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Texas to pass bill allowing guns on college campuses

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WASHINGTON – Texas is poised to approve a measure allowing college students and professors to carry guns on campus, an initiative with strong support in the state legislature that critics concede they probably can’t stop.

The legislation has been championed by Gov. Rick Perry, co-sponsored by over half the lawmakers in the state House, and approved two years ago in the Senate. Texas would follow Utah, the only state in the nation to have a similar law.

“It’s strictly a matter of self-defense,” state Sen. Jeff Wentworth, a Republican, told The Associated Press. “I don’t ever want to see repeated on a Texas college campus what happened at Virginia Tech, where some deranged, suicidal madman goes into a building and is able to pick off totally defenseless kids like sitting ducks.”

The measure’s supporters commonly argue that it would make campus shootings less likely, not more, wading into a key point of contention between opponents and proponents of looser gun laws.

College leaders across the nation have criticized the idea as dangerous, dismissing the view that a filling up the classrooms and dorm rooms with weapons would make inhabitants safer.

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Glen Johnson, Oklahoma’s chancellor of high education envisioned “no scenario where allowing concealed weapons on college campuses will do anything other than create a more dangerous environment for students, faculty, staff and visitors.”

That the Texas legislature overwhelmingly disagrees is a testament to the state’s gun culture as well as the towering political influence of the pro-gun lobby.

“Things do look bleak,” Colin Goddard of the Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence, who was in Austin lobbying against the bill, told AP. “People want to be the hero, I understand that. They play video games and they think they understand the reality. It’s nothing like that.”

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Nationwide, the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups have in the last two decades outspent gun-control advocates by over 20-to-1 on lobbying, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Texas ranks 32nd on the list of states with most permissive gun laws, and 23rd in per capita gun deaths, according to data compiled by The Daily Beast.


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Here’s the ugly racist history behind tipping — and how it still persists today

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On Saturday, writing for Politico, minister and civil rights activist Rev. Dr. William Barber applauded House Democrats' plans to not only raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024, but eliminate the much lower "tipped wage" of $2.13 an hour and require tipped workers to also be paid at least the minimum.

This is important, wrote Barber, because the roots of businesses forcing their workers to rely on tips for a proper wage is deeply rooted in America's history of racial tension.

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Black GOP strategist called on the carpet by Joy Reid for trying to sidestep Trump’s racist rally as ’empowering’ voters

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An "AM Joy" panel on MSNBC descended into talking over each other as host Joy Reid confronted a black GOP consultant over Donald Trump's racist rally in North Carolina.

Presenting the conservative point of view, Republican strategist Lenny McAllister was asked point-blank by the host, "Lenny, hold on a second, because you as a man of color yourself -- do you feel comfortable in a party that does rallies like that?"

McAllister pushed back saying he had walked away from just those type of events, before admitting, "To the greater point. They're using racism as an avenue through which people feel empowered, they lend you the loyalty, they give you the vote. What Republicans need to do is continue to empower people, but not by using racism and not by using phobia."

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2020 Election

Do politicians actually care about your opinions? This researcher says no

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Earlier this month, a New York Times op-ed written by two political science professors, Ethan Porter of George Washington University and Joshua Kalla of Yale, discussed their troubling research findings: State legislators, the two claim, don't much care about the opinions of their constituents, even if they're given detailed data regarding their views.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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