Kamala Harris says she owns a gun ‘for personal safety’ and wants to ban assault weapons

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) participates in a interview and question-and-answer session with leaders from historically black colleges and universities during a Thurgood Marshall College Fund event at the JW Marriott February 07, 2019 in Washington, DC

 

2020 presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris said on Thursday that she owns a gun “for personal safety,” and that “smart gun safety laws” need not infringe on the Second Amendment. 

“I am a gun owner, and I own a gun for probably the reason a lot of people do — for personal safety,” she told reporters after attending a house party with supporters in Des Moines, Iowa. “I was a career prosecutor.” 

Harris, who’s made an assault weapons ban central to her policy platform, argued that Americans don’t need to choose between protecting Second Amendment freedoms and reducing gun violence.

Read more: Kamala Harris is running for president in 2020. Here’s everything we know about the candidate and how she stacks up against the competition.

https://www.businessinsider.com/who-is-kamala-harris-bio-age-family-key-positions-2019-3 

“We are being offered a false choice,” she said. “You’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away. It’s a false choice that is born out of a lack of courage from leaders who must recognize and agree that there are some practical solutions to what is a clear problem in our country.” 

Members of a grassroots gun control advocacy group, Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America, were at the Iowa gathering, according to CNN.

Harris has talked emotionally about gun violence on the campaign trail. During a January CNN town hall, Harris said her Republican colleagues in Congress should have been forced to confront graphic evidence of the deaths of the 20 elementary school students gunned down in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012 before the lawmakers voted on gun regulations. 

“I think somebody should have required all those members of Congress to go in a room, in a locked room, no press, nobody else, and look at the autopsy photographs of those babies,” Harris said. “And then you vote your conscience.” 

While Harris has focused her gun control efforts on banning assault weapons, handguns are the weapons used in the vast majority of gun deaths in the US. Even in mass shootings, handguns are more likely to be used than rifles or assault weapons.

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Woman does karate, son gets nude, dog steals cornbread mix from Walmart, police say

The Eau Claire Police Department identified 46-year-old Lisa Smith and her 25-year-old son Benny Vann as the suspects. (Source: Eau Claire Police Department)

 

EAU CLAIRE, WI (Gray News) – A mother and her son are in custody after causing a ruckus at a Walmart Wednesday night, police said. Their dog chipped in, too.

The Eau Claire Police Department identified 46-year-old Lisa Smith and her 25-year-old son Benny Vann as the suspects. Investigators said the dog is named Bo.

Responding officers said they found Smith yelling in the doorway trying to summon Bo.

Smith allegedly brought Bo into the store without a leash, so he easily ditched his owner and started running up to unsuspecting customers.

While Bo was doing that, Smith began tearing apart store displays and placing them in her shopping cart, police said.

Walmart staff asked her to leave, and she complied. Police said she left the store to perform karate moves in the parking lot.

Bo, on the other hand, had not been brought to heel. By the time anyone found him, he was on his way out of the store with a box of Jiffy cornbread muffin mix in his mouth.

Police arrested Smith, but it wasn’t without a fight. She allegedly kicked out a patrol car window when they finally got her in custody.

Meanwhile. police said Vann was running amok inside the store. He allegedly took off all of his clothes in the rear of the Walmart and exposed himself to everyone around him.

Fortunately for them, he tried to cover himself by putting on the clothes Walmart had on the racks. Even so, police said he didn’t try to purchase them, so that is also a crime.

Officers approached and commanded him to end the madness, but he refused. Authorities said Vann even used a scooter in an attempt to run over an officer.

But law enforcement physically stopped the scooter and took him into custody.

Vann faces charges for lewd and lascivious behavior, disorderly conduct and retail theft. Smith is charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and misdemeanor bail jumping.

Bo, however, was not charged. Police issued him a warning for the theft.

 

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White House considered sending immigrant detainees to sanctuary cities

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at a healthcare roundtable at the White House in Washington

President Donald Trump and White House officials proposed in recent months releasing immigrant detainees into the streets of so-called “sanctuary cities,” places where local governments have decided to limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities working to locate and deport undocumented immigrants, according to officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the White House.

The plan, which was first reported by The Washington Post, would have targeted cities — many of them led or represented by Democratic lawmakers– which have policies that limit their cooperation with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The term sanctuary city has been used in reference to a number of policies in different jurisdictions and does not have one legal definition. There are dozens of so-called sanctuary cities across the United States, including places like San Francisco, New York City, and Denver, where Democratic leaders have been outspoken in opposing the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

When asked about the plan Thursday night, a White House official and a spokesperson from the Department of Homeland Security emailed the PBS NewsHour nearly identical statements. The White House statement said, “This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion.”

In recent years, the number of immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement has hit record highs, with nearly 50,000 immigrants detained this year. It is not clear how many people the White House proposed releasing into sanctuary cities, but news of the proposal comes as Trump doubles down on his hardline immigration policies through personnel changes and new policy proposals.

In the past, the Trump administration tried to withhold federal funds from jurisdictions considered sanctuary cities but the effort has largely been blocked by court decisions.

Trump has also repeatedly blasted the idea of sanctuary cities. “I don’t think we like sanctuary cities up here,” Trump said during a rally in Nevada last year. “By the way, a lot of people in California don’t want them, either. They’re rioting now. They want to get out of their sanctuary cities.”

Ashley Etienne, the communications director for Pelosi, pointedly criticized the plan Thursday. “The extent of this Administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,” she said in a statement. “Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonize immigrants is despicable, and in some cases, criminal.”

News of the president’s plan to release detainees comes amid major changes in the administration’s immigration leadership positions. On Sunday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign from her post. Acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Claire Grady also offered the president her resignation this week.

Kevin McAleenan, the current U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, will become acting Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, a move Trump announced on Twitter. On Thursday, Ronald Vitiello, the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also announced he would be replaced in the acting role Friday by acting Deputy Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Matt Albence.

White House officials have told the NewsHour that the personnel changes come as the president reviews how to best pursue the immigration policies he prefers.

Meanwhile, Nielsen’s departure also added to the slate of Trump Cabinet officials operating with “acting” as part of their titles. They include acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, and acting Ambassador to the United Nations Jonathan Cohen.

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The reparations scam is back, and Democratic presidential candidates are falling for it

QHMQR5JL7NHKNCURB4K7ZKCSQUThe Reverend Al Sharpton greets 2020 Presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke at the 28th Annual National Action Network Conference in Manhattan NY on April 3, 2019. (Andrew Schwartz/for New York Daily News)

 

I have lived long enough to be embarrassed for politicians and others who don’t know history. Such ignorance is especially galling when presidential hopefuls go to kiss the ring of the ignominious Al Sharpton to seek either his blessing or neutrality as they pursue their party’s nomination at the top of its 2020 ticket.

So my civil rights bones rattled when major figures — such as Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker — went to Sharpton’s “House of Justice” and expressed their support for or signaled interest in federal legislation that would consider reparations for the descendants of African-American slaves.

Where have these dolts been for the past several decades? As recently as 1992, Sharpton backed a “Million Youth March” in Harlem that revived the idea of reparations. That March was scantily attended — it having been convened by a “black leader” even more wretched and discredited than Sharpton, Khalid Muhammad, an unrepentant anti-Semite and black separatist. The march fizzled, as did the demand for slavery reparations.

Indeed, historically all the sound and fury about reparations for the descendants of African-American slaves has been just that — noise and racial rhetoric.

But now, against the backdrop of a 2020 presidential race, mainstream Democrats are giving lip service to considering — er, “studying” the ways of providing “reparations” that, if serious and honestly pursued, would run in the trillions, go into the pockets of people many generations removed from slavery and make a mockery of actual attempts to repair moral damage done.

27DNDLULFRCYFGPAPIKQS3BCFE2020 Presidential candidate, Julian Castro speaks at the 28th Annual National Action Network Conference in Manhattan NY on April 3,2019. (Andrew Schwartz/for New York Daily News)

Inflationary times have already overtaken the meager $500 million cost of reparations that black activist James Forman demanded of white churches and synagogues in the form of his Black Manifesto, delivered at Riverside Church circa 1969. That helped birth a bill offered by Rep. John Conyers to have Congress spend millions to form a “study commission” on methods and means to “remedy” the scourge of slavery on the African-American population. It languished in Congress for decades — only to be recently revived by black Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee.

But the more one thinks about the idea, the less sense it makes.

Who would get them and why? Would someone with two slaves in his or her family three get half of what someone with four slaves in his or her family tree receives? Would middle-class and poor blacks get the same? Would reparations be in lieu of affirmative-action programs, which also purport to right historic injustices, or in addition to them?

Those are just the start of the questions, but unlike in past decades, many if not most “civil rights” and black nationalist groups have joined forces to make “reparations” a legitimate item on the racial progress agenda. Gone are the luminaries among black intellectuals and leaders who voiced their disgust and distrust of “fake reparations” as either an “apology” for slavery or as a sop to black charities and “rights” organizations that thirst for bounty from a reparations pot.

Dead and buried are such big black voices as Bayard Rustin’s — who in the 1960s and 1970s lashed out at reparations for slavery as a scam, an insult, and a “handout.” The NAACP’s leader, Roy Wilkins, had done likewise. The entire NAACP in those heady years rejected reparations as a “preposterous idea.”

Sorely missing in this current national conversation is the sagacious guidance of black newspaper columnist and public citizen Carl Rowan who as recently as 1997 had dismissed reparations as “a profitless diversion.” “Just give today’s black man genuine hope,” he said, “then a fair chance at learning and training, and then a proud way to make an honest dollar to sustain a loving family, and he will not dwell on slavery or any other of yesteryear’s injustices.”

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Presidential candidate Cory Booker introduces Senate bill on slavery reparations

GETTY-cory-booker_1554747033858_7077715_ver1.0_640_360U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) speaks to guests during a campaign stop at the Van G, Miller Adult Learning Center on February 08, 2019 in Waterloo, Iowa. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

 

Sen. Cory Booker on Monday introduced a bill that would study the possibility of reparations for descendants of slaves, embracing a push that has recently has caught the interest of fellow 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.

The senator from New Jersey said Monday that “this bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country. It will bring together the best minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to right the economic scales of past harms and make sure we are a country where all dignity and humanity is affirmed.”

The measure is a Senate companion to a bill introduced in the House of Representatives in January by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, which if passed into law would set up a commission to study the impact of slavery and continued discrimination against black Americans and make recommendations on reparation proposals for the descendants of slaves. The legislation was first introduced 30 years ago by then-Rep. John Conyers of Michigan.

“Since slavery in this country, we have had overt policies fueled by white supremacy and racism that have oppressed African-Americans economically for generations,” Booker added. “Many of our bedrock domestic policies that have ushered millions of Americans into the middle class have systematically excluded blacks through practices like GI Bill discrimination and redlining.

Besides Booker, the idea of slavery reparations for black Americans is at least partially backed by at least eight other Democratic presidential contenders. They are Sen. Kamala Harris of California; Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who served as housing secretary under President Barack Obama; South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; and businessman and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Several of them were asked specifically about Jackson Lee’s reparations bill during a conference last week of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

The push by the Democratic White House hopefuls points to the further importance of race and identity issues within the party. Yet while supporters say reparations are needed to address slavery and racist aspects of American history, critics claim such a move could cost several trillion dollars without solving the issue of racism.

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Bill Cosby says he did not authorize the payment to 7 women who sued him for defamation

Bill Cosby, Norristown, USA - 25 Sep 2018

An attorney for seven women who accused Bill Cosby of sexual misconduct announced Friday they have settled a defamation case against him.

Cosby was sued in 2014 by Tamara Green, who alleges that Cosby sexually assaulted her in the 1970s. Green first made the accusation in 2005, and repeated it in interviews in 2014, which prompted denials from Cosby’s camp. “This is a 10-year-old, discredited accusation that proved to be nothing at the time, and is still nothing,” a Cosby publicist said at the time.

Green filed suit for defamation in December 2014, alleging that Cosby was falsely branding her a liar. She was later joined by six other women, whose allegations Cosby had also denied.

A year after the suit was filed, Cosby was charged with sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his Pennsylvania home in 2004. He was convicted in April 2018 and is now serving a 3-to-10 year sentence in state prison.

In a filing on Friday, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Joseph Cammarata, said that his clients’ claims has been settled. The terms were not disclosed.

Cosby’s spokesman issued a statement saying the settlement was made by his insurance company without his knowledge or consent.

“Mr. Cosby did not settle any cases with anyone,” his rep said. “He is not paying anything to anyone, and he is still pursuing his counterclaims. AIG decided to settle these cases, without the knowledge, permission and/or consent of Mr. Cosby. Mr. Cosby vehemently denies the allegations brought against him in these defamation suits and he maintains his innocence.”

Cosby filed a countersuit against the women, accusing them of tarnishing his image and interfering with contracts with NBC and Netflix. That claim is still pending.

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Lori Lightfoot elected Chicago mayor, will be 1st black woman and 1st openly gay person to hold post

Lori Lightfoot and Toni Preckwinkle had the first two spots in February’s election that saw a historic 14 candidates for mayor, leading to the runoff.

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Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot defeated Toni Preckwinkle in a runoff for Chicago mayor Tuesday. She will be the first openly gay person and first black woman to lead the city.

The Associated Press called the race for Lightfoot shortly before 8 p.m. local time.

With over 91 percent of precincts in, Lightfoot led Preckwinkle 73.7 percent to 26.3 percent, according to the Chicago board of elections website.

Lightfoot pumped her fist in the air and the crowd cheered when she said, “Thank you Chicago!”

“In this election Toni and I were competitors, but our differences are nothing compared to what we can achieve together,” Lightfoot said. “Now that it’s over, I know we will work together for the city that we both love.”

“Today, you did more than make history,” Lightfoot said. “You created a movement for change.”

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Lori Lightfoot supporters react as she is projected Chicago’s next mayor at an election night party. Kamil Krzaczynski / AFP – Getty Images

 

Lightfoot, 56, who was an assistant U.S. attorney before she entered private practice, has never held elective office before.

The runoff election was bound to be historic, as either of the two candidates was going to be Chicago’s first black female mayor. The city is around 33 percent black, according to 2010 Census data.

Preckwinkle told supporters Tuesday evening that she called Lightfoot to congratulate her.

“This may not be the outcome we wanted, but while I may be disappointed, I’m not disheartened,” she said. “For one thing, this is clearly a historic night. Not long ago, two African-American women vying for this position would have been unthinkable.”

Lightfoot came in first in the February election that saw a record 14 candidates vying to succeed Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who did not seek re-election.

Preckwinkle, 72, a former schoolteacher who served on the Chicago City Council for 19 years before becoming Cook County Board president in 2011, came in second in the February race, garnering 16.1 percent of the vote to Lightfoot’s 17.5 percent.

They both beat William “Bill” Daley of the famous political family, whose father and brother each served as mayor for a combined total of more than 40 years.

Daley, who came in third with 14.8 percent of the vote, conceded that night and congratulated both women, saying “one of them will have the honor of being the next mayor of Chicago.”

Emanuel, who has been mayor since 2011, announced in Septemberthat he would not seek a third term.

Although a nonpartisan election, the candidates in the February election like Tuesday’s runoff were all attached in varying degrees to the Democratic Party. The Republican Party has virtually disappeared from the city.

Lightfoot seized on the outrage over the 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald by a white police officer to launch her reformer campaign and suggested that Preckwinkle was attached to big-party politics.

Lightfoot said that as mayor, she would focus on investing in neighborhoods on the West and South Sides and bring transparency and accountability to City Hall. She also said she also wants to end City Hall corruption and restore people’s faith in government.

Preckwinkle, who leads Cook County’s Democratic Party, said that mayor “is not an entry-level job” and that “it’s easy to talk about change. It’s hard to actually do it.”

Both women expressed support for a casino in downtown Chicago, and for changing the state’s income tax system to a graduated tax, in which higher earners are taxed at a higher rate.

190402-chicago-elections-ac-732p_4b757aac444d959d551c36ef9c4985c7.fit-560w

Voters fill out their ballot at a polling place during a runoff election for mayoral candidates Toni Preckwinkle and Lori Lightfoot in Chicago, Illinois on April 2, 2019.Joshua Lott / Reuters

 

There were few Election Day problems, NBC Chicago reported. One precinct opened “exceptionally late” because of a delay caused by judges not showing up on time, but the board of elections said that it appeared all voters would be able to return by the close of polls, according to the station.

Lightfoot was endorsed by the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers, as well as U.S. Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and Robin Kelly, according to NBC Chicago.

Preckwinkle had the endorsement of several unions, including the Service Employees International Union state council, the Teamsters joint council and the Local 700 and other unions, as well as U.S. Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Bobby Rush and Danny Davis, NBC Chicago reported. Chance the Rapper also endorsed her.