Parkland students and gun owners got into a heated debate that ended in tears and hugs.
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images.

Some of the March for Our Lives student activists have been traveling across several cities as part of their #RoadToChange tour, which is focused on getting people to vote in the 2018 midterm elections and support gun safety measures.

At a stop in Dallas on July 7, they were speaking to students at Paul Quinn College.


The Parkland activists were well received by the students attending the town hall, but a number of armed protesters showed up outside the venue.

It was an understandably tense moment. After all, these students were only recently removed from the tragic mass shooting at their high school in February 2018 that killed 17 people and thrust them into the national spotlight.

However, some of the Parkland students, including David Hogg, decided to step outside and directly engage with the protesters.

"The reason we’re here today isn’t to take anybody’s guns away. It's to listen," Hogg said.

When people saw Hogg and a gun owner discussing their perceived differences, a small but powerful breakthrough happened.

The two sides talked through their disagreements, and the conversation ended with some tears and lots of hugs.

Fellow Parkland survivor Matt Deitsch chronicled the exchange on Twitter, noting that after one of the protesters began talking with Hogg, a few others approached and joined what turned into a 90-minute conversation.

Image via Matt Deitsch/Twitter.

Image via Matt Deitsch/Twitter.

There was plenty of debate, but even in discussing one of America's most intense, partisan issues, the two sides found common ground.

Image via Matt Deitsch/Twitter.

"This is the most American thing I've ever done," Deitsch noted one protester said. "Thank you so much for helping us understand."

The gun debate remains contentious, but an overwhelming number of Americans actually agree on commonsense reforms.

Talking about those areas and cutting through the noise can lead to real progress.

As Hogg himself said on Twitter after his dialogue with the protesters, "Be open to conversation with those who don't agree [with] because you might learn something."

The Parkland students continue to lead the way on sensible gun reform. While many want to portray each side of debate as extreme, there's nothing controversial about saving lives and keeping people safe. What might be most shocking is how much we have to agree on when we get together and talk about it face-to-face.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


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A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
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When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

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Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


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