Despite a rash of mass killings, calls for increased gun control are falling on deaf ears. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, has the NRA prevailed in Washington and state capitols? Will American guns continue to flow to Mexican drug cartels? Also, LA Unified gives 1900 teachers a break, Phil Specter is convicted of second degree murder, and Californians get another election. Will Proposition 1-A finally resolve the state's budget problems or make them worse?
FROM THIS EPISODE
In the past month, 57 Americans have lost their lives to gun violence in eight incidents, which included mass killings of 10 and 13 at a time. The shooting victims included children and other family members, nursing home residents, immigrants and police officers. In recent months, a church, a college and a day center all have been shot up. It appears the shooters all acquired their weapons legally. Gun control advocates have renewed calls for action, but as one political scientist put it, “the silence has been deafening”—from the state legislatures, Capitol Hill and the Obama White House. Meantime, American weapons are winding up in the hands of Mexican drug cartels.
Martin Kady, Politico (@mkady)
Tim Egan, Online Opinion Columnist, New York Times
Kim Stolfer, Chairman, Firearms Owners against Crime
David Levdansky, Democratic State Representative, Pennsylvania
Bill Newell, Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Field Division of the ATF
In the re-trial of music producer Phil Spector, the jury today convicted him of second degree murder. The victim was actress and House of Blues VIP hostess Lana Clarkson. A former federal prosecutor, Jean Rosenbluth is Professor of Law at the University of Southern California.
Jean Rosenbluth, former Federal Prosecutor
After three months of deadlock, Governor Schwarzenegger and Democrats in Sacramento rounded up three Republicans to pass a budget. But they insist that a $48-billion shortfall won't be resolved unless voters pass six ballot measures on May 19. The most important is Prop 1-A, the Budget Stabilization Act, which would cap spending, extend recently enacted taxes, and enlarge the “rainy day” fund.
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Which Way, LA? The Question that Won't Go Away 23 years ago, the fires of the Rodney King riots were burning and the sirens wailing when KCRW first asked, WWLA? We've been through fires, floods, earthquakes and massive social, cultural and economic change. While this is the last program titled WWLA? the question still needs to be asked. We talk with a group of important and thoughtful people about what LA has become and about the challenges to be faced in the future…as we continue.
Then and Now: Is LA Still the Car Capital of the World? Urban planners got some bad news today. Ridership on public transit in Southern California is on the decline, despite the billions being spent in recent years to build light rail and subway lines. Why aren't more drivers leaving their cars at home, as traffic gets more congested than ever? Meantime, there's a shortage of money to repair aging roads, bridges and other parts of the infrastructure. We look at the impact on the state's economy.
Does California Have a Double Standard for the Public's Protection? Porter Ranch and Vernon are mirror images of each other. In one, schools have been closed and thousands of residents are being moved away by the polluter—just months after a natural gas leak was discovered. In the other, residents complained for years about health risks to school children from exposure to lead and arsenic from a battery recycling plant— until the federal government finally stepped in.
Is 'Warfare' a Thing of the Past at the LAPD? Video of police misconduct wasn’t as common 25 years ago as it is today. The spectacle of LAPD officers beating Rodney King was a wake-up call, but didn’t persuade a jury in Simi Valley. When the cops received not-guilty verdicts, the city exploded. We hear from veteran officers who say they’ve changed. What about their tactics? Have they gained the trust of marginalized communities and people of color?
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