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Couric’s documentary now ‘Under the Gun’

Katie Couric attends the LA premiere of The debate surrounding gun control and the best way to limit the number of gun deaths that occur in our nation is often polarizing for a number of reasons. Whether it's issues of constitutional rights, public safety, or any number of other topics that arise when the subject is discussed, finding common ground that could generate real dialogue often seems impossible. However, a recent documentary titled "Under the Gun" set out to do just that and to give a voice to those on both sides of the debate. Unfortunately, as the New York Times' Katie Rogers describes, some have recently called into question just how fair the critically acclaimed film actually is.

The controversy centers on a scene where Katie Couric, who did most of the interviews for the documentary, asks a group of gun-rights activists, "If there are no background checks for gun purchasers, how do you prevent felons or terrorists from purchasing guns." The camera then pans the room as nine seconds of silence and blank stares lapse before transitioning to the next scene. That's not how it actually played out, however. Just after Couric finished her question, a member of the group responded "One, if you're not in jail you should still have your basic rights." Needless to say, many in the group did not believe the scene to be a fair portrayal of their position.

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Mississippi school district to finally desegregate?

In this May 13, 2015 file photograph, an integrated group of Cleveland, Miss., public school students ride the school district bus on their way home following classes. A federal judge ruled on a desegregation case, Friday, May 13, 2016, that the Cleveland school district must merge its high schools and middle schools to achieve racial desegregation. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)For most of us, segregated schools are a shameful part of the past that has been rightfully relegated to the history books. For students and families in the small town of Cleveland, Mississippi, however, a reality that should have ended with their grandparents continues on to this day. The segregation is not an official mandate but rather a function of the larger division within a city where the black and white communities are mostly separated by the train tracks running through the heart of the town.

Fortunately, following a fifty-year legal battle, a federal court has ordered Cleveland to consolidate their junior high and high schools to end the system of functional segregation. So, some sixty-two years after the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. the Board of Education, the city's students will finally have a chance to get an equal education.

Lest we read this story and conclude that the matter is now settled, however, it could be helpful to know that just because Cleveland, Mississippi is in the news today doesn't make its situation unique. The number of overwhelmingly non-white schools, where less than one in ten students is white, tripled nationwide between 1991 and 2007. The kind of segregation seen in Cleveland is a problem throughout the country, with states like New York and California in a similar position to the southern locales where one might expect to find this sort of problem.

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George Zimmerman tries to sell Trayvon Martin Gun

In this Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013, file photo, George Zimmerman, acquitted in the high-profile killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, listens in court, in Sanford, Fla., during his hearing. The pistol former neighborhood watch volunteer Zimmerman used in the fatal shooting of Martin is going up for auction online. The auction begins Thursday, May 12, 2016, at 11 a.m. EDT and the bidding starts at $5,000. (AP Photo/Orlando Sentinel, Joe Burbank, Pool, File)George Zimmerman tried to auction off the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin. Back in 2012, Zimmerman shot and killed the defenseless Martin after feeling threatened and endangered on a dark street. The seventeen-year-old Martin had skittles and sweet tea; Zimmerman had his gun. His auction listing describes this gun as an "American Firearm Icon." The bidding was to start at $5,000, but the gun mysteriously disappeared from the auction site before the sale began.

Describing the sale, Zimmerman says the proceeds will be used to "fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers" and to "ensure the demise of Angela Correy's persecution career and Hillary Clinton's anti-firearm rhetoric." He goes on to say that, "The firearm is fully functional as the attempts by the Department of Justice on behalf of B. Hussein Obama to render the firearm inoperable were thwarted by my phenomenal Defense Attorney."

This may seem inappropriate, but it is not out of character. Last October, Zimmerman used his Twitter account to retweet a photo of Trayvon Martin's slain body. Before that, he called President Obama an "ignorant baboon." His account was suspended in 2015 after posting scandalous pictures of his ex-girlfriend, including her number, email, and accusations she had sexual relations with a "dirty Muslim."

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