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NRA fights to preserve gun rights for convicted stalkers, domestic abusers

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The National Rifle Association (NRA) is challenging a proposed law that would prevent individuals convicted of stalking from purchasing firearms and expand the definition of “intimate partner.”

The NRA sent letters imploring senators to oppose the Protecting Domestic Violence and Stalking Victims Act of 2013, which Minnesota Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote to expand the definition of “intimate partner” to include “dating partners” and prohibit firearm sales to individuals who have been convicted of stalking.

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“As a former prosecutor, I know how domestic violence and stalking can take lives and tear apart families,” Sen. Klobuchar told the Huffington Post. “This is a commonsense bill that would protect victims and keep our families safe, and I will continue to work to move this legislation forward.”

In the letter, the NRA argued that the legislation “manipulates emotionally compelling issues such as ‘domestic violence’ and ‘stalking’ simply to cast as wide a net as possible for firearm prohibitions.”

Klobuchar’s bill attempts “to turn disputes between family members and social acquaintances into lifetime firearms prohibitions,” the letter claimed, before proposing a hypothetical situation in which two gay men get in “a shoving match.”

If the bill passes, “two men of equal size, strength, and economic status joined by a civil union or merely engaged (or formerly engaged) in an intimate ‘social relationship,’ could be subject to this prohibition for conviction of simple ‘assault’ arising from a single shoving match.”

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The NRA is also concerned that the definition of “stalking” is too broad to warrant any abridging of the Second Amendment. “‘Stalking’ offenses do not necessarily include violent or even threatening behavior,” the letter read.

“Under federal law, for example, stalking includes ‘a course of conduct’ that never involves any personal contact whatsoever, occurs wholly through the mail, online media, or telephone service, is undertaken with the intent to ‘harass’ and would be reasonably expected to cause (even if it doesn’t succeed in causing) ‘substantial emotional distress’ to another person.”

[“Practicing self defense” on Shutterstock]

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2020 Election

Will Trump peacefully vacate the Oval Office if he loses the presidential election in 2020? A lesson from 1800

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As primary season heats up in the United States, the Democrats are anxiously debating the best path to unseat Donald Trump in 2020. But the question of how to beat Trump is perhaps less urgent than the issue of whether he will accept defeat.

Trump has already questioned his loss of the 2016 popular vote with baseless accusations of voter fraud. He has also repeatedly toyed with the idea of extending his presidency beyond the eight-year limit enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, even trumpeting Jerry Falwell Jr.’s assertion that his first term be extended by two years to compensate for the Russia investigation. Perhaps most ominously, Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen warned while testifying before the House Oversight Committee in February 2019:

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Something is killing galaxies — and science is on the case

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In the most extreme regions of the universe, galaxies are being killed. Their star formation is being shut down and astronomers want to know why.

The first ever Canadian-led large project on one of the world’s leading telescopes is hoping to do just that. The new program, called the Virgo Environment Traced in Carbon Monoxide survey (VERTICO), is investigating, in brilliant detail, how galaxies are killed by their environment.

As VERTICO’s principal investigator, I lead a team of 30 experts that are using the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) to map the molecular hydrogen gas, the fuel from which new stars are made, at high resolution across 51 galaxies in our nearest galaxy cluster, called the Virgo Cluster.

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Inside the Trump administration’s chaotic dismantling of the Federal Land Agency

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Early this month, workers at the Washington headquarters of the Bureau of Land Management gathered to discuss a Trump administration plan that would force some 200 people to uproot their lives or find other jobs.

With a vague plan that keeps changing as officials describe it — and no guarantees that Congress would fully fund their relocations — the employees were being detailed to distant locations in the West like Grand Junction, Colorado, and Reno, Nevada. Many career staff saw the move as part of a wider Trump administration effort to drive federal employees out of their jobs. Acting White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney has described that approach as a “wonderful way to streamline government.”

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