In response to racist violence, more African Americans look to bear arms


The National African American Gun Association, known as NAAG, has tripled its chapters from 14 to 42 since President Donald Trump’s inauguration, as more people of color join gun clubs and refute the NRA. Some say they are defending themselves against racism and supporting a call to arms amid a civil rights struggle. News Hour Weekend Special Correspondent Simon Ostrovsky reports.

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    High ready. Fire.



    This gun range is similar to others across America, where firearms enthusiasts, proud and protective of their Second Amendment Rights, can practice becoming a better shot.



    Whenever you’re ready. How you like it?



    I like it a lot.



    Move, move, move, move!



    But this isn’t a gathering of the National Rifle Association.



    Usually the clubs that I see is mostly caucasians and so I saw this club, it was pretty unique and so I gave it a shot.



    In August of 2017 is when I became a member of this chapter of the National African American Gun Association.



    We’re with the Denver branch of the National African American Gun Association and chapters like it are opening up all across the country because for an increasing number of people of color the Trump-era has been a call to arms.



    High ready. Fire.



    You know, some of the things that we were seeing in the news a lot of the things that the President was saying and the reactions that we saw from a lot of members of the white community — not everyone but more white supremacists — it seemed like having some form of protection was a good thing for us to have.



    The incident in Charlottesville when you had the White Supremacists, the Neo-Nazis, and the White Nationalists. And they came to that protest armed to the teeth, they had all types of weapons. And when a person got run over by one of their supporters his answer was well there are good people on both sides. My theory is if you’re marching under the Confederate flag or you’re marching under the Nazi flag which America fought two wars to get rid of you’re not a good person.






    David Fannings is an Army veteran who believes the President’s rhetoric has made the country less safe for minorities.



    He’s saying what they have thought and felt for a long time, and him being the leader of the country, it’s like giving them a green light.



    This is a 12 gauge shotgun. This one operates very much like an AR type rifle. For home defense a shotgun is real good. When I heard about NAAG, to be able to be a member of an organization that was run by us, for us, that appealed to me.



    With just under 25 thousand members, this gun group is tiny compared to the NRA, which claims around 5 million. But In the last 14 months, the National African American Gun Association, also know as NAAG, has grown from just 14 chapters to 52. Based in Atlanta, the group’s leadership doesn’t sound so different from its NRA counterpart.



    The Second Amendment is an important right just like any other right that we have. And it’s one that our community has a complicated history with. But it’s a right nonetheless that without that right, it’s very hard to assume a position of a fully-fledged citizen in these United States.



    But at NAAG, exercising your Second Amendment rights isn’t just a way to defend yourself and your family. It’s seen as an extension of something much larger: The Civil Rights struggle.



    So some of the first gun control laws that came about in this country were related to race. They were related to keeping guns out of the hands of African American people.



    To contain the misery and violence of the ghetto Oakland’s all-white police department earned a reputation for head knocking brutality that has left a well remembered legacy of bitterness in the minds and hearts of many who lived in that time and place.



    Back in the 1960s some young African Americans in Oakland, California responded to police overreach by following the police and observing arrests. They called themselves the Black Panthers. And they were armed to the teeth legally. Their armed patrols and an open carry protest at the state capital alarmed the authorities so much that in 1967 the state instituted an open-carry ban. Ironically, It was signed into law by then Governor Ronald Reagan



    There’s absolutely no reason why out on the street today civilians should be carrying a loaded weapon.



    But as President, he strongly supported the NRA and vocally defended the Second Amendment. As does the current President.



    I am also proud to be the first sitting President to address the NRA Leadership Forum since our wonderful Ronald Reagan in 1983.



    I’d be lying to you if I said the political arena has not affected our membership. People look at what’s going on politically and see some of the comments that are made by certain folks in high places and it makes them a little unnerving. That has definitely been a part of our growth.



    While the new political climate is contributing to the interest in personal protection among African Americans.



    The reason I pulled you over, your brake lights are out.



    Part of the reason NAAG members aren’t flocking to the NRA is a policing culture that predates Trump.



    Sir I do have to tell you.






    I do have a firearm on me.



    Don’t reach for it then. Don’t pull it out.



    I’m not pulling it out.



    Don’t pull it out.



    The 2016 shooting of Philando Castile, a black gun owner with a concealed carry permit outraged the African American community. But in this instance the nation’s most established gun advocacy group didn’t jump to publicly defend Castile’s Second Amendment right.



    As far as the NRA is concerned I’m a lay it out there because I don’t sugar coat it. I’m a give it to you in the raw you take it anyway you want to. But you didn’t defend my son the way you would have defended a white person. They should have stood up for my son and gave him the due respect that they do anyone else that’s killed in that manner.



    I used to be a member of the NRA, but I don’t feel supported by the NRA towards my needs in my community. So, it’s just, they are not there.



    Are you talking about incidents like Philando Castile?



    Yes. He announced that he does have a concealed carry and it is lawful and he got shot immediately. The NRA did not come forward and condemn the deadly use of force on a person that was legally carrying.



    Anytime there was an issue with someone who look like me or who I felt could be a part of my family, I don’t believe the NRA had their back or had their best interest.



    Our oldest son is 27, he has a concealed weapon permit. He’s allowed to carry. That worries me because if he’s pulled over he’s going to be treated differently. And he’s often targeted and pulled over. It has happened to him more times than I’d like to admit.



    The NRA did not agree to an interview with Newshour Weekend. While African American interest in personal protection appears to be rising gun sales nationally are trending in the opposite direction. FBI figures show that background checks made by gun sellers dropped off during Trump’s first year in office. The store in Aurora, Colorado, where the Denver chapter of NAAG trains is no exception.



    For eight years when President Obama was in office gun sales were incredibly brisk so probably you know 15 to 18 percent drop overall in business since President Trump’s been elected.



    What do you attribute that to?



    I think basically nobody is really too concerned about any new gun legislation so people are taking a big sigh and they figure that they can buy whatever they want fairly easily certainly up till maybe the midterm elections.



    For now, members of NAAG will keep sharpening their shooting skills and standing up for what they see as an essential civil right.



    One of the things that’s always affected me personally is that I’ve had people say “Hey, you’re a person of color, you shouldn’t have guns, right? Because you can be a target, it’s dangerous.” And my answer to that is I should have the right to have a gun like anybody else because I’m not a second class American, I’m an American.



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Marathon champion says women’s sports should be protected from transgender athletes — activists go on the attack

“The levels of testosterone mean that it’s essentially not fair competition”


Paula Radcliffe, the fastest women’s marathon runner in history, spoke out against transgender athletes competing in elite women’s sports and was attacked by transgender activists on social media for her opinion.

She was speaking on BBC Radio when she made the comments comparing transgender athletes to “normal” athletes.

“Actually transitioning is a choice,” she explained. “Whereas an intersex athlete, it’s just the way they were born, they haven’t chosen for their body to be producing more testosterone, they haven’t chosen for it to be like this.

“And they’re not cheating in any way,” Radcliffe continued, “and it’s really difficult, because the levels of testosterone mean that it’s essentially not fair competition with the females with normal levels of testosterone.”

Radcliffe was careful to motion for air quotes when she said “normal” but she was still attacked later for using the phrase as a distinction.

“But they haven’t chosen to make that change which is what is happening in transgendered,” she continued, “because they should be in male sport. And if they have chosen to transition then they are asking to compete in female sport.”

Earlier in the conversation she also clarified that she was speaking about elite sports competitions.

“Probably hundreds of transgenders want to take part in sport for all of the benefits it brings,” Radcliffe said, “and all we’re saying is, that’s fine, but not elite sports because elite sports, that female section of elite sports has to protect, so that females can genuinely reach the top of it.”

She was excoriated on social media by transgender activists and others who were angered by her comments:

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Radcliffe, who is retired, said that she was going to stand up and say what she thinks regardless of the blowback because she wants her daughter to be able to compete in sports against fair competition.

Here’s the video of Radcliffe’s comments:

‘Female Sports Need to Be Protected from Transgenders’ says Retired Athlete Paula

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10-year-old Texas boy kills himself after relentless bullying, mom says

Screen-Shot-2019-03-28-at-12.24.59-PMDARK AND DEADLY ISSUE: 26 children in the Houston area committed suicide in the last year, including Kevin Reese in Cy-Fair ISD.


KATY, Texas (WPVI) — A 10-year-old boy in Texas took his own life, apparently due to relentless bullying, his mom says.

“I never thought he would go this far, never,” Crystal Smith said. “I’m still in disbelief, and it’s taking me a while to actually accept the fact that this happened.”

KTRK-TV reports, Smith said her son, Kevin Reese, Jr., loved drawing and painting. The fifth grader at Robinson Elementary School had the biggest smile, and on the surface, he was a seemingly happy kid.

“Kevin was a goofy child,” Smith said. “He’s my little goof troop, I called him.”

But on the inside, he had a deep-seated struggle his mom says was fueled by bullying at school.

“I just thought he was handling the situations,” she said. “They wrote on his tablet to kill yourself. ‘You don’t belong here.’ When it got physical back in November, he came home crying because he didn’t fight back and one of the boys punched him several times coming from recess.”

Then, on January 21, he and his 13-year-old sister got off the school bus. Their mom was out of town for work, and their stepfather was on his way home. But he wouldn’t make it in time to stop the moment that would change the family forever.

“He just had enough,” Smith said. “He just had enough, and he felt that he was backed into a corner.”

Smith got a frantic call from Kevin’s sister.

“She was just screaming on the phone, and I didn’t understand,” she said. “And she screamed, ‘Kevin.'”

Reese had killed himself inside their Katy home.

“He hung himself in his closet,” Smith said. “I told her to hang on with me, if you cut him down and while you’re cutting him down, call 911.”

Sadly, it was too late.
“Everything was not real,” Smith said. “I was in a place where I just couldn’t move.”

Reese joins a growing list of children ending their lives.

“It’s becoming unfortunately quite an epidemic, and it’s not just here, it’s all over,” said Allie Sauls, a child counselor at Heritage Behavioral Health Consultants.

Sauls said she’s seeing four main factors with her young patients: pressure at school, social media, problems at home, and bullying.

“It is rampant in schools, and I think that is because it is becoming so covert,” Sauls said.

She said schools must have a safe system in place. After Reese’s suicide, Smith said she reached out to the school.
“They told me they never found any bullying going on,” she said.

Smith spends her days wishing her little boy was still here, and she’s telling his story in the hopes of helping other families.

“Pay attention to your child,” she said. “Don’t assume that things are handled at the school. Stay on top of it until you see something come out on the end.”

If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.


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Michigan couple says ghost seen on nanny cam scratched daughter


HIGHLAND TWP. (WXYZ) — It’s a video of the unknown that is posing many questions – What is it? Is it real? And what is it doing there?

A family in Highland Michigan believes their house is haunted and what’s even more disturbing is that whatever is haunting the home is doing harm to their little girl.

Heather Brough and Joshua Higgins say they couldn’t believe what they saw on their nanny cam.

“It’s almost like she sees something that we don’t,” Heather Brough said.

It’s an image Heather and Josh say is haunting their home.

“It was chilling,” Joshua said. “It was literally a chill down your spin, like that ‘what if’ factor – Is this what I just saw?”

Caught on the couples nanny cam video a few weeks ago is what appears to be something moving in front of the baby crib. The couple says it appears to be a ghost.

“I freaked out,” Brough said. “I stopped what I was doing and I ran upstairs and grabbed my daughter.”

Heather says this so called ghost scratched her daughter Lily and attacked her too.

“It scares us that it could do something else,” Brough said. “I mean, there was a morning I woke up and I felt like someone’s hands were around my neck.”

A team of paranormal investigators came in and tried to answer some of the couples questions and concerns. Josh’s father Jim says it may be someone who lived in this house before.

“The gentleman that lived here originally committed suicide apparently by jumping out this window, which is one story down,” said Joshua’s father Jim Higgins, while recalling a story he was told about the home.

The couple says they don’t know why this so called ghost is targeting them, but say they don’t want any part of it.

“It’s not physically just going after her, it feels like it’s going after myself too,” Brough said.

“I couldn’t get an explanation out of it so it’s freaky is what it is,” Higgins said.

Josh and Heather say for now they are staying at the home in a room together with Lily, until they have enough money to move.

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Police: Arby’s manager arrested after shooting, killing customer accused of spitting on her

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The manager of a Tulsa, Oklahoma, Arby’s has been arrested in connection to a deadly shooting.

Deionna Young, 25, was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder for the death of 25-year-old Desean Tallent. reported that detectives said they learned Tallent had been involved in an altercation at the Arby’s restaurant about an hour prior to the crash. Police say Tallent allegedly threatened Young and spit on her.

Police say Tallent returned to the Arby’s about an hour later and Young got in her car and followed him, according to KOKI.

Detectives say Young fired her gun at Tallent’s SUV one time and returned to work. Tallent was hit by the bullet and crashed into an entrance of a Walmart Neighborhood Market.

Tulsa police responded to the car crash around 8 p.m. Saturday where they found Tallent had been shot. He was taken to the hospital and died shortly after.

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9 labor and delivery nurses in Maine expecting at same time


PORTLAND, Maine (WDBJ7/CNN) — The labor and delivery unit at Maine Medical Center is crowded… Nine nurses who work in the unit are expecting babies within the next few months.

They are all due between April and July.

The soon to be moms say it’s been great to have so much support right at work.

The nurses will also be there for each other’s delivery, proving the support was there from beginning to end!

“Something is definitely in the water here at Maine Medical Center on the Labor and Delivery Unit! NINE pregnant (8 pictured) nurses. Lots of baby friends being made this summer!”

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Dem. Presidential Candidate Calls for $100B in Slavery Reparations

“We need a moral and spiritual awakening in the country.”


Marianne Williamson, a best-selling author. spiritual teacher and activist, announced her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Monday. On Thursday, she sat down on CNN’s New Day, where she said the United States needs to pay African-Americans reparations for slavery.

“We need a moral and spiritual awakening in the country,” the candidate stated. “Nothing short of that is adequate to really fundamentally change the patterns of our political dysfunction.”

Her platform includes proposal for free public college, universal health care, Medicare for all, a green new deal and $10 billion per year for slavery reparations to be paid over the course of a decade.

“I believe $100 billion given to a council to apply this money to economic projects and educational projects of renewal for that population is simply a debt to be paid,” Williamson said.

Watch the full interview below to hear what she believes to be the “deeper truths” about what has failed the American people.

Study finds enough fecal matter on McDonald’s touchscreens to put people in the hospital

c4fadcdf-d5ac-4c3b-b4d0-cbc1e18609dc-large16x9_McDsStudy finds enough fecal matter on McDonald’s touchscreens to put people in the hospital. (File photo: KUTV)


Researchers tested touchscreens at eight different McDonald’s locations and found fecal bacteria on every one of them, according to findings published in Metro.

The British paper tested six locations in London, and two in Birmingham and found enough bacterial matter to put people in the hospital.

Senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University Dr Paul Matewele told Metro:

We were all surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals. For instance Enterococcus faecalis is part of the flora of gastrointestinal tracts of healthy humans and other mammals. It is notorious in hospitals for causing hospital acquired infections.’

Yikes.Researchers noticed that most people would not wash their hands between touching the screens and picking up and eating their meals.One screen tested positive for staphylococcus, a bacteria that can cause blood poisoning and toxic shock syndrome.”Seeing Staphylococcus on these machines is worrying because it is so contagious,” Dr. Matewale said.He continued:

It starts around people’s noses, if they touch their nose with their fingers and then transfer it to the touchscreen someone else will get it, and if they have an open cut which it gets into, then it can be dangerous. ‘There is a lot of worries at the moment that staphylococcus is becoming resistant to antibiotics. However, it is still really dangerous in places like Africa where it can cause toxic shock.

McDonald’s responded to Metro’s investigation saying:

Our self-order screens are cleaned frequently throughout the day. All of our restaurants also provide facilities for customers to wash their hands before eating.

Report: Great Lakes Feeling Effects of Rapid Climate Warming

0806E02A-BE2A-4116-BFCF-470A0B14D5B0In this March 12, 2019 satellite photo provided by NOAA, shows the Great Lakes in various degrees of snow and ice. A scientific report says the Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the U.S., which likely will bring more flooding and other extreme weather events such as heat waves and drought. NOAA via AP


The Great Lakes region is warming faster than the rest of the United States, a trend likely to bring more extreme storms while also degrading water quality, worsening erosion and posing tougher challenges for farming, scientists reported Thursday.

The annual mean air temperature in the region, which includes portions of the U.S. Midwest, Northeast and southern Canada, rose 1.6 degrees (0.9 Celsius) from 1901-60 and 1985-2016, according to the report commissioned by the Chicago-based Environmental Law & Policy Center. During the same periods, the mean temperature for the remainder of the contiguous U.S. rose 1.2 degrees (0.7 Celsius).

Warming is expected to continue this century, with rates depending on the volume of heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide and methane that humans pump into the atmosphere. As the air warms, it will hold more moisture, which likely will mean heavier winter snowstorms and spring rains — with more flooding in vulnerable areas. Yet summers will be hotter and drier.

“Climate change is already affecting the climate of the Great Lakes region and the physical behavior of the Great Lakes themselves,” said Don Weubbles, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Illinois and former assistant director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Obama administration.

The five Great Lakes hold about one-fifth of the world’s surface fresh water and are so large that they influence regional weather. They keep nearby lands cooler in summer and warmer in winter than those farther inland, while their humidity fuels lake-effect snowfall and summer rains. In addition to providing drinking water for millions of people, they are the backbone of an economy built on manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.

A warming climate will add to stresses the lakes have suffered from industrial pollution and development, particularly overflows from urban sewer systems that carry harmful bacteria, said the report produced by 18 scientists, most from Midwestern universities as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

While annual U.S. precipitation increased 4 percent between 1901 and 2015, it jumped nearly 10 percent in the Great Lakes region, with much of the increase due to unusually large storms, the report said. Future precipitation is likely to happen less evenly, decreasing 5 to 15 percent in the summer by 2100.

Heat waves should become more common, posing risks for the elderly and children with asthma. By the end of the century, the region should have up to 40 additional days with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees (32.2 Celsius).

Winter snowfall should decrease in most places, although locales accustomed to lake effect squalls can expect them to dump even more snow — particularly along the Lake Ontario snowbelt in New York.

The study did not include a cost-benefit analysis of a warming climate’s likely results. Several of the scientists said in a phone news conference there may be some bright spots but that the economic impact would be mostly negative.

The region could have longer growing seasons, said Brad Cardinale of the University of Michigan’s Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research. But the report suggests that benefit could be offset by wetter springs that make it harder to plant crops, plus increasing drought and heat in summer. Corn and soybean yields are expected to drop 10 to 30 percent by the century’s end.

Drinking water quality will be degraded by more releases of untreated sewage during heavy storms and runoff of nutrients that feed harmful algae blooms, some toxic. While such blooms are common on Lake Erie and portions of Lakes Huron and Michigan, they’ve also begun showing up in deep, frigid Lake Superior — an unprecedented development, said Lucinda Johnson of the University of Minnesota at Duluth.

Beaches, dunes and shorelines will experience more erosion from heavier rainfall, the report predicted.

It’s uncertain how climate change will affect water levels in the Great Lakes, which already fluctuate periodically, the scientists said. Warmer temperatures will produce less ice cover, boosting evaporation and pushing levels down. But they could rise in years with especially heavy precipitation and temporary deep freezes caused by southward migration of frigid polar air.

Although the Trump administration has reversed federal policies intended to prevent climate change, states and local governments can take measures such as increasing energy efficiency, stepping up use of renewable sources and preventing runoff of nutrient-rich manure from large livestock farms, said Howard Learner, president of the Environmental Law & Policy Center.

“We cannot wait for the Trump administration to accept sound science,” Learner said. “We need to step up and act.”


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Iowa Mom of Baby Found Dead in Maggot-Infested Diaper Sentenced to Life in Prison

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa — A northeast Iowa mother found guilty of her baby son’s murder will spend the rest of her life in prison.

Online court records show 21-year-old Cheyanne Harris was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. She was found guilty of her four-month-old son Sterling Koehn’s murder earlier this month.

The baby was found dead in a child swing in August of 2017 in his parents’ apartment in Alta Vista. Investigators say he had been wearing the same maggot-infested diaper for at least nine days and weighed under seven pounds at the time of his death.

The baby’s father, Zachary Koehn, was found guilty of first-degree murder and child endangerment resulting in death back in November. He was also sentenced to life in prison.

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