The photo shows Igor Fruman -- who, like Parnas, is under federal indictment -- sitting closely next to Rudy Giuliani and Parnas.

Haber said a source informed her that in the picture, Parnas can be seen wearing a "Presidential Service Badge," linking to the Wikipedia entry on the pin.

"The Presidential Service Badge (PSB) is an identification badge of the United States Armed Forces which is awarded to members of the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, and U.S. Coast Guard as well as other members of the Uniformed Services, such as the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who serve as full-time military staff to the President of the United States," Wikipedia explained.

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Trump’s big-money Florida fundraiser expected to bring in $10 million — from only 100 people

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President Donald Trump flew to Mar-a-Lago on Friday after receiving a formal summons from the U.S. Senate informing him of his impeachment trial.

The president will be attending a Friday evening campaign fundraiser.

The recipient of the money is Trump Victory, which is a joint fundraising committee set up by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and the Republican National Committee.

“Tonight’s Trump Victory fundraiser is expected to raise $10 million with approximately 100 people in attendance," the campaign told the White House pool reporter.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1218264289225728000

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