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Member since: Sun Aug 17, 2014, 05:29 PM
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Kinzinger says he is 'open to' assault weapons ban after Uvalde shooting

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said on Sunday that he is “open to” an assault weapons ban after a gunman killed 21 people in Uvalde, Texas, with an AR-15-style rifle.

“I have opposed a ban fairly recently. I think I’m open to a ban now,” Kinzinger told co-anchor Dana Bash on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“It’s going to depend on what it looks like because there’s a lot of nuances on what constitutes certain things, but I’m getting to the point where I have to wonder,” he added.

Kinzinger also proposed potentially continuing to allow assault weapon purchases while requiring extra training or licenses.


“The problem is for those that support the Second Amendment like me, we have to be coming to the table with ways to mitigate 18-year-olds buying these guns and walking into schools,” Kinzinger said. “My side is not doing that. My side is not coming forward with reasonable ways to defend an amendment that we think is very important.”


The 1994-2004 federal Assault Weapons Ban worked.

Gun massacres fell 37 percent while ban was in place, rose by 183 percent after ban expired

NRA myth: The NRA says the 1994-2004 federal Assault Weapons Ban didn’t work.

Fact: The ban did work, and a number of studies lay that out.

University of Massachusetts researcher Louis Klarevas, author of the book “Rampage Nation,” found that the number of gun massacres dropped by 37 percent and the number of gun massacre deaths feel by 43 percent while the ban was in effect compared to the previous decade. After the ban lapsed in 2004, those numbers dramatically rose – a 183 percent increase in massacres and a 239 percent increase in massacre deaths.
A 2019 study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Surgery found that, based on data from 1981 to 2017, there were fewer mass-shooting deaths while the ban was in place.
A 2017 study in the Journal of Urban Health observed that law enforcement recovery of assault weapons fell nationwide while the ban was in base, indicating that they were used in fewer crimes, but increased after the ban expired.
A 2004 University of Pennsylvania study conducted for the Justice Department explained that the use of assault weapons in crime declined by 70 percent nine years after the Assault Weapons Ban took effect.


Covid-19's full death toll is nearly three times higher than reported, WHO data suggests

(CNN)About 14.9 million people around the world died as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19 in the period between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, according to new estimates from the World Health Organization -- nearly three times more deaths than were officially reported.

There were 5.4 million Covid-19 deaths reported to WHO during that timeframe, resulting in an excess mortality estimate of 9.5 million more deaths than what was reported.

"Excess mortality is the difference between the number of deaths that have been recorded and those that would be expected in the absence of the pandemic," said Samira Asma, assistant director-general for the Data, Analytics and Delivery for Impact Division of WHO.

The 14.9 million deaths include "deaths directly attributed to Covid-19 that were reported to WHO, deaths directly attributed to Covid-19 that were not counted or reported ... deaths indirectly associated with the pandemic due to the wider impact on health systems and society," Asma explained. The figure also subtracts any deaths that were avoided due to changes in social behaviors, such as fewer fatalities from car wrecks because of lockdowns or travel restrictions.


Blinken tests positive for coronavirus, State Department says

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has tested positive for the coronavirus, the State Department announced Wednesday, becoming the latest member of President Biden’s Cabinet to contract the virus.

Blinken tested positive Wednesday afternoon and “is experiencing only mild symptoms,” the State Department said. He is “fully vaccinated and boosted” and will maintain a virtual work schedule while isolating at home for an unspecified length of time, it added.

Blinken was among the more than 2,000 attendees at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last weekend. Biden also attended. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday afternoon that the two have not been in close contact according to the guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“He has not seen the president in several days, and he is not considered a close contact,” Psaki said of Blinken.


Data Broker Is Selling Location Data of People Who Visit Abortion Clinics

A location data firm is selling information related to visits to clinics that provide abortions including Planned Parenthood facilities, showing where groups of people visiting the locations came from, how long they stayed there, and where they then went afterwards, according to sets of the data purchased by Motherboard.

The country may also see an increase in vigilante activity or forms of surveillance and harassment against those seeking or providing abortions. With this aggregated location data available to anyone on the open market, customers could include anti-abortion vigilantes as well. Anti-abortion groups are already fairly adept at using novel technology for their goals. In 2016, an advertising CEO who worked with anti-abortion and Christian groups sent targeted advertisements to women sitting in Planned Parenthood clinics in an attempt to change their decision around getting an abortion. The sale of the location data raises questions around why companies are selling data based on abortion clinics specifically, and whether they should introduce more safeguards around the purchase of that information, if be selling it at all.

“It's bonkers dangerous to have abortion clinics and then let someone buy the census tracks where people are coming from to visit that abortion clinic,” Zach Edwards, a cybersecurity researcher who closely tracks the data selling marketplace, told Motherboard in an online chat after reviewing the data. “This is how you dox someone traveling across state lines for abortions—how you dox clinics providing this service."

The company selling the data is SafeGraph. SafeGraph ultimately obtains location data from ordinary apps installed on peoples’ phones. Often app developers install code, called software development kits (SDKs), into their apps that sends users’ location data to companies in exchange for the developer receiving payment. Sometimes app users don’t know that their phone—be that via a prayer app, or a weather app—is collecting and sending location data to third parties, let alone some of the more dangerous use cases that Motherboard has reported on, including transferring data to U.S. military contractors. Planned Parenthood is not the organization performing the data collection nor benefiting from it financially.
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