It’s Thursday, Oct. 5. Here are three stories you need to read.
San Juan’s mayor has had enough of Trump
Puerto Rico was left devastated after taking a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 hurricane that hit the U.S. territory on Sept. 20. Since then, the island and the people living there have been virtually cut off from the rest of the world, with few supplies, services and little fresh water trickling in to help. And on Tuesday, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz let the world know just how poorly she believes President Donald Trump is dealing with the situation.
“There was no exchange with anybody, with none of the mayors,” Cruz told MSNBC about Trump’s limited time on the island. “In fact, this terrible and abominable view of him throwing paper towels and throwing provisions at people, it does not embody the spirit of the American nation. That is not the land of the free and the home of the brave, that beacon of democracy that people have learned to look up to across the world.”
To sum it up, Cruz called the visit “insulting” to the people of Puerto Rico.
How can I help Puerto Rico? Charity Navigator has a number of organizations listed that are openly asking for your money, time and donations.
Bump stocks were meant to help disabled marksmen. Instead, they’re being used by mass shooters.
Bump stocks, a device invented in 2010, were supposedly meant to help disabled people better fire a gun. However, as the deadly Las Vegas shooting proved, that’s not how they are being used.
As Mic explained, bump stocks assist shooters looking to mimic the speed of an automatic rifle. It works by replacing a firearms stock with a sliding stock and trigger guard and essentially “bumps” the shooter’s finger against the trigger at a very high speed. And 12 of these devices were found in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter.
“The Slide Fire simply allows you to shoot as fast as you want to,” Slide Fire inventor Jeremiah Cottle told Guns America in 2011. “It just helps you fire the gun in semi-automatic very fast. You don’t need an auto-sear. You can fire the gun yourself as fast as you want.”
Though North Carolina gun store manager Dorothy Royal told the AP in 2013 that she has sold the product to wounded vets, she estimated that about 70% of those purchasing the weapon add-on have no visible disability.
Can we get rid of bump stocks? Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is trying to do just that. On Wednesday she introduced legislation that will ban the sale and usage of bump stocks and other devices that allow certain weapons to mimic automatic ones.
The 20-week abortion ban is built on fake science
On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed legislation that could ban abortions after the 20-week mark and send violators to prison for years. While it’s unlikely that it will pass in the Senate, it’s key to understand that this bill, along with similar bills that came before it, are built around pseudo-science that isn’t recognized in the general medical community.
“Neurologically, the science is pretty incontrovertible,” Sara Imershein, an OB-GYN in Washington, D.C., said in a phone interview. “We do not believe that a 20-week fetus can perceive pain. There are nerves, but the connections are incomplete and can’t register pain. … It’s a political myth.”
The goal of the bill is to ban any abortions after the 20-week mark because that is when they believe a fetus begins to react to pain and “recoil” as an adult human would. However, doctor after doctor and study after study proves this to be untrue.
“As a doctor, you read [this bill] and you’re like, ‘What are you talking about?’” Anne Davis, an obstetrician, gynecologist and the consulting medical director for Physicians for Reproductive Health, said. “They’ve used fetal pain over and over again as a justification for different types of abortion bans. On its face, it doesn’t make any sense. We have good, solid science that the brain isn’t capable of feeling pain.”
Does this have any chance of passing? As Mic previously reported, the bill will likely be struck down in the Senate.