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Meet Chris Cheng, a Gay Gun-Rights Activist Changing the Face of the NRA: VIDEO

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Chris Cheng, a former Googler and winner of the History Channel’s fourth season of Top Shot, is an openly gay man on a mission to change the face of gun rights activism. Profiled in the Atlantic this week, Cheng reflected on how going public with his long-time passion for firearms gave him the push to officially come out in hopes of beginning a conversation about queer proponents of the Second Amendment.

Following his Top Shot win Cheng signed on as an NRA news analyst, solidly orienting his career towards gun advocacy.

"I think that this is an opportunity for the NRA and our community to accurately portray the diversity that already exists in the community,” Cheng explained.  "We've allowed some prevailing stereotypes to take hold, and we're not challenging them."

The conversation around gay gun rights activists is a complicated one. Organizations like The Pink Pistols blur the line between a  conservative defense of the Second Amendment, a social club, and a movement designed to empower gay individuals to fight homophobia by arming themselves. By and large the march of progress for LGBTQ rights has been powered by activism on the left, while gun advocacy is grounded firmly on the right. Cheng, whose Wikipedia page claims that he has expressed interest in pursuing public office, has staked out a spot for himself that, aside from his views on guns, is politically neutral.

“I do plan on advocating for gay rights.” Cheng told Guns.com late last year. “Rights are rights, and the concepts of liberty and freedom equally apply to gun and gay rights in my book. I do not expect people to agree with my positions on either, but I do expect the freedom to exercise my rights as an American, in the pursuit of happiness.”

Watch Chris Cheng’s first appearance as an NRA commentator AFTER THE JUMP...

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Sarah Palin And Wayne LaPierre's CPAC One-Liners: VIDEO

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Here, (largely) without comment, are remarks from two different though ideologically related people, Wayne LaPierre, the leader of the NRA who wants armed guards in America's schools, and Sarah Palin, the failed vice-presidential candidate and former Fox News lackey who likes shooting unarmed wolves from helicopters. The remarks were made one day apart at CPAC, the conservative conference wrapping up its final sessions this afternoon.

First, LaPierre's one-liner from his appearance yesterday: "The one thing a violent rapist deserves to face is a good woman with a gun." Counter violence with more violence, he says.

And from Palin, a bawdy, tacky comment about her and her husband, "He's got the rifle, I've got the rack." She then sucked on a Big Gulp because "Bloomberg isn't around."

Watch video of Palin's "rack" comment and footage of LaPierre's entire speech AFTER THE JUMP.

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Chris Wallace Takes On The NRA's Wayne LaPierre

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And the Fox News host doesn't treat him with kid gloves. The two discuss the controversial NRA ad that criticizes the Secret Service protection President Obama's daughters receive at their school. Wallace does not take too kindly to LaPierre's defense of the clip, which first aired last month.

Wallace says to LaPierre: "Do you really think that the President's children are the same kind of target as every schoolchild in America? I think that's ridiculous, and you know it, sir."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP.

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News: Dear Abby, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bette Midler, 'Guy Code'

1NewsIcon GQ magazine, Andy Cohen discusses why straight guys love his show: "I show a bunch of boobs and asses and good-looking women. I get your wives and girlfriends playing drinking games. I get 'em wound up, I get 'em drunk, and just when they're at the point where.... [then] I'm off the air.'"

Guycode1NewsIcon MTV2's testosterone-laden show Guy Code will be addressing the gay spectrum next week, and most of the gents agree there is such a spectrum.

1NewsIcon They don't illustrate like this anymore.

1NewsIcon On gun control and gay marriage: "...The long-term trend on gun control, unlike gay marriage, has been a rise in opposition. As recently as April, the Pew Research Center put out a report noting the divergent trends on the two issues, noting that 'on gun control, Americans have become more conservative; on gay marriage, Americans have become more liberal.'"

1NewsIcon  Michael Triplett, president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association, has died at the age of 48 after a battle with cancer. From the group's website: "His quiet demeanor masked a steely resolve and an uncanny ability to push our organization forward. Michael quickly became someone who could be relied on both to provide sage advice as well as the time and energy to help us accomplish our goals…. Michael was truly a joy for all of us to work with, and his loss will be felt among our organization for years to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with his partner, Jack and his family in Alabama."

1NewsIcon An unknown number of hostages are dead during a state-run raid to end a siege in Algeria.

Snowflake1NewsIcon This camera can capture 3D images of falling snow.

1NewsIcon Chris Christie calls the NRA ad attacking the President for using Secret Service for his children "reprehensible."

1NewsIcon Sorry, conservatives, but Bette Midler is right about Ronald Reagan and the mentally ill.

1NewsIcon Hateful Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins is wrong about It Gets Better, which he calls a "deceptive lie."

1NewsIcon Pauline Friedman Phillips, the woman who wrote the Dr. Abby column as Abigail Van Buren, died at the age of 94.

1NewsIcon A Toronto man accused of murdering his husband is now asking for the victim's $2 million life insurance and is also demanding his mourning family never see a dime.

1NewsIcon Nicholous Hoult looked refreshingly hot at the Rome premiere of Warm Bodies.

1NewsIcon You will be forgiven for taking some time to watch Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj hate one another.

1NewsIcon Heads up, Australia - Robert Pattinson brought his guitar.

BomerT1NewsIcon Matt Bomer is designing men's apparel inspired by his show, White Collar.

1NewsIcon There's a new support group for GBT men in Atlanta who have been victims of hate crimes.

1NewsIcon Retired Baptist Rev. Howard Bess stands with gay students at evangelical Wheaton College: "I am one of those supporters though I am not gay. Wheaton College is my alma mater and I am proud to be a Wheaton graduate. I found Wheaton to be a home for a rigorous academic education, and Wheaton’s student body and faculty comprised the greatest group of people I have ever known. They were dedicated, hard-working and highly principled. To them, Christ was Lord; nothing else was so important."

1NewsIcon British Evangelical leader Steve Chalke comes out for recognition of same-sex relationships: "When we refuse to make room for gay people to live in loving, stable relationships, we consign them to lives of loneness, secrecy and fear."

1NewsIcon Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is again leading the call for Homeland Security and the Justice Department to guarantee that married bi-national same-sex couples not be deported or separated before the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality. "By taking these interim steps, vulnerable families affected by DOMA can remain together until the Supreme Court issues its decision," Gillibrand and other senators wrote. "Preserving family unity is a fundamental American value and is the cornerstone of our nation’s immigration law."

1NewsIcon "No more wedding jokes, please," says Kim Kardashian.


Rachel Maddow Takes On The NRA Trolls: VIDEO

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Rachel Maddow was all fired up for her take down of the NRA yesterday. The specific topic? The gun rights group's advert attacking "elitist hypocrite" President Obama for using Secret Service to protect his daughters, a smear offensive both to common sense dictating such protections for the first family and to those of us who know the unwritten rule: president's children are off limits.

To Maddow, NRA's commercial is just another example of right-wing trolling. It is a schtick, she says before running through a brief history of trolling of "purposeful outrage" and how this schtick reveals a group or individual's political impotence: if you have to go to these lengths, you're truly desperate. And, what's more, when one looks at how much money is spent on trolling, that shtick turns out to be a huge waste of money.

Watch Maddow - and, toward the end, fellow gay MSNBC staffer Steve Kornacki - say it like it is AFTER THE JUMP.

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Obama Unveils Plan to Reduce Gun Violence: VIDEO

President Obama has unveiled his gun plan, the HuffPost reports:

Guns_obamaThe proposal, which comes at the end of a month-long review process spearheaded by Vice President Joe Biden, is broken down into four key subsections: law enforcement, the availability of dangerous firearms and ammunition, school safety and mental health.

In an effort to touch on all four of those elements, the president recommended requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales; reinstating the assault weapons ban; restoring a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines; eliminating armor-piercing bullets; providing mental health services in schools; allocating funds to hire more police officers; and instituting a federal gun trafficking statute, among other policies. The cost of the package, senior officials estimated, would be roughly $500 million, some of which could come from already budgeted funds.

Because these recommendations require congressional approval, the administration is supplementing its proposal with 23 executive actions that will be taken immediately. Those actions include requiring federal agencies to hand over relevant data for a background check system; providing law enforcement officials, first responders and school officials with better training for active shooting situations; directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence; and many more.

Watch part of his press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

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