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House speaker Paul Ryan says focused on gun background checks, not bans

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Republican leaders in Congress said on Tuesday they were not likely to arm teachers or raise the minimum age for buying semi-automatic rifles in a sign that two of President Donald Trump’s proposals may not get far on Capitol Hill after a deadly Florida school shooting.

House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan said Republicans are focused on improving background checks for potential gun buyers but not interested in preventing Americans from owning certain types of weapons – an idea fiercely opposed by gun-rights groups like the National Rifle Association.

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“We shouldn’t be banning guns from law abiding citizens,” Ryan said at a news conference. “We should be focusing on making sure that citizens who should not get guns in the first place don’t get those guns.”

The long-simmering debate over gun laws was reignited by a Feb. 14 massacre that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, an affluent suburb of Fort Lauderdale.

Since then, Trump has floated a wide range of ideas to prevent similar shootings, including improving mental-health treatment to banning “bump stocks” that enable semi-automatic rifles to fire hundreds of rounds per minute.

Ryan said the House was unlikely to act on two of Trump’s more controversial proposals. One would allow teachers to carry firearms in the classroom and another would raise the minimum purchase age for military-style assault rifles from 18 to 21.

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State and local governments should be allowed to decide whether to arm teachers, Ryan said.

The 14 students and three adult educators killed in Florida were shot with a semi-automatic AR-15-style assault weapon. Authorities say it was purchased legally last year by the accused gunman, Nikolas Cruz, when he was 18 years old.

(Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Bill Trott)

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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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GOP lawmaker cut the mic on black woman’s facts — but let white men spew ‘lunacy and lies’: report

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The Republican chair of a Tennessee legislative committee is under fire for cutting off the microphone while a woman of color was speaking -- but allowing white men to spew "lunacy."

"It took all of five minutes for Sen. Mike Bell, chairman of the Tennessee General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, to prove Cherisse Scott’s point. Scott is founder and CEO of Sister Reach, a Memphis organization that fights for reproductive freedom and health for rural women and girls of color struggling with poverty," Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee explained.

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Here’s why Jeffrey Epstein surrounded himself with scientists

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The list of confidants and friends who were fêted by the late financier and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein included a number of prominent scientists. Among the eye-popping names that appeared on the list: the late cosmologist Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, physicist Frank Wilczek, neurologist Oliver Sacks, and geneticist George M. Church.

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Trump just humiliated his own son with an absurd tweet about Greenland

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President Donald Trump confirmed multiple reports this weekend when he said that he does, indeed, hope to buy Greenland and make it part of the United States.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has said that the country, which is part of the Kingdom of Denmark, is “not for sale”: “Greenland belongs to Greenland.” Which should be the end of the story. Unfortunately, it’s not.

On Monday, Trump sent the following tweet, apparently trying to quell suspicions that the president just regards Greenland as another place to expand his business empire:

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