Last week’s extraordinary public debates about guns, both at the White House and at CNN’s Florida Town Hall, were highly emotional and contentious events. Over a week after the catastrophic carnage in Parkland, Florida, debate concerning what to do about it is raging red-hot, and understandably so. People committing violent acts with guns is a growing epidemic, particularly in schools. Since early January, in addition to Florida, there have been school shootings in Texas, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
Yesterday’s tragic violence at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is the nation’s third-deadliest school shooting in history – and the 7th such shooting in 2018 alone.
Sadly, we’ve grown familiar with the awful rhythm of these barbaric events.
First comes the text alert on our phone or we hear about the horror on social media. Or maybe we learn of it from the lament of a friend or a co-worker.
Before we ask “How could this happen?” we instinctively ask “How many?”
Of course, we intuitively know that even one is too many, and that behind every number is a name of someone who means the world to someone else.
Chances are good that you know a family that’s been touched by the opioid epidemic. Roughly 60,000-65,000 individuals in the U.S. died from drug overdoses in 2016, with about 42,000 of those deaths caused by opioids. It’s estimated that more than 11 million Americans misused prescription opioids last year, and nearly one million used heroin. Among the fastest growing groups of users are teens.
Opioids are a class of drugs derived from or related to compounds naturally found in the opium poppy plant.
Human trafficking is a part of the seedy underbelly of our society that most of us would rather not have a conversation about. It’s hard to conceive of hundreds of thousands of people, most of them children and women, being either kidnapped or manipulated into psychological enslavement. So we turn our attention to more pleasant topics.
That’s exactly the behavior traffickers count on from us to keep their activities hidden and their operations running smoothly.
Even the lowest estimates suggest that something like 100,000 kids are taken into human trafficking every year in the U.S.
Nobody yet knows why a 15-year-old student opened fire today in Benton, Kentucky, at Marshall County High School.
The latest reports suggest this morning’s horror resulted in the death of two 15-year-old students, one boy and one girl, along with more than a dozen wounded students.
Over the years, school shootings have become an all-too-familiar tragedy.
At an afternoon press conference, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin remarked, “These children belong to this community, and to specific families in this community.
Time Magazine unveiled its “Person of the Year” today, and its choice is at once unconventional but not at all surprising.
In a tradition dating back to 1927, the publication has historically selected a person who makes significant news during the past year. As a result, past winners have run the gamut. Recipients have included Adolph Hitler (1938), the Ayatollah Khomeini (1979), the American Soldier (2003) and the Ebola Fighters (2014). President Donald Trump won last year, an acknowledgment of his surprising electoral victory.
That was my first thought Sunday when I learned about the tragic shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
As you know by now, 26 people were killed when a gunman burst into the 11 A.M service of the small congregation and opened fire.
The youngest victim was a pre-born child. The oldest was 77. The church pastor’s 14-year-old daughter was also murdered.
Additionally, 20 congregants were wounded.
Reports today suggest the gunman was deeply disturbed and motivated by a dispute with his ex-wife’s family.
Terror made its way to American streets again this week in New York City.
The weapon? A rented pickup truck.
The result? Six innocent people died instantly. Two additional people died later from the injuries they received.
The suspect is a 29-year-old man from Uzbekistan claiming the Muslim faith who was “radicalized domestically” according to authorities. He became sympathetic to ISIS and learned about the terror group’s tactics right here on our shores. Although he acted alone, he left a note in his truck saying he committed the barbaric attack in the name of ISIS.
It’s a story that’s intertwining two contentious issues of our day: abortion and immigration.
I’m talking, of course, of the case out of Texas involving a pregnant 17-year-old girl being held in a federal detention center since crossing the border illegally in September. This unaccompanied minor, “Jane Doe,” is 15 weeks pregnant and is trying to get an abortion.
Her case ended up in the court system, with the government arguing in court that it does not have a duty to “facilitate” an abortion.
Anyone who looked at Michael Kent a few years ago would have been forgiven for thinking he was beyond hope.
He was in jail, and his body bore various tattoos that gave witness to his Neo-Nazi beliefs, including a large swastika on his chest. He was also part of a violent skinhead group.
There’s no way that guy’s ever going to change, right?
Well, not so fast.
Turns out the Michael Kent of today is very different – and it’s all thanks to his friendship with an African-American woman, Tiffany Whittier.