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Columnist takes down NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Dana Loesch for CPAC speech: ‘Why not say that facing those students?’

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Thomas Friedman

During a Thursday interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman called out the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Dana Loesch as nothing more than cowards.

During the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, Loesch stated outright that the media “loves” mass shootings.

“Now, I’m not saying that you love the tragedy, but I am saying that you love the ratings,” she told the CPAC audience, to cheers. “Crying white mothers are ratings gold to you and many in the legacy media in the back.”

Friedman was appall.

“It’s disgusting,” he told Blitzer. “Just disgusting.”

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“It’s hard to believe she can say something like that, whether you’re on the left or the right, to say, to suggest that the legacy media loves mass shootings, crying white mothers, because of ratings,” Blitzer said.

“What a courageous woman,” Friedman said sarcastically. “Why not say that last night when you were facing those students? You go before a hyper-conservative convention and say that? Wayne, what a tough guy, what a tough guy, to be able to give that message to super conservatives, not stare those parents in the face, what a — it’s just disgusting, Wolf.”

Blitzer agreed going on to say it was amazing she would smear journalists covering the story and giving a voice to those harmed by the tragedy.

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“What it shows you, Wolf, they’re out of arguments,” Friedman continued. “And all they can do is deflect on the honest situation, which was the vast majority of Americans do not want to eliminate the Second Amendment. They don’t want to take away guns from people that want to hunt, use them for marksmanship, or protect themselves. They want to make sure that people who do that have — that it is controlled in a way that people use them in these kinds of mass shootings or reduce the option for that, and as I said, countries that do that, the example of Japan, have massive reduction in gun violence.”

Blitzer went on to ask Friedman if the NRA has too much of a stranglehold on Washington. “One party has completely sold their soul to them. That’s what the Republican Party has done.”

Watch the conversation below:

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New Orleans funk icon and co-founder of the Neville Brothers Art Neville dies at 81

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Art Neville, a New Orleans funk legend and co-founder of the Neville Brothers, has died, his brother said Monday. He was 81 years old.

The singer and keyboard player who answered to the sobriquet "Poppa Funk" was well known as the voice of the "Mardi Gras Mambo," which quickly became a mainstay of his home city's famed carnival after he first played it at age 17.

"Artie Poppa Funk Neville you are loved dearly by every one who knew you. Love always your lil' big brother AARON (we ask for privacy during this time of mourning)," his brother, soul singer Aaron Neville, tweeted.

His death follows that of another famed New Orleans musician, the blues pianist Dr. John, who died last month.

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Native Hawaiians continue protest a week after telescope construction was set to start on sacred lan

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Indigenous protectors of Mauna Kea oppose the $1.4 billion project

A week after construction was scheduled to resume on a long-delayed $1.4 billion telescope at the summit of Mauna Kea—a dormant volcano on Hawaii's Big Island—thousands of Native Hawaiians who consider the mountain sacred continued to protest the planned observatory.

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Gun ownership increases homicides — but only a very specific kind of them: study

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Does the frequency of gun ownership impact the homicide rate? In the broad sense, many studies have shown it does. But how does it do so exactly?

A new study, conducted at the University of Indianapolis and published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, offers a profound hint. The study, which examined homicide rates by state from 1990 to 2016, suggests that most forms of homicide — those committed against friends, acquaintances, and strangers — are negligibly affected by firearm ownership rates. But one particular category of homicide is sharply correlated with the presence of guns: domestic violence.

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