Michigan legislation would allow concealed guns in schools, churches

Published: Friday, November 10, 2017 @ 8:03 AM

The Michigan  State Capitol Building in Lansing.
Bill Pugliano/Getty Images
The Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing.(Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

A Michigan Senate committee approved bills Tuesday that will allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons in several gun-free zones, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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The bill would allow people to carry guns at schools, churches, day care centers, stadiums and bars.

The legislation comes on the heels of a mass shooting at a south Texas church Sunday that left 26 people dead and 20 more injured. That occurred a month after a mass shooting at an outdoor concert outside Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said the mass shootings make him more certain that now is the time to take up the gun legislation, the Free Press reported.

“Some have said it’s insensitive to bring up these issues now, but I feel quite the opposite, the Republican said. “The recent events will allow us to look at how we can deter those who want to do harm. And responsible, well-trained, licensed concealed-pistol holders can be one of those deterrents.”

The bills taken up in the Senate Government Operations Committee passed on a party-line vote with Republicans supporting the three-bill package and Democrats opposing it. The bills also would close the open-carry loophole, effectively barring gun owners from openly carrying their weapons in gun-free zones.

"That’s the part that causes the schools to shut down and lose a day of educational experience for students, and that’s problematic," Meekhof said.

Gun-free zones should be called “mass murderer empowerment zones,” said Steve Dulan, spokesman for the gun owners group.

But far more people were at the committee hearing to speak out against the bill, including school groups and Moms Demand Action, which has been fighting for more gun controls.

“Tragedies are going to happen. But we're concerned this change could create more accidental incidents and the additional training doesn’t come close to training an individual for high-intensity situations,” said Don Wotruba, executive director of the Michigan Association of School Boards. “Unless you’re trained for a military or police perspective, you're not well-trained.”

The new legislation would allow schools to prohibit students, both minors and adults, from carrying concealed weapons in schools. The bill also is expected to be amended on the Senate floor, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, to allow schools to prohibit employees from carrying concealed weapons in schools.

The legislation also would allow private businesses, such as bars, to declare themselves gun-free zones.

"We’re not going to pre-empt a private property owner's right to post for a weapon-free zone," said Meekhof's spokeswoman, Amber McCann.

 

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Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux announce separation

Published: Thursday, February 15, 2018 @ 6:53 PM

Jennifer Aniston Through The Years

Jennifer Aniston and her husband, director Justin Theroux, are separating after two years of marriage.

The couple announced the separation in a statement to The Associated Press Thursday. 

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“Normally we would do this privately, but given that the gossip industry cannot resist an opportunity to speculate and invent, we wanted to convey the truth directly,” the statement released by Aniston’s publicist Stephen Huvane said. “Whatever else is printed about us that is not directly from us, is someone else’s fictional narrative. Above all, we are determined to maintain the deep respect and love that we have for one another.”

The announcement was made “in an effort to reduce any further speculation,” according to the statement.

People reported that Aniston and Theroux met in 2008 but started dating in 2011. Theroux proposed to Aniston on his 41st birthday in August 2012. 

The pair had a surprise wedding in 2015, weeks before Theroux turned 44. 

According to People, the couple had been spending time apart. Aniston celebrated her 49th birthday without Theroux, but was with Courteney Cox and other friends in Los Angeles. Theroux was seen in New York.

Huvane  told The AP the decision to separate “was mutual and lovingly made at the end of last year.” The couple has no children.

This was the first marriage for Theroux. He dated hair stylist Heidi Bivens for 14 years before they spit in 2011. Aniston was married to Brad Pitt from 2000 to 2005.

As for the future, Aniston and Theroux said they are “two best friends who have decided to part ways as a couple, but look forward to continuing our cherished friendship.”

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WATCH: Florida school shooting survivors perform emotional song at CNN town hall

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 2:12 AM

Shooter Reportedly In Custody In Florida High School Shooting

Survivors of last week's deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, performed an emotional song Wednesday night to close a CNN town hall on gun control.

>> Watch the clip here

According to CNN, members of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Drama Club wrote and performed the song, "Shine," at the event at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

>> Marco Rubio faces a tough crowd during CNN's town hall for gun reform

"You're not gonna knock us down / We'll get back up again / You may have hurt us but I promise we are stronger and / We're not gonna let you win / We're putting up a fight / You may have brought the dark / But together we will shine a light," the chorus says.

Minutes earlier, Max Schachter read a poem titled "Life Is Like a Rollercoaster" by his son, Alex, who was killed in the shooting. 

>> Watch the reading here

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The tributes followed a heated town hall moderated by CNN's Jake Tapper and featuring lawmakers from Florida, including Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch also participated in the event.

Victims of the Florida High School Mass Shooting

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Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 5:23 PM

Reportedly Alleged Florida High School Shooter Has $800,000 Inheritance

The alleged gunman in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week in Parkland, Fla., has an inheritance from his adoptive parents worth $800,000, according to news outlets.

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But Nikolas Cruz, 19, who now has a public defender at taxpayer expense as his attorney in his murder case, cannot access the money until he turns 22, the Miami Herald reported.

Cruz was charged with 17 counts of murder last Thursday, a day after allegedly opening fire inside the high school with an assault-style rifle.

>> Related:Hundreds of students walk out in mass protest, march to Parkland high school

The large amount of money could prompt a judge to review the estate and possibly make the money accessible for Cruz’s defense.

Who Is Nicolas De Jesus Cruz, Alleged Gunman In Florida School Shooting?

The Public Defender’s Office asked a judge Tuesday to review the inheritance, the Herald reported,  to help determine if any of the money can be used in his defense.

The court filing specifically asked the judge to “determine whether the defendant is indigent.”

>> Related: Parkland students march at Capitol calling for tighter gun control laws

Cruz is charged with 17 counts of murder in the deaths of 14 students and three adults, including teachers, in the deadly rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day. More than a dozen others were injured in the massacre.

Cruz was caught shortly after the shooting in nearby Coral Springs, Fla., and taken into custody without incident.

He’s jailed without bond.

>> Related: Dallas Mayor pro tem tells NRA it can hold annual convention someplace else

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Marco Rubio faces a tough crowd during CNN's town hall for gun reform

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 12:01 AM

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky asks a question to Sen. Marco Rubio during a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Rubio was put on the defensive Wednesday by angry students, teachers and parents who are demanding stronger gun-control measures after the shooting rampage that claimed 17 lives at a Florida high school. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
Michael Laughlin/AP
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Cameron Kasky asks a question to Sen. Marco Rubio during a CNN town hall meeting at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Rubio was put on the defensive Wednesday by angry students, teachers and parents who are demanding stronger gun-control measures after the shooting rampage that claimed 17 lives at a Florida high school. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)(Michael Laughlin/AP)

During CNN’s Wednesday night town hall with Florida lawmakers, survivors of last week’s high school shooting and members of the NRA, Sen. Marco Rubio attempted to explain why a ban on assault rifles wouldn’t have prevented the tragedy, and the audience’s reaction was not quite what he was hoping for.

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While explaining what a ban on assault rifles would do, the Republican senator from Florida said to ensure no one would “get around it.”

“You would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that’s sold in America.” A surprised Rubio, who appeared to have been hoping to convince the audience against such an idea, was met with a solid 10 seconds of applause that overwhelmed the room.

“Fair enough, fair enough,” the senator said as the cheers died down.

>> Related: Who are the top 10 recipients of NRA money?

The moment came just after a grieving father called Rubio’s reaction to the mass shooting “pathetically weak” and asked whether the senator would support banning assault rifles like Nikolas Cruz’s AR-15 in order to save the lives of children.

“It’s too easy to get. It is a weapon of war,” the father emotionally said. “The fact that you can’t stand with everybody else in this building and say that, I’m sorry.”

A flustered Rubio assured him, “I do believe what you’re saying is true,” before launching into his argument against an assault rifles ban.

>> Related: Alleged Florida high school shooter has $800,000 inheritance, reports say

CNN’s town hall follows last week’s shooting at Marjory Stonemason Douglas High School where gunman Nikolas Cruz fatally shot 17 people and injured over a dozen more. In the time since, many of the school’s surviving students have been commanding public attention and demanding a conversation about gun reform in the United States.

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