From Ritalin to Marilyn: Forget gun laws, what else is being blamed for mass shootings?

Eight students and two teachers were shot dead at Santa Fe High School in Galveston, Texas on Friday; 17-year-old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis has been arrested over the mass shooting. Speaking about the attack, the National Rifle Association’s incoming president Oliver North condemned what he called America’s “culture of violence” and blamed Ritalin, the drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), for making children violent.

“The disease in this case isn’t the Second Amendment. The disease is youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence,” he told ‘Fox News Sunday.’ “They’ve been drugged in many cases. Nearly all of these perpetrators are male.”

As Ritalin makes the list of products and people blamed by gun activists for another US mass shooting, here are some of the other recent – and perhaps unlikely – reasons for attacks on schools.

Too many doors….

Meanwhile, addressing the Santa Fe tragedy, Texas Lieutenant-governor Dan Patrick proposed that there are simply too many entrances and exits in schools, making it nigh on impossible to guard against gun-wielding attackers.

“Had there been one single entrance possibly for every student, maybe he would have been stopped,” Patrick said. His comments were lambasted on social media as users pointed out that being able to exit a building quickly is acutely important for fire safety.

READ MORE: ‘Door control is the real issue’: Twitter reacts to Texas high school massacre

It’s video games…

After shooting his mother dead with her own gun on December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and opened fire on students and staff. During his shooting spree, Lanza killed 20 children between six and seven years old as well as six adult staff members. He later committed suicide by turning the gun on himself.

As people struggled to comprehend Lanza’s motives for the crime, Wayne LaPierre, CEO and executive vice president of the NRA, pointed the finger squarely at video games, in particular an online flash game called ‘Kindergarten Killer.’ In the game, players have to first kill the teacher before then shooting small children, who are armed, and the kindergarten principal.

While the game had been on the internet since 2002, there was no evidence that the Sandy Hook shooter ever played it. A final report into the shooting also stated that while Lanza played both violent and non-violent video games, it was said he spent the majority of his time playing benign arcade classics like ‘Super Mario Brothers’ and ‘Dance Dance Revolution.’

It’s music…

After 18-year-old Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, 17, murdered 12 of their fellow students and one teacher at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999, debate over gun control laws were countered with cultural quandaries on bullying and the impact of violent music and movies on teenagers.

One of the targets was heavy metal artist Marilyn Manson. In the aftermath of the massacre, students reported that both Harris and Klebold were fans of Manson and modeled their gothic look of white makeup, dark hair and trench coats on the singer. Manson later said his links to the massacre – which were eventually proven false as neither shooter was actually a fan of the singer – almost ended his career.

In an interview with filmmaker Michael Moore, Manson said he believed he had become a political scapegoat. “The two byproducts of that whole tragedy were violence and entertainment and gun control, and how perfect that they were the two things we were going to talk about in the upcoming election,” he said.

It’s a gun shortage…

In the aftermath of mass shootings, the idea is often pushed that a school without guns is a soft target for those with bad intentions as it potentially offers vulnerable victims in a confined setting without attackers worrying about being taken down themselves. Essentially, the argument is that there aren’t enough guns in the right hands.

After the fatal shooting of 14 students and three staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, talk turned to the possibility of arming teachers. “If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly,” said US President Donald Trump during a listening session in the Oval Office with the victims of the shooting.

The suggestion provoked massive amounts of debate. The idea has now been entered into proposed legislation in Florida. Under the School Marshall Program, teachers would undergo training with the local sheriff’s department with the ultimate aim of having 10 armed teachers in every school. The proposal means there would be an extra 37,000 more guns statewide, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

It’s the media…

The idea that the media’s coverage of school shootings is to blame is also pervasive. In February, the NRA released a video via its social media channels in which gun rights activist Colin Noir declares, “The media loves mass shootings”, adding, “No-one on this planet benefits more from mass shootings and motivates more people to become mass shooters than our mainstream media.”

Research suggests there is some truth to Noir’s point. In July 2015, a study from Arizona State researcher Sherry Towers found that mass killings are more likely to happen in clusters and within short periods of time. The study suggests that shootings spread like a contagion, when one person sees a media report they then concoct their own plan – although whether that person should have easy access to guns is a separate issue entirely.

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When did people forget they could walk?

In high school, a classmate told me that she drove to school everyday.

“I walk,” I responded. “I live just down the street.”
“Oh, me too,” she said, laughing. “But I still drive. I’m lazy.” I chuckled politely and silently judged her. She had two legs. They seemed to be working fine. The problem must be in her brain.

Granted, I didn’t have a car, so perhaps I didn’t deserve credit for my brilliant decision to walk. But driving to school made no sense. To drive from where she and I lived, she’d have to

  1. Back out of the driveway
  2. Head out of the cul-de-sac
  3. Drive on the highway for a whopping 50 feet
  4. Turn into the school parking lot
  5. Wait in line with the other cars driven by yet more insane people who lived nearby
  6. Find parking in a really crowded parking lot

Meanwhile, walking meant she’d have to

  1. Walk halfway down the block
  2. Take a shortcut that leads straight to the school

She was putting an awful lot of effort into her laziness.

I don’t live in Illinois anymore. I live in New York, where everyone walks. If something is less than a half hour’s walk away, New Yorkers will usually go on foot. (Unless they’re running late, which is most of the time. Then they’ll take the subway.)

But whenever I leave the city, I’m struck by how little people who can walk seem to be aware that they have legs. And it’s not just my impression; National Geographic’s 2012 “Greedex” survey found that only 34 percent of American often walk or ride bikes to their destinations. Out of the 17 countries surveyed, Americans came in last for walking. People pay hundreds or even thousands to go to the gym, but they avoid the light exercise that’s already built into their schedules.

Even people who like physical activity avoid walking in their daily lives. When I visited my family in Illinois recently, I made a haircut appointment at a salon a mile or two away.

“How is it out?” I asked my dad on the day of said haircut.
“It’s fine. Why?” Then a realization hit him. “Wait. Wait, are you thinking about WALKING to your haircut?”

He looked at me like the thought of walking 30 minutes had never occurred to him, despite that it had just occurred to him. To be fair, suburbs like mine aren’t really designed for walking, but it’s hardly impossible to get around on foot. Besides, my dad cycled through Europe. When did he, the girl from high school, and so many other people outside of New York forget they could use their legs to get from place to place? Walking is free. It’s easy. It’s pain-free exercise. It helps the planet. It’s, well, human.

people crossing crosswalk in manhattan© View Apart/Shutterstock

This is the point in the article where I’d normally come up with some sort of answer, preferably one that gently sheds golden, universal truths onto the internet. But frankly, I am just as baffled now as I was in high school.

If you are physically unable to walk, or live somewhere without sidewalks, or are lugging around groceries, or have a or a terrible fear of crosswalks, then I can understand. But what about people with no real reason? In the infamous words of Jerry Seinfeld, what’s the deal?

Really, I’d like to know what YOU think. Do you have any theories that could pull me out of this pothole of confusion? Do you drive everywhere? Do you know someone who does? Did Henry Ford convince people that walking causes cholera or something? Let me know in the comments below.

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9 places you shouldn’t forget to clean

Paying attention to these details will take your house from looking clean to feeling spotless.

Details matter so much. Think of a house that looks clean, but doesn’t really feel clean. It’s because of those grit-filled corners that were missed by a broom, the greasy kid fingerprints on a glass door, or the gunk that accumulates around the drain. Paying attention to these small details can transform your house from tidy to spotless, and make a big different to your mental state.

So, the next time you’re cleaning, take note of the following often-overlooked spots. Make sure they’re scrubbed and dusted, then enjoy the sense of total spotlessness that ensues… until the next cleaning day, of course.

Door knobs and drawer pulls: These get handled multiple times a day, and yet get wiped down much less than, say, a countertop or table. Be sure to give these a spray with vinegar and water, then wipe aggressively with a cloth.

Stair bannister: Once, I wiped down the stair bannister and my cloth came away black. I realized in horror that this was something I should clean more often. Give it a spray with natural cleaner and wipe thoroughly with a cloth.

Curtains: Curtains collect dust over time, both from within the house and by blowing through an open window. Depend on their weight, vacuum with a fabric attachment or toss in the laundry for an annual refresh. Same goes for shower curtains; always buy fabric ones to avoid the off gassing from plastic, and launder occasionally. Always let it dry outside the tub/shower after use to avoid mold growth.

Lamp shades: Run your finger along a lamp shade and you might be shocked at the line that’s left. Whether it’s a fabric shade or a wall fixture, these require regular dusting with a dry cloth.

Around the trash can: This is a nasty area that deserves regular attention. Food bits might miss the trash, especially when kids are doing the dishes, so be sure to pull out the bin, vacuum and wash all around, and deodorize with baking soda if needed. Wash and air out the trash can in the sunshine whenever possible.

Ceiling fans: You don’t see the upper surface of fan blades, so these are easy to forget. Over time they pick up cooking grease (if in the kitchen) and dust, then spray it all over when turned out. Give fan blades a good wipe-down with mild detergent.

Under the sinks: What is it about under-sink cabinets that makes them such dirty junk traps? A cleaning professional once told me this is the place she tackles first, and she’s right that it makes a big difference. Clean out the sub-kitchen and bathroom sink areas, creating space and collecting loose stuff in boxes and caddies.

Artwork & display surfaces: When a framed painting or photo gleams on the wall, it looks wonderful. Be sure to dust these regularly, especially on the top surface and the front glass. Wipe down any display surfaces and items sitting on them.

Your cleaning equipment: People often forget to clean the very tools that they’re using to clean. Make it a habit to toss rags and mop heads in the wash after every cleaning session, otherwise you might end up spreading old dirt and bacteria around as you go.

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5 of the Best Homemade Vegan Cheeses That Will Make You Forget About The Real Thing

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Whether you are recently vegan, plant-based, lactose intolerant, cutting back on animal products, or one of those vegetarians that says, “I just don’t think I could ever give up cheese,” then, this is for you! This may surprise you, but there are alternative ways to make cheese. Nuts, for example, make a great homemade cheese because of their creamy texture and high fat content. If you’re thinking that there is no way nut cheese could replace real cheese, then I challenge you to try at least one of the recipes below and then see what you think.

Here are the top 5 homemade vegan cheeses. Click on the headings for the links to the recipes.

1. Baked Almond Feta

This is one of my absolute favourites. Not only is it extremely easy to make, but it tastes incredible, and in my opinion is even better than the real thing! This cheese can be devoured with crackers or crostini, or even crumbled on top of pasta or pizza. It is truly versatile.

Almond Feta 2 sharp wm

2. Cashew Ricotta

This recipe is awesome! You can actually use this mock ricotta pretty much anywhere you would use regular ricotta. If you’re thinking lasagna… so am I! Yum.


3. Nacho Cheeze Dip

Holy Hannah! This recipe will satisfy every nacho craving bone in your body. You can eat it as a dip or skip the baking part and heat it up and drizzle it over some nacho chips. If you bring this to a party, I doubt anyone would even know it’s vegan. Fun experiment, anyone?


4. Roasted Garlic & Fresh Herb Cream Cheeze

This is a great spreadable cheese that can be eaten with crackers or on sandwiches; it is also very simple to make.


5. Vegan Moxarella + Bonus Pizza Recipe

Just imagine the possibilities. This cheese obviously works great for pizza, but you can also use it for grilled cheese sandwiches, baked pasta, and pretty well anywhere else you would eat mozzarella (like on a fork).



I hope this list gets you as excited as I felt when I first discovered that I could still have delicious tasting ‘cheese’ even after deciding to drastically cut back my animal product consumption. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Much Love

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Lest We Forget – Hillary Clinton: We Must Destroy Syria For Israel

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Forget about Gaza, bomb Assad! Israeli hawks urge US to strike Syria over Douma ‘chem attack’

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WATCH: Cops Forget Tasers, Use Deadly Force Instead, Shoot Mentally Ill Student Holding a Pipe


Chicago, IL — Dramatic body camera footage was released late Wednesday night of an officer-involved shooting of University of Chicago student. The student was in an apparent diminished mental state and was holding a metal pipe when the University Police Officer opened fire.

According to authorities, police were responding to a disturbance call of the 21-year-old college student, identified as Charles Thomas, breaking windows with the pipe.

As the Chicago Tribune reports, three U. of C. police officers responding to a call of a burglary in the 5300 block of South Kimbark Avenue encountered a man — later identified as Thomas — breaking car and apartment windows with a long metal pipe, university officials said in an email to students.

According to police Thomas lives in the neighborhood in which he was shot.

When police arrived on the scene, Thomas began walking toward the officer with the pipe in his hand, university President Robert Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier explained in an email.

“Sir, I’m going to need you to drop that weapon. Drop that weapon,” the officer is heard saying on a police video supplied by the university. “Don’t come at me! Don’t come at me!”


However, Thomas — clearly out of his mind at the time — continued to advance toward the officer. As the body camera shows, the officer is employing what is known as a “tactical retreat” which is a practice designed to put space between the officer and the suspect in order to give the suspect time to respond to commands.

As the officer backed up, however, Thomas sped up and that’s with a single shot was fired — severely wounding the student.

Although the University is not commenting on Thomas’ mental state at the time of the shooting, it is clear from the video that he was not in his right mind. The responding officers agreed.

In the video, an officer can be heard saying, “Twenty-one, mental. He’s a mental.”

According to police, this officer was trained in crisis intervention and carried out his training exactly how he was supposed to.

As the Tribune pointed out, the university also confirmed the officer, who has been on the force for two years, fired once, which is consistent with his training to shoot to end the threat. The officer involved has had 40 hours of crisis intervention training and eight hours of mental health first aid training.

“This is a difficult incident for our community, and our concern is with all of the individuals involved and their families,” Zimmer and Diermeier said in the email issued by the university. “Maintaining our community’s safety, security and well-being is of paramount importance. Support services and resources for students will be provided by the college and Campus and Student Life.”

According to university spokeswoman Marielle Sainvilus, this is the first shooting involving a U. of C. police officer in the agency’s entire four-decade history.

After he was shot, Thomas was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition. He is now facing criminal charges in connection with the shooting, including felony aggravated assault of a peace officer and two counts of felony criminal damage to property, according to Chicago police. He also faces multiple misdemeanor counts of property damage.

Although the university is claiming that the officers did everything by the book, the video shows that police likely had other options.

Three officers had Thomas surrounded, why didn’t any of them attempt to take him out from behind using non-lethal force? Thomas walked right past two officers before the third fired his gun, why didn’t either of them deploy a taser, or pepper spray, or a baton?

What do you think, was the officer justified in shooting the 21-year-old student? Let us know in the comments below.

Body camera:

Dash camera:

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Lest We Forget–‘Arch Neo-Con, Consummate Warmonger and Israel firster John Bolton says he’s no longer allowed to see Trump’

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Never Forget, The US Gov’t Slaughtered Dozens in a Church Over an Illegal Gun Part


This week, President Donald Trump betrayed his base and Americans in general as he advocated for confiscating guns with no due process. 

“I like taking the guns early like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time,” Trump said at a meeting with lawmakers on school safety and gun violence.

“Take the guns first, go through due process second,” Trump said.

This blatant attack on the very thing that makes America great, due process, has been in the making since before the Florida shooting, but Trump appears to be striking while the iron is hot.

Earlier this week, president Trump told a group of lawmakers that they must do something to keep guns away from mentally ill individuals – even if that means raising the minimum age for rifle ownership to 21 and making all 18-20 year-olds who have guns, criminals overnight. He is also going after gun parts as well—the bump stock.

When the alleged “conservative” president hops on the gun control train so easily, it is definitely cause for concern. Here’s why.

The US government carried out the deadliest church massacre in history which led to the deaths of 82 men, women, and children. It all came to a violent end 25 years ago in Texas and it all began with allegations of illegal gun parts.

Our source material comes from the FBI’s own vault, which contains two files on the case against Vernon Howell, also known as David Koresh. Koresh was the leader of the “Branch Davidians Seventh Day Adventists.” According to the FBI case file, Koresh was believed to have been holding people against their will at his compound in Waco, Texas, potentially guilty of “involuntary servitude and slavery” charges.

In 1992, Child Protective Services (CPS) was called in to investigate the accusations. After a thorough investigation, CPS concluded no one was being held at the compound against their will, nor any child abuse, and the federal prosecutor, who reviewed the report, saw no reason to prosecute Koresh. On October 16th, 1992, the FBI closed the case against Koresh and the allegations he was abusing children and holding his followers against their will.

Still, however, the FBI proceeded with investigating other allegations the Branch Davidians had used banned gun parts and converted semi-automatic AR-15 (assault) rifles into fully automatic ones, a violation of federal law. Most of the weapons in the compound were all legal. However, during the subsequent trial, it was reported that 48 of them had been modified to be fully automatic.

Also alleged was that the group was planning a mass suicide. The FBI concluded, “no information has been developed to verify the accuracy of the allegations.” Still, the FBI put local law enforcement on notice.

Despite having no concrete evidence Koresh, who some have said was delusional, had violated anyone’s civil rights, or abused any children, the investigation into the weapons violations continued. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives pursued the allegations the group was stockpiling weapons and explosives. According to the ATF,  the bureau found:








Wishing to further investigate the compound’s armory, the ATF secured a search warrant and attempted to raid the compound on February 28th, 1993. The Davidians, possibly feeling they must protect their home, property, and persons from the intruders, opened fire on the federal agents, an action which led to the deaths of several ATF agents and compound members.


The raid initiated a 51-day standoff with the ATF as well as the FBI. Koresh released 24 members from the compound, who were mostly children, and continued the stand-off with authorities which was broadcast daily across the country until day 51 arrived. On that day, the government brought in heavy equipment and penetrated the compound with a tank-like machine which pumped the compound full of CS Gas. What happened next, in the minds of many who saw it, can only be likened to a horror film.

The compound became ablaze with a roaring fire. The all-consuming inferno killed 76 people who were huddled inside. Later, it was determined many of those who’d perished were also shot by firearms. Researchers, who later investigated the incident, concluded federal agents were observed shooting from the compound’s grounds into the building already set ablaze by fire. While the official government narrative is those individuals committed suicide, the researchers were able to demonstrate they were likely killed by automatic weapons fired by federal agents, possibly killed as they were attempting to flee their burning compound.

To this day, the ATF maintains the fire was, “set by cult members, as law enforcement attempted to force them out by introducing tear gas into the building.” And for years, following the fiery destruction of the compound, the FBI maintained the same storyline.

However, in 1999, then-Attorney General Janet Reno made the following admission, “I am very, very troubled by the information I received this week suggesting that pyrotechnic devices may have been used in the early morning hours on April the 19th, 1993, at Waco. At this time, all available indications are that the devices were not directed at the main wooden compound, were discharged several hours before the fire started, and were not the cause of the fire. Nonetheless, it is absolutely critical that we do everything humanly possible to learn all the facts as accurately as possible and make them available to the public and Congress.”

Those facts, according to some of the survivors of the fire, who were inside at the time the fire broke out, are undeniable. They are convinced the government used incendiary devices to set ablaze the tear gas which had been pumped into the building. And they’re not alone.

According to CBS News, “Independent filmmaker Michael McNulty came upon some evidence that appeared damaging to the government. He found a shell casing from a certain type of tear gas round that could start a fire – a device the Justice Department had denied using for more than six years – publicly and to Congress.”

That shell casing led to Reno’s acknowledgment, but the government still has not taken full responsibility, as Reno denied the devices were used to penetrate the building. Questions still remain as to why they would be used at all.

Even though it was later determined Koresh had, indeed, molested children, and was by all intents and purposes a pedophile of the worst kind, the fact remains. The government used gas and allegedly fired on its own people which either directly or indirectly led to the deaths of 76 people — inside a church—over suspicion of illegal gun parts. 

None of the dead were ever given due process and Americans have learned very little from the handling of this situation. Sadly, there was no outcry and this incident serves as a brutal reminder of what can happen when the US government makes up its mind to take out those they disagree with.

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