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Thumbnails Special Edition: And a Child Shall Lead Them

Thumbnails is a roundup of brief excerpts to introduce you to articles from other websites that we found interesting and informative. We provide links to the original sources for you to read in their entirety. This special edition honors the brave young people who have emerged as leading voices in the fight for gun control, in the wake of the horrific Valentine's Day shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school. But we also include Father Michael Pfleger's reminder about all the children who have been shot on the southside of Chicago.—Chaz Ebert

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1. 

"Emma González hated guns before. Now, she's speaking out on behalf of her dead classmates.": A profile of the courageous Florida student penned by The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery. 

“About an hour before a gunman entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and fatally shot 17 people with an AR-15 rifle, Emma González was in an AP U.S. government class, learning about the role of special interest groups in American politics. Those interest groups, the class discussed, used money to influence politicians to support their causes. As the classroom discussion continued, González thought about interest groups she supported, like the Sierra Club. And then she recalled the one she most despises: the National Rifle Association. ‘I hate guns,’ González said in a recent interview as she recalled the classroom debate. ‘All of these people are getting paid to do nothing about guns, and we as a people are doing nothing in response, so that’s our fault. It’s the people’s fault for not doing something.’ Just three days later, González would be behind a microphone to give an impassioned speech seen around the nation. She decried the NRA and vowed to get politicians who accept their money voted out of office.”

2. 

"What to Know About March for our Lives and Other Student-Led Gun Control Protests": Time's Sarah Gray lays out the details.

“A growing movement titled #NationalSchoolWalkout is being called for by Connecticut student Lane Murdock and others. Murdock lives just 20 minutes away from Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to NBC News. In December 2012, 20 students and six staff members were gunned down at Sandy Hook. The plan calls for high school students to walk out on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shooting. No time has been specified yet. The plans are currently being housed on Twitter along with a Change.org petition page that has over 76,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning. A tweet pitching the national high school walkout has been liked 139,000 times.”

3. 

"Rev. Michael Pfleger wants school walkouts extended to include Chicago victims": As reported by Michael Sneed of The Chicago Sun-Times. See also: CBS News' report from last August on the gun violence epidemic in Chicago. 

“Activist peace priest Michael Pfleger, who is anti-Glock, is on the clock. ‘We are answering the call, but not to arms,’ said Rev. Pfleger, who plans to heed a call for a 17-minute nationwide school walkout requested by students at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to honor the 17 people killed at their Florida school. ‘But I think we should add three minutes to that time frame to connect the dots to Chicago,’ said Father Pfleger, whose diocese at St. Sabina’s church serves the bullet-ridden Auburn Gresham Englewood neighborhoods. ‘Let’s join our brothers and sisters nationwide in the 17-minute walkout; but, here in Chicago, let’s make it a 20-minute remembrance by adding: One extra minute in memory of slain Police Commander Paul Bauer. Two extra minutes for all the victims of Chicago’s gun violence.’”

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4. 

"Grandmother fights gun violence in Chicago, one checkmate at a time": CBS News' Adriana Diaz reports on Raydell Lacey's program, "Not Before My Parents."

“Stephon Edwards, 11, has his opponent on the run, and that opponent is usually in the business of pursuing others. On Chicago's South Side, officers meet neighborhood kids on equal ground: the squares of a chess board. They're brought together by Raydell Lacey, who started a program called ‘Not Before My Parents.’ We first met her two years ago, just days after her grandson E.J. was shot in the head at 19. He was one of 771 Chicagoans killed in 2016. Twenty-one years before that, her daughter was also murdered. In their memory, she pledged to us that she would be part of a solution. ‘No parent should have to bury their child. That's just don't go together. It's just not right,’ Lacey said. Two years later, she has delivered on that promise.”

5. 

"NRA Fallout: See the list of companies that cut discounts for NRA members after Parkland, Florida school shooting": Compiled by USA Today's Nathan Bomey.

“Major companies with ties to the National Rifle Association suddenly shed ties to the pro-gun-rights interest group amid intense scrutiny over the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. The breakups were swift amid a billowing cloud of scrutiny on social media, where countless users threatened to boycott companies that maintained a relationship with the NRA. Most of the businesses had offered discounted products and services to NRA's several million members. Critics said the deals served as an attractive element of NRA membership.Among the only major companies that has yet to pull out: FedEx. The NRA Business Alliance says on its website it has ‘teamed up’ with FedEx ‘to offer BIG savings’ on the shipment giant's services. FedEx has not responded to requests seeking comment. Amazon, Google and Apple have also come under pressure from celebrity critics to stop offering an NRA video channel through streaming services.”

6. 

"If Gun Control Advocates Are Serious, They Must Primary Democrats": According to The Weekly Standard's John McCormack.

“In the wake of the Florida school massacre that left 17 innocents dead, there’s been a push to renew the Assault Weapons Ban. ‘Courage and conviction led to an assault weapons ban once before. Let’s do it again,’ tweeted Bill Clinton, who signed the Assault Weapons Ban into law in 1994. The federal law—which banned a number of semi-automatic weapons by name, as well as any semi-automatic weapon with certain features and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition—wasn’t renewed in 2004 when a sunset provision took effect. The last time Congress voted on the measure was 2013, in the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 first-grade children and 6 adults were murdered. Though Democrats controlled the Senate 55-45 at the time, the assault weapons ban got only 40 votes. Just one Republican (Mark Kirk of Illinois, who was defeated in 2016) voted for it. Sixteen Democrats, including several blue state Democrats like Michael Bennet of Colorado (whose state experienced a mass killing in Aurora in 2012), voted against it.”

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7.

"How Colorado Gun Control Advocates Beat the NRA": An essential read from The New Yorker's Eli Stokols.

“In 2013, [Tom] Sullivan was among a small group of parents who lost children in Aurora or Newtown or Columbine who helped Democrats push Colorado’s legislature to enact tougher gun-control measures despite intense opposition from the N.R.A. After receiving the Parkland news alerts last week, Sullivan testified against the latest effort to roll back those measures, a proposal in the state’s Republican-controlled Senate that would expand concealed-carry rights in Colorado. The measure passed the committee in a party-line vote but this week was defeated, along with two other measures to loosen restrictions on guns, in the state’s Democrat-controlled House. For now Colorado’s stricter measures, including universal background checks and a ban on magazines of more than fifteen rounds, remain law. Sullivan, who ran, unsuccessfully, for state Senate in 2016, says that Colorado shows that strengthening gun-control laws is possible, but keeping them in place requires political vigilance. ‘It is disappointing we have to play defense all the time,’ he told me.”

8. 

"Students are rising up against gun violence in the aftermath of the Florida shooting": An in-depth report from Vox's German Lopez.

“This time, it may be different. That seems to be the hope after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed at least 17 people and injured at least 14 others. In the days after the shooting, students and activists have called on their peers around the country to demand action. This has so far culminated in two planned events: the National School Walkout on March 14 and the March for Our Lives on March 24. The theme of both events: Enough is enough. ‘Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school,’ Women’s March organizers, who are setting up the school walkout, said in a statement. ‘Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day.’ Alex Wind, one of the survivors of the Florida shooting, echoed the sentiment on NBC’s Meet the Press: ‘We’re marching because it’s not just schools. It’s movie theaters, it’s concerts, it’s nightclubs. This kind of stuff can’t just happen. You know, we are marching for our lives, we’re marching for the 17 lives we lost. And we’re marching for our children’s lives and our children’s children and their children.’”

Image of the Day

The 17 people who lost their lives in the Florida school shooting, as profiled by Eric Levenson and Joe Sterling at CNN.

Video of the Day

The astonishing speech delivered by Emma Gonzalez, whose refrain, "We call BS," has reenergized the movement for gun control in America. Click here to read the full transcript courtesy of CNN.

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