Piracy on the High Seas and Gun Control in America
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After Navy marksmen killed three Somali pirates, American sea captain Richard Phillips is alive and well. President Obama says the US will work with other nations to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean. Can they be defeated in an area too large for effective naval patrol? What are the risks of a land invasion to eliminate their safe haven? Also, recent mass shootings have renewed calls for gun control. But the issue is dead on arrival at state legislatures, Capitol Hill and the Obama White House. Has the NRA won the battle? What about American guns used to arm Mexican drug cartels?
Banner image: View of pirates and hostages on the Tanit, that was seized by Somali pirates on April 4, 2009. Photo: ECPAD/AFP/Getty Images
American Ship Captain Rescued from Pirates ()
The Captain of the Maersk Alabama is safe after Navy Seal sharp-shooters picked off three pirates who were holding him in the Indian Ocean. Richard Phillips had given himself up to the pirates to save his crew. Friday night, President Obama authorized Navy marksmen to shoot to kill if Phillips' life was in danger. Vice Admiral William Gortney, Head of the US Naval Command, said the decision to abandon negotiations was made only after the on-scene commander observed one of the pirates point an AK-47 at the captain's back.
At left: Capt. Richard Phillips (R), stands alongside Cmdr. Frank Castellano, commanding officer of USS Bainbridge, after being rescued by US Naval Forces off the coast of Somalia. Official US Navy photo
- Shashank Bengali: Africa Correspondent, McClatchy newspapers
- Demetri Sevastopulo: Pentagon Correspondent, Financial Times
- Peter Chalk: Senior Political Analyst, Rand Corporation
Is Gun Control Dead? ()
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, college and 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. We explore that issue and hear from a US agent who tracks illegal firearms that move from the US to Mexican gun cartels.
- Martin Kady: Deputy Congressional Editor, 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
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