The CDC Can’t Fund Gun Research. What if that Changed?

America doesn't have good data on guns. Blame the Dickey amendment. First introduced in 1996, the legislation didn't ban gun investigations explicitly (it forbade the use of federal dollars in the advocacy or promotion of gun control), but Congress that year also cut the budget for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by the exact amount it had previously devoted to firearm research. It's had a chilling effect on the field ever since. (While some states and private foundations are conducting peer reviewed studies on gun violence, the federal government has been AWOL.) That means policymakers in Washington have little information about what causes gun violence, how it can be prevented or reduced, and who is most at risk.

But that could change. The February 14 killings in Parkland, Florida led a bipartisan group of lawmakers to consider repealing the Dickey amendment and resuming government-backed gun-research. Which raises a pressing question: If the CDC were to resume funding studies on the epidemiology of firearm violence, what questions would they want to answer right now?

"We don't know enough about the risk factors, for either the perpetrators or victims of gun violence," says Garen Wintemute, an ER physician and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program.

Wintemute says that one of the big predictors of future gun violence is a history of other forms of violence, like domestic abuse. But connecting the dots between prior behavior and future threat is difficult—especially on an individual basis. That said, researchers think that by identifying early signals and studying them more closely, they could help police and social service agents make better decisions about when to intervene.

He also wants to study the psychological impact that high rates of gun violence can have on communities. Does living in place where gunfire or gun violence is common make someone more or less likely to use a gun in the future? Social scientists say they don't know the answer yet.

As for preventing the next mass shooting, experts say they don't know enough about the effectiveness of proposed interventions. Take, for instance, the "gun restraining order" laws recently enacted in California, Oregon and Washington. Such regulations allow family members as well as law enforcement to ask a judge to confiscate guns from people deemed to pose "a serious risk of harm." (In San Diego County, ten gun owners recently received court orders to surrender their weapons under the new law.) It sounds like a good idea in theory, but to expand such laws to other states, or the federal level, policymakers would need to make a case for their effectiveness. And at least for now, the data on whether the laws have a measurable impact on either suicides or murders just doesn't exist.

“There isn’t any information other than anecdotal,” says Shannon Frattaroli, associate professor of health policy at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Gun Policy and Research.

Frattaroli says a key factor, when it comes to studying the effectiveness of firearm policies, is being able to follow weapons. One way to track how violence spreads is by tracing implicated weapons to their source. In big cities plagued by gun violence, these weapons are often bought and sold illegally. "We need to understand where guns are coming from, how they get from the legal market to the hands of people who are prohibited to purchase them," Frattaroli says. "That’s important to know if we want to get a handle on the flow of guns."

Doing so will require a lot more money, time, and resources than researchers currently possess. That’s where the CDC might serve as both a deep-pocketed grant-making agency, as well as a clearinghouse for various databases on gun violence and gun ownership. A boost in funding would also attract more and better scientists to the field, whose numbers have dwindled since the Dickey amendment went into effect. “As I recruit new investigators, it has been a critical question for applicants: 'Will I have a job in a couple years, or will I have to look for a job in another field because there’s no funding,'" Wintemute says.

Social scientist and ER docs like Frattaroli and Wintemute are encouraged by the possibility that Congress might direct the CDC to renew gun research. President Trump’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Alex Azar, said the day after the Florida shootings that he backs such efforts. But this shift might take a while. The agency has been without a leader since January, when director Brenda Fitzgerald resigned after news reports that she purchased tobacco stocks after taking office. Any big change in the status quo of the amendment—and more money for gun violence research—will probably have to wait for a change in control of Congress.

Gun Shy

  • The United States has never funded a research center to study gun violence—so last year, California started one on its own.

  • If the CDC's commitment to gun violence research expands, it could be a surprise to these researchers, who raced to protect the little data they had from the Trump administration.

  • If it doesn't, though, researchers will continue to find novel ways to work around their utter lack of data, like this group that rifled through old gun magazines for information.

Read more:

Hard To Watch: This Girl Who Wont Go In The Pool Because She Just Got Her First Period Is Way Overselling Her Lie About How Her Religion Doesnt Allow Swimming

If you were looking for a heartwarming story, you might want to stop reading now, because the scene currently unfolding at a neighborhood pool party is sure to make you cringe: Thirteen-year-old Katie Moore isn’t going in the pool because she just got her first period, and now she’s way overselling her lie about how her religion doesn’t allow swimming.

Jeez. This is definitely hard to watch. Everyone got the hint when she said her religious beliefs forbid swimming, and she really could’ve just left it at that.

From the moment her friends jumped into the pool, Katie’s been leaning way too hard on her lie about how her family belongs to a little-known sect of Christianity in which swimming is forbidden, both recreationally and for survival. Although everyone at the party was immediately cool to just let her chill out by the side of the pool without any fuss, she proceeded to tell everybody her family’s faith stipulates that her soul will be damned to Hell for an eternity of unbearable torment should she swim.

“My family’s priest will excommunicate me from the church if I even get my feet wet,” Katie said as she ignored her friends’ offer to just get out of the pool and go on the trampoline with her instead. “A few years ago, my uncle went swimming in the hotel pool at our Christmas celebration, and now we’re not even allowed to say his name.”

Sadly, even though all of Katie’s friends are nodding and saying it’s fine if she doesn’t swim with them, she’s continuing to pad out this unnecessary lie with excessive detail, including a made-up biblical story she says her family holds sacred about twin sisters named Victoria and Zemirah who swam in a river instead of preparing supper and, as punishment, were beheaded by their father, who was anointed with scented oils by the king as a reward for slaying the blasphemous swimmers.

Damn, Katie’s really going to some incredible lengths to avoid telling people she just got her period. Someone should probably tell her she can take it easy. Party guests say that when her friend’s mom came outside with a box of popsicles, Katie didn’t even give her a chance to ask why she wasn’t in the pool before launching into a convoluted explanation about how the only day her religion will permit her to swim is on the eve of her wedding, and that when she does finally get in the water, it will be a really beautiful ceremony at a lake, which is something she says she knows because she saw her cousin swim before he got married last summer.

Yikes. You’ve gotta feel for this girl. Her elaborate lie about her anti-swimming religion is becoming more labyrinthine by the moment. It’s definitely not easy to have your first period at a pool party, but this is total overkill. Hopefully Katie finds a way to wrap this up at some point before she digs herself into too big of a hole.

Read more:–7425

Trump Suggests Bonuses for Gun-Trained Teachers, Praises the NRA

President Donald Trump called for paying bonuses to teachers who carry guns in the classroom, embracing a controversial proposal to curb school shootings hours after offering a full-throated endorsement of the National Rifle Association.

Trump told state and local officials gathered at the White House on Thursday to discuss school safety that “you can’t hire enough security guards” and teachers could carry concealed weapons and “nobody would know who they are.” He said that teachers would go through “rigorous training” and could get “a little bit of a bonus.”

His support for arming educators comes a week after the massacre of 17 people at a high school in Florida. The president and lawmakers are now struggling to respond to public demands for action, mindful of the clout gun-rights enthusiasts hold in the Republican Party, which controls the White House and both chambers of Congress.

Guns in America

The NRA, which has been one of the most powerful political opponents to gun control, received lavish praise from Trump just minutes before its chief executive officer, Wayne LaPierre, took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference. LaPierre proceeded to blast school officials, local law enforcement and the FBI for failing to prevent school shootings.

It was a jarring contrast for Trump just a day after his emotional meeting with students and parents affected by recent school massacres. Earlier Thursday morning, before a tweet praising the NRA, Trump went the furthest he’s ever gone on gun control, saying he’d push for tougher background checks that screen for mental health, raising the minimum age of buyers to 21, and ending the sale of bump stocks.

Trump also suggested to local officials at the White House meeting that schools concentrate more on hardening facilities to withstand rifle fire. But he opposed mandating active shooting drills — which have become increasingly common — saying that rehearsing for a possibly violent event could upset students.

“Active shooter drills is a very negative thing, have to be honest with you,” Trump said, “I’d much rather have a hardened school.” He added that he wouldn’t want his son to be told he was going through an active shooter drill. “I think it’s very bad for children.”

White House spokesman Raj Shah later said that Trump only opposes using the term “active shooter drill” because it could be frightening, and suggested schools instead use the term “safety drill.”

Children’s exposure to violence on the Internet and in video games and movies also may be contributing to the shootings, Trump added. “Their minds are being formed, and we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it,” he said.

LaPierre called for more armed security at schools and criticized the notion of making schools “gun-free zones,” which he said are targets for potential shooters, echoing comments Trump has made.

The NRA chief lashed out at Democrats including Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who has long pushed for tighter gun laws, for “politicizing” the Florida shooting. He said “elites” want to “eradicate all individual freedoms.”

“They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security, the failure of family, the failure of America’s mental health system, and even the unbelievable failure of the FBI,” LaPierre said.

The NRA is one of the biggest spenders in elections, ranking 9th among all outside groups, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In 2016, the NRA’s political arms spent $54.4 million influencing elections, Federal Election Commission records show, including $19.8 million attacking Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and $11.4 million promoting Trump. The NRA also spent $500,000 or more on 7 Senate races, including in battleground states Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Trump was endorsed by the NRA and has routinely touted his support for the organization, and his campaign said he opposed expanding the background check system or imposing new restrictions on gun and magazine bans. Trump is expected to speak at the CPAC event on Friday.

Trump conferred with the NRA’s chief lobbyist, Chris Cox, over the weekend in the aftermath of the Florida shooting, Shah said.

Gun stocks rose Thursday after declining the two prior days. Shares in American Outdoor Brands Corp. rose 2.8 percent to $10.34 and Sturm Ruger & Co. was up 5 percent to $49.55 at 1:30 p.m. New York time.

Background Checks

While Trump said he would push “comprehensive background checks” with an emphasis on mental health, an Obama-era gun rule aimed at preventing people with serious mental illness from buying guns was one of the first targets of Republicans in Congress last year. Lawmakers used a special procedure under the Congressional Review Act to do away with the rule.

Trump announced Tuesday he would propose regulations to ban “bump stocks” used to allow semi-automatic rifles to fire like automatic weapons. He signaled support for bipartisan legislation to improve data collection for the federal gun-sale background check system.

Trump said he called many lawmakers Wednesday evening to discuss background checks and that many prior opponents of toughening them have changed their minds.

But the president isn’t ready to back any specific legislation yet, Shah said. Instead Trump “is proposing ideas, he’s listening right now,” Shah said.

Click here for more on the debate over guns in America.

His support for arming teachers would eliminate the gun-free zones in and around schools enshrined in a nearly three-decade-old federal law.

Trump said in a tweet earlier Thursday that 20 percent of teachers “would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this.”

The idea prompted sharp rebukes from some Democrats and misgivings from at least one prominent Republican.

Murphy said on CNN that the proposal was “a recipe for disaster,” adding that there was no evidence that it would prevent shootings.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, told a CNN town hall meeting on Wednesday that he opposed arming teachers.

Trump on Thursday tried to explain his rationale for arming school staff members. “History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes,” Trump tweeted. “It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!”

“If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!” Trump wrote.

Trump has signaled support for a bipartisan Senate bill that would strengthen current laws requiring federal agencies to report information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The House passed a similar bill in December, but added legislation that would require states to recognize concealed carry licenses from other states. House conservatives would likely balk at separating the two issues, while the House version of the bill would likely fail in the Senate.

A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday found 97 percent support for universal background checks, while 67 percent backed a ban on the sale of assault weapons.

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, which operates Bloomberg News, serves as a member of Everytown for Gun Safety’s advisory board and is a donor to the group. Everytown for Gun Safety advocates for universal background checks and other gun control measures.

    Read more:

    Snow causes major disruption across UK

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionLatest BBC Weather forecast with Phil Avery

    Flights and trains have been cancelled and drivers stranded as sub-zero conditions continue across the UK.

    Rail networks Southeastern, South Western and ScotRail advised people not to travel on their routes on Friday.

    Thousands of properties were left without power across the south west of England, south Wales and the Midlands.

    The Met Office’s red warning has been lifted but flood warnings remain in place in the south-west and north-east of England.

    Services stopped leaving London Waterloo station just before 22:00 GMT with the South Western Railway network shutting down early.

    Meanwhile, the RAC says that freezing rain could pose the biggest threat to drivers as black ice forms on roads.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionPiers Hanson walked down the tracks after receiving clearance from police

    There were severe delays to services in Lewisham, south London after passengers stuck on four Southeastern trains “forced open” doors, left the carriages and started walking along the tracks.

    The rail company said police and the fire service assisted in helping to restore power on the tracks and get trains moving again.

    Major incidents were declared in Wiltshire, Hampshire and Avon and Somerset, as blizzards brought roads to a standstill.

    The M62 near Manchester was closed while the military helped police free stranded motorists.

    Around 100 cars were stuck on the A505 between Hitchin and Luton but were able to complete their journey after a few hours.

    The body of a woman has been found during a search for missing 51-year-old hillwalker Alison Fox, who went walking in the Ochil Hills behind Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, on Thursday afternoon.

    A police spokesman said formal identification had not yet taken place but Ms Fox’s family had been informed.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionNear miss bus driver Charmaine Laurie: “It looked worse on the video”

    There are yellow weather warnings for snow, ice and wind in place across the UK throughout Friday and Saturday, with a Scottish warning in force until 23:55 GMT on Monday, but there are no more of the more serious amber alerts currently in place.

    Prime Minister Theresa May has thanked everyone “going the extra mile”.

    In Scotland the armed forces are transporting vital NHS staff to the hospitals where they work.

    Electricity North West says it restored power to 20,000 homes in the north west of England but some rural areas could be without power overnight on Friday.

    Image copyright Supt Toby Davies
    Image caption Officers had the loan of poles to search for vehicles buried on the A386 in Devon

    The Environment Agency has issued 15 flood warnings and 36 flood alerts for coastal areas in the south-west and north-east of England.

    Severe flooding has been reported in Penzance, Cornwall, due to high river levels and swollen seas.

    The Met Office said the UK has officially broken its record for the lowest temperatures in a 24-hour period in March.

    Temperatures in the town of Tredegar in south Wales did not get above -5.2C on Thursday.

    Police forces around the UK have told people to travel only if necessary.

    There is a warning of black ice on the M6, while some of the worst problems are near Rochdale on the M62 – which is closed as stranded vehicles are cleared – and on the A303 near Ilminster and the A31 in the New Forest.

    On the M62, volunteers from Milnrow, Rochdale, took hot drinks, food and blankets to some of those stuck – including a bottle of warm milk for a five-week-old baby.

    Responding to a call for help on social media, farmers used their tractor to drive off-duty midwives to a woman who had gone into labour in the remote village of Balgedie, near Kinross which had been cut off by the snow.

    In Cumbria, a farmer ran out of feed for his 4,000 hens near Penrith and asked for a route to be cleared.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionThe BBC’s Sian Lloyd reports from the Vale of Glamorgan
    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Commuters in Cardiff were able to walk on a deserted dual carriageway
    Image copyright Reuters
    Image caption While passengers at London Waterloo rushed to get home before the last train

    Commuters ‘almost jubilant’

    By BBC transport correspondent Victoria Fritz

    The more normal response to this level of travel disruption would be exasperation and even anger amongst marooned passengers.

    But after a week of widespread chaos, the mood in Waterloo station on Friday at rush hour is almost jubilant.

    The weekend is around the corner and many of the thousands here will be granted a temporary reprieve from doing daily battle with the railways.

    The biggest gripe amongst passengers is that there has been precious little information of last minute changes to schedules.

    Most are understanding of the extraordinary challenges track and train operators are facing.

    Station staff are out in force and briefing passengers when they can. With the weather rapidly closing in, it’s a dash for all to get home before the clock strikes 22:00 GMT.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionDr Chris Marsh on his 10-mile walk to work

    Much of Wales was brought to a standstill, where routine operations were cancelled as health boards made a plea for staff to attend work. Travel conditions in Scotland remain treacherous.

    The Premier League has said games are expected to go ahead despite the weather. However, four matches in the Championship and two games in the Scottish Premiership have been cancelled.

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption A pub landlord in Greater Manchester battles against the snow at his front door

    Media playback is unsupported on your device

    Media captionIce blocks Birmingham’s canals
    Image copyright PA
    Image caption But these horses braved the elements at a farm in Snetterton, Norfolk

    What is happening with the trains?

    Across the UK, more than 20 rail operators are running a reduced service. National Rail has been advising passengers to check their service before travelling. Some train operators urged people not to travel at all.

    • Virgin Trains is not running any services north of Newcastle on Saturday, with their route between Carlisle and Scotland – affecting the London to Glasgow and London to Edinburgh routes – closed with no replacement buses running
    • Arriva Trains Wales has said a limited service will run on Saturday and passengers have been advised only to travel if essential up until Monday morning. There are limited trains between Shrewsbury and Crewe, Crewe and Chester, Chester and Holyhead, Wrexham and Bidston and Swansea and Carmarthen
    • Great Western Railway said there will be a limited timetable with no services between Cheltenham and Paddington, and the North Downs trains have been cancelled
    • Heathrow Express services between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport will run three times an hour
    • East Midlands Trains are running a reduced timetable with no trains between Lincoln Central and Grimsby Town, and between Sleaford and Skegness
    • On the Northern network, there are no services between Leeds and Carlisle/Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester Airport, and Hazel Grove and Buxton. It warns passengers of possible timetable changes throughout Saturday
    • ScotRail aims to have several of its routes operational from early morning on Saturday but advises passengers to check before they travel
    • CrossCountry is not running trains between Birmingham and the South West and, Birmingham and Cardiff until after 09:00 GMT. No services will operate between Newcastle and Scotland and trains between Reading and Southampton/Bournemouth are not expected to run until mid afternoon
    • Southeastern railway said it will run an amended timetable on Saturday and services will start later after track inspections

    How are the airports affected?

    Image copyright PA

    More than 1,250 flights were cancelled across the UK and Ireland on Friday.

    • Glasgow Airport: Open after “the worst snowfall in its history” but still warns of delays and cancellations
    • Edinburgh Airport: Ryanair will resume its full schedule of flights after a day of cancellations on Friday
    • Dublin Airport: Most flights will start later on Saturday but passengers are urged to check before they travel
    • Cardiff Airport: The airport will be closed until Saturday morning
    • Bristol Airport: There were significant disruptions on Friday and passengers are advised to contact their airline before travelling
    • East Midlands Airport: After a day of cancellations and delays, the airport is expected to be fully operational
    • Leeds Bradford: The airport is open but is experiencing delays
    • Heathrow Airport: The airport advises passengers to check before travelling
    • Gatwick Airport: There are delays and cancellations
    • City Airport: The runway was closed on Friday because of the snow and the airline advises passengers that delays and cancellations could be likely
    • Birmingham Airport: Runway unlikely to reopen before Saturday morning with travellers warned to check with their airline

    What is the forecast?

    The Met Office says the cold weather could last into next week and possibly the following week.

    Up to 50cm (19 inches) of snow is forecast in parts of Dartmoor, Exmoor and uplands parts of south-east Wales accompanied by gales or severe gales in exposed areas.

    Gusts of 60-70mph are possible in parts of northern England and Wales.

    Up to 10cm (four inches) of snow is forecast in parts of Scotland and northern England, with up to 25cm over the area’s hills.

    How has the cold weather affected you? Share your pictures, video and experiences by emailing

    Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:

    Or use the form below

    Read more:

    Here’s How One Psychologist Says You Can Tell If Someone’s Lying

    Ever feel like you’re being lied to but have no idea how to tell for sure? Welcome to the club.

    Everyone lies to varying degrees, with most of us fudging the truth just a bit to make our everyday interactions go a little smoother. But there’s a big difference between insignificant white lies and the big, relationship-altering falsehoods, making the ability to detect the latter an invaluable skill. While there is no foolproof method of figuring out whether someone’s trying to deceive you, Dr. Ellen Hendriksen, a clinical psychologist at the Stanford University School of Medicine, shares seven common ways liars unknowingly expose themselves.

    1. Duping delight, or the flash of a smile at the unconscious pleasure of successfully manipulating someone or getting away with a lie. It’s a subtle, suppressed smile that may show itself during inappropriate moments.

    2. Non-congruent gestures, or when the body visibly “disagrees” with what the person is saying. A shrug of the shoulders or a slight shake of the head paired with a strong, affirmative statement probably means the person isn’t being truthful.

    3. Gaze aversion, or avoiding and breaking eye contact. Some people feel uncomfortable, guilty, or overwhelmed when lying face-to-face, causing them to look away from the other person’s eyes.

    4. Their statements are filled with an excess of words when they can easily get the point across with a few. For example, instead of saying, “I didn’t cheat on you,” they say something like, “given my behavior throughout our entire relationship, it’s ridiculous to assume that I could or would ever want to have sexual relations with anyone who isn’t you.”

    5. They stick to their scripts, telling complex lies in strict chronological order. Hendriksen notes that liars tend to rehearse their stories from start to finish, so asking them to recount a detail out of order can throw them off their game, so to speak.

    6. Distancing, or using vague phrases and pronouns that help them avoid being specific, such as “that man” or “that woman” instead of a name. Liars are also reluctant to use the word “I.”

    7. Hendriksen calls it the used-car salesman vibe,” or trying so hard to appear trustworthy that they say all the right things and smile at the right times, often overcompensating with exaggerated, fake smiles.

    Read more:

    Doctor Says Period Cramps Are Just As Painful As A Heart Attack, The Internet Reacts (20+ Pics)

    People are finally talking about period pain, something that we, as a society, still don’t really understand or recognize. Period pain, like much of women’s reproductive health in general, is under-researched, misunderstood, often swept under the carpet and shrouded in taboo.

    Looking beyond the sensationalist headlines (the heart-attack comparison came from a single doctor’s anecdotal evidence), the conversation raises all kinds of important issues and questions that we are long overdue in discussing.

    For example, why is so little known about a condition that affects 20% of women to the point that they can’t go about their daily activities? Why do doctors take women’s pain less seriously? Why are women left with little option but to keep quiet, take a painkiller and get on with it? Would there be more research and understanding if men had to deal with it too?

    Right now there isn’t really a prominent lobby pushing the need for further research, and there still appears to be a general media discomfort about using period-related words on their channels. There are such deep-rooted linguistic and societal links between the womb and the emotional over-reaction of women, even the word ‘hysteria’ stems from the Greek word for uterus. You could say that this has been going on for a while now. So if things are going to change anytime soon we really need to start talking about period pain, to normalize it and to get doctors to start taking it more seriously.

    Ironically (or not), it took the revelations of a man for people to start the conversation. But talking about it they are. While some people are shocked by the headline-grabbing comparison, to millions of women this is old news, and they took to social media to share their stories. Scroll down below to check out some of the conversation below, and let us know what you think in the comments. Because after all, change has to start somewhere doesn’t it?

    Read more:

    Alleged Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz was reported to FBI, cops, school — but warning signs missed

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered an “immediate review” after it emerged that the FBI had not acted on a recent tip that Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz wanted to “kill people” and there was the “potential of him conducting a school shooting.”

    In a statement, the FBI admitted to receiving a call on Jan. 5 from a person close to Cruz who contacted the FBI through its Public Access Line (PAL) tipline to express concerns about his erratic behavior and disturbing social media posts.

    Cruz, 19, opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Wednesday, killing 17 people. He has reportedly confessed. 

    “Under established protocols, the information provided by the caller should have been assessed as a potential threat to life,” the statement said. “We have determined that these protocols were not followed for the information received by the PAL on Jan. 5.”

    “It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed,” Sessions said in a Friday afternoon statement. “We see the tragic consequences of those failures.”

    “The FBI in conjunction with our state and local partners must act flawlessly to prevent all attacks,” Sessions continued. “This is imperative, and we must do better. I have ordered the deputy attorney general to conduct an immediate review of our process here at the Department of Justice and FBI to ensure that we reach the highest level of prompt and effective response to indications of potential violence that come to us.”

    The FBI concluded that the caller’s information was not forwarded to the Miami FBI field office, and that “no further investigation was conducted at the time.” FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau would review what had happened.

    “We are still investigating the facts.  I am committed to getting to the bottom of what happened in this particular matter, as well as reviewing our processes for responding to information that we receive from the public,” Wray said in the statement. “It’s up to all Americans to be vigilant, and when members of the public contact us with concerns, we must act properly and quickly.”

    He continued: “We have spoken with victims and families, and deeply regret the additional pain this causes all those affected by this horrific tragedy.  All of the men and women of the FBI are dedicated to keeping the American people safe, and are relentlessly committed to improving all that we do and how we do it.”

    Cruz had dozens of run-ins with law enforcement prior to Wednesday’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High dating back to 2010 — with one report saying deputies responded to his home more than 35 times in just six years.

    Broward County deputies received at least 36 emergency 911 calls from 80th Terrace St. in Parkland – the suburban address where the teenager lived with his younger brother, Zachary, and their adoptive mother, Lynda, BuzzFeed reported.

    The calls – dating as far back as 2010 and continuing until November 2016 – shed a light on two erratic and violent boys who repeatedly “threw items,” were “out of control” and fought with their mother and each other on an apparently regular basis.

    “He is a deeply troubled young man; a child that has endured significant loss,” Gordon Weekes, chief assistant for Broward County’s public defender’s office, told reporters Thursday. “He fell between the cracks and we have to try to save him now.”


    Despite the repeated calls to authorities, Cruz was never arrested – and was basically cleared as being “no threat to anyone or himself,” as one therapist said in a police report from Sept. 28, 2016.

    In that particular call, the sheriff’s office said Nikolas and his mother were fighting over paperwork needed for him to get an ID card.

    In their report, deputies detailed how the teen had been harming himself and had talked about buying a gun.

    “He had been cutting his arms, his mother said, to get attention, as he learned it from an ex-girlfriend,” deputies said. “He has mentioned in the past that he would like to purchase a firearm.”

    The therapist on scene, Jared Bienenfeld with Henderson Mental Health, and the deputies concluded there were “no signs of mental illness or criminal activity.”

    And much like the calls before – which were placed due to reasons ranging from the brothers reportedly beating each other to Cruz, at the age of 12, threatening his mother and calling her a “useless b****” – law enforcement left without taking any further action.

    A public information officer with the sheriff’s office could not verify the report to Fox News early Friday. The sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to additional requests for comment.

    Cruz wasn’t arrested until Valentine’s Day, when he allegedly walked into the high school with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition before firing an AR-15 at students and faculty members.

    He was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder on Thursday and is being held without bail.

    In the aftermath of the attack, revelations about the teen’s alarming warning signs appeared to be repeatedly missed — despite the cop calls, a report to the FBI based on a social media posting, his former classmates expressing fear of him and a documented history of mental health issues.


    “I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him,” Victoria Olvera, a 17-year-old junior at the school, told the Sun-Sentinel.

    According to reports, Cruz and his brother both suffered from mental health issues, including ADHD and OCD, and took medication as treatment. Cruz’s lawyer said Thursday her client was “a broken human being” and the team was looking into an evaluation for autism. Nikolas had sought treatment at Henderson Mental Health Clinic and had previously attended a school for students with behavioral problems, BuzzFeed reported.

    Despite these issues, Cruz was able to legally purchase the AR-15 he used in the mass shooting. Attorney Jim Lewis told the Sun-Sentinel that the teenager already owned the gun when he moved in with his friend’s family around Thanksgiving, after his mother’s November death.

    “It was his gun,” Lewis said. “The family made him keep it in a locked gun cabinet in the house but he had a key.”

    Trevor Hart, 16, who knew Cruz from his Spanish class at Marjory Stoneman, told the Sun-Sentinel the alleged killer seemed “a little off” and talked about shooting lizards, squirrels and frogs.

    Cruz was expelled from Marjory Stoneman last year for “disciplinary problems,” with one report saying bullets were discovered in his backpack at one point.

    One teacher told the Miami Herald that Cruz was banned from entering campus with a backpack.

    Officials did not immediately say why Cruz was expelled.


    An Instagram page apparently belonging to Cruz showed pictures of guns and knives. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said some of Cruz’s social media posts were “very, very disturbing.”

    Additionally, the FBI confirmed Thursday the bureau received a tip this past September about a disturbing YouTube comment by a user named “Nikolas Cruz” that said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

    Special Agent Rob Lansky, in charge of the FBI’s Miami division, said the agency investigated the comment, but said it could not identify the user who made the comment. He also said there was no connection found to South Florida.

    “No other information was included in the comment which would indicate a particular time, location or the true identity of the person who posted the comment,” the FBI said in a subsequent statement.

    On Thursday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said it was “inexcusable” that the FBI had failed to follow protocols that could have prevented Wednesday’s shooting.

    “The fact that the FBI is investigating this failure is not enough. Both the House and Senate need to immediately initiate their own investigations into the FBI’s protocols for ensuring tips from the public about potential killers are followed through,” the Republican senator said in a statement.

    He continued: “Lawmakers and law enforcement personnel constantly remind the public that ‘if you see something, say something.’ In this tragic case, people close to the shooter said something, and our system utterly failed the families of seventeen innocent souls.”

    Also Friday: Florida Gov. Rick Scott called for Wray to resign. “We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI,” Scott said in a statement. “And the FBI failed to act. ‘See something, say something’ is an incredibly important tool and people must have confidence in the follow through from law enforcement. The FBI Director needs to resign.”

    Fox News’ Matt Richardson, Ryan Gaydos, Elizabeth Zwirz, Shira Bush and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

    Lucia I. Suarez Sang is a Reporter for Follow her on Twitter @luciasuarezsang

    Read more:

    White House indicates it could find funds to train and arm 1 million teachers

    President expands on idea to arm some teachers in schools and says gun-adept teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly

    The White House indicated on Thursday that the federal government could come up with the money to fund as many as a million teachers being trained and armed with guns across America in a controversial attempt to keep schools safe from more mass shootings.

    This followed repeated assertions from Donald Trump during earlier meetings at the White House, as well as in presidential tweets, that his response to the school massacre in Florida last week is to arm teachers and sports coaches.

    It would be a great deterrent to killers, he said.

    At the White House press briefing on Thursday afternoon, Raj Shah, deputy press secretary, was asked if it was practical to expect teachers to carry concealed handguns to protect their students from shooters.

    When you have a horrific situation, what you think and do not think is practical can change, Shah said.

    Teachers unions have expressed shock and skepticism that any such plan could be feasible or effective.

    But at a meeting at the White House with state and local officials early Thursday afternoon, Trump talked of paying bonuses to some teachers, providing highly adept people, people who understand weaponry, guns … [with] a concealed permit.

    He suggested paying bonuses to armed, trained teachers, suggesting that 10, 20, 40% of teachers could be qualified to do so, especially retired military personnel.

    I want my schools protected just like I want my banks protected, he said.

    The White House was later challenged that 40% of Americas teachers being given a bonus of, for example, $1,000, would mean $1bn being distributed to a million of them.

    Do you really think thats too much to pay for school safety? Shah responded. Shah said Trump would soon be talking to members of Congress about legislative and budgetary proposals.

    Trump had earlier appeared to speak outagainst the kind of active shooter drills that are becoming the norm in many schools.

    Active shooter drills is a very negative thing … Ill be honest with you. If Im a child, Im 10 years old and they say … Were going to have an active shooter drill, I say Whats that? Well, People may come in and shoot you … I think thats a very negative thing to be talking about, to be honest with you. I dont like it. Id much rather have a hardened school,he said.

    But Shah explained that it was the frightening name the president disliked, not the drills themselves, and was in favor of calling them a safety drill.

    He confirmed that Trump is considering supporting a rise in the age limit for purchasing an assault rifle to 21, but does not support banning assault weapons for US civilians outright. Students who survived the shooting at their high school in Parkland last week quickly began a fierce campaign calling for that measure.

    In contrast to the combative tone coming from the administration, the Parkland mayor, Christine Hunschofsky, addressed safety and mental health in her meeting with Trump on Thursday, and then alluded to the assault rifle used by shooter Nikolas Cruz in last Wednesdays massacre, saying: In the end, how did somebody like this person get access to that kind of firearm?

    Play Video

    Angry father of Florida victim asks Trump: ‘How many children have to get shot?’ video

    At an emotional session at the White House on Wednesday, the US president held a listening session with survivors of last weeks Florida school shooting and others affected by gun violence, telling them that armed teachers and school coaches could very well end the attack very quickly.

    On Thursday, Trump tweeted: 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this.

    Trump said having so-called gun-free zones around schools created a situation for school shooters like going in for the ice cream.

    At Wednesdays meeting, Nicole Hockley, whose six-year-old son, Dylan, died at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, spoke out against arming teachers. I would rather arm them with the knowledge of how to prevent these acts from happening in the first place,she said.

    Randi Weingarten, president of theAmerican Federation of Teachers union said in a statement:Anyone who wants guns in schools has no understanding of what goes on inside them or worse, doesnt care.

    Barack Obama weighed in on Thursday, tweeting: Young people have helped lead all our great movements. How inspiring to see it again in so many smart, fearless students standing up for their right to be safe.


    Read more:

    40 Of The Best Quotes From My Favorite Murder

    I’ve been a huge fan of the true-crime/comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder, ever since I began listening to it this past summer. The hosts, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, share their favorite murders and true crime stories while discussing what’s going in their lives in the form of comedic banter to lighten the heavy mood that talking about murder can bring.

    If you aren’t familiar with My Favorite Murder (Also abbreviated as MFM), the podcast spun a community of fans and we refer to ourselves as “Murderinos.” Since the debut of MFM in January 2016, the ladies of MFM have said some quotes that are a combination of inspiring, humorous and uplifting, especially for women. I went to their live show in Detroit and it was incredible. Karen and Georgia are amazing human beings; I met them and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.

    Here are 40 of the wisest and comical quotes from MFM obtained from the official “My Favorite Murder” Facebook group and Pinterest.

    Pretty pretty print by @pilarprints. #ssdgm #myfavoritemurder #murderino

    A post shared by My Favorite Murder Podcast (@myfavoritemurder) on

    1. “Get a job. Buy your own shit. Stay out of the forest.”

    2. “Here’s the thing: fuck everyone.”

    3. “Don’t say ‘sorry not sorry’; Say ‘Listen, you motherfucker!”

    4. “All of life is about fixing what you fucked up.”

    5. “Please live your life like you’re going to be reenacted in 30 years.”

    6. “Don’t leave your drink alone.”

    7. “Don’t let your girlfriend fucking leave you behind.”

    8. “You’re in a cult; call your dad.”

    9. “Don’t call it nonconsensual sex. Sex is sex and rape is rape; use the word rape.

    10. “Don’t take things for granted or judge books by covers and don’t do the things that average people get tricked by.”

    11. “You can be crazy, just be light-hearted about it.”

    12. “If you meet a person [and] you get the weird feeling in your gut, absolutely trust yourself and get out of there.”

    13. “We can actually help each other; we should help each other and reach out to each other.”

    14. “Talk about your trauma.”

    15. “Don’t let people touch you if you’re not comfortable with it.”

    16. “Pepper spray first and apologize later.”

    17. “If you see something, fucking say something.”

    18. “Lock your fucking door.”

    19. “Donate $50 dollars to your local library, keep all your fingers.”

    20. “Don’t drink and drive, you guys.”

    21. Nothing is real; speak for yourself [and] question authority.”

    22. “Wash your hands, please. Don’t get murdered by germs.”

    23. “Let’s use our powers of anxiety for good and not evil.”

    24. “Don’t be a fucking lunatic.”

    25. “Bigger dummies than you.”

    26. “Toxic masculinity ruins the party again.”

    27. “If Florida’s kicking you out, you’re probably a pretty big piece of shit.”

    28. “Let’s sit crooked and talk straight.”

    29. “This isn’t a positive cult; this isn’t like Sephora.”

    30. “My therapist was right about you.”

    31. “Look, meth is bad.”

    32. “Triflers need not apply.”

    33. “Don’t snort shit.”

    34. “Don’t be a know-it-all .”

    35. “Hey guys, let’s get those rape kits tested”

    36. “Can everyone chill the fuck out?”

    37. “Leave well enough alone, asshat.”

    38. “Just be rude; go up to people and be like, ‘Hi, I know this makes me the weirdo but there’s a weirdo over there.’”

    39. Fuck politeness.

    40. Stay sexy and don’t get murdered (SSDGM).

    If you love true crime, comedy and real talk about life issues, mental health, feminism and more, then you should probably start listening to My Favorite Murder. Even if you don’t (you really should), at least make you always stay sexy and don’t get murdered!

    Read more:

    How do you build a healthy city? Copenhagen reveals its secrets

    The Danish capital ranks high on the list of the worlds healthiest and happiest cities. With obesity and depression on the rise worldwide, here are its lessons for how to combat them culturally

    How do you build a healthy city? Copenhagen reveals its secrets

    How do you build a healthy city? Copenhagen reveals its secrets

    The Danish capital ranks high on the list of the worlds healthiest and happiest cities. With obesity and depression on the rise worldwide, here are its lessons for how to combat them culturally

    Read more: