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Oprah backs gun safety and immigration reform in Harvard commencement speech

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Television mogul Oprah Winfrey devoted part of her speech to the graduating class at Harvard University on Thursday to advocating expanded background checks for firearm owners and immigration reform.

“We understand that the vast majority of people in this country believe in stronger background checks because they realize that we can uphold the Second Amendment and, also, reduce the violence that is robbing us of our children,” Winfrey said at the ceremony. “They don’t have to be incompatible.”

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Winfrey cited a May 2013 interview hosted by Bill Moyers with David and Francine Wheeler, whose 7-year-old son, Ben, was killed in the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.

The Wheelers, Winfrey said, refused to be discouraged, telling Moyers, “Our hearts are broken, our spirit is not.”

Winfrey, who parlayed her quarter-century of success as the host of her eponymous talk show into launching the OWN Network, also called on the audience to do better than “the cynicism and the pessimism that is regurgitated throughout Washington and the 24-hour cable news cycle” and endorsed a path to citizenship for the country’s undocumented immigrants.

“It’s possible to both enforce our laws and, at the same time, embrace the words on the Statue of Liberty that have welcomed generations of huddled masses to our shores,” she said. “We can do both.”

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Winfrey’s statement on gun safety laws, posted by YouTube user Bill Omar on Thursday, can be seen here.

Omar also posted Winfrey’s full speech on Friday, which can be seen here.

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[h/t MSNBC]

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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On Saturday morning a deadly serious MSNBC panel took up Donald Trump's increasingly erratic behavior of late, which led one panelist to sincerely suggest the president needs to be evaluated by mental health officials because she believes the White House is covering for him.

Speaking with host David Gura, MSNBC legal analyst Maya Wiley admitted that she is no doctor, but that there are signs of the president's decline that reminded her of how Ronald Reagan's White House hid his Alzheimer's from the public.

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President Donald Trump was caught repeating inaccurate claims when he spoke to reporters before boarding Marine One for his trip to France for the G7 Summit.

"I think our tariffs are very good for us. We're taking in tens of billions of dollars, China is paying for it," Trump argued.

In reality, China is not paying for the tariffs, which are paid by American importers and passed on to consumers, making the announcement a massive tax increase on Americans.

"Our tariffs are working out very well for us, people don't understand that yet," Trump argued.

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