Guns and Beefing Up School Security
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Even before last week's Newtown massacre, Michigan legislators voted for concealed weapons on school campuses. We look at increased efforts to make sure children are safe and the possible impact of over-reaction on education. Also, President Obama appoints Biden to head a task force on gun violence, and resignations from the State Department after findings that it was to blame for lax security in Benghazi.
Banner image: Anti-gun-violence protesters march to the lobbying offices of the National Rifle Association in Washington, DC, following the weekend shooting of 20 elementary school students and eight adults in Newtown, Connecticut. Photo by Jay Mallin
Obama Appoints Biden on Gun Violence Response ()
President Obama named Vice President Biden today to head a task force saying, "There can no longer be any excuse for doing nothing" to prevent deadly gun violence...This is not something where folks are going to be studying the issue for six months and publishing a report that gets read and then pushed aside. This is a team that has a very specific task to pull together real reforms right now. Today's Los Angeles Times carries the headline, "Gun Lobby's Grip on Congress Threatened." The writer is Matea Gold.
Stepped-Up School Security and the Impact on Education ()
The President today called Friday's massacre in Connecticut a "wake-up call," but it was only the latest of several mass shootings since he took office. In each case, he has called for action — but nothing has happened. Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill to allow concealed weapons in Michigan's public schools, but it's only on hold for the moment. Los Angeles police officers will visit 600 elementary and middle schools at least once a day, and LA high schools already have armed cops on campus. Do guns — along with metal detectors, surveillance cameras and photo-ID’s -- really make kids that much safer? Does every school have to become a fortress? When education requires an open, welcoming atmosphere, what are the dangers of over-reaction?
- Patrick Radden Keefe: New Yorker magazine, @praddenkeefe
- Ari Adler: Press Secretary for Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger, @SpeakerBolger
- Terry Mazany: Chicago Community Trust
- Aaron Kupchik: University of Delaware
Panel Criticizes State Department for Benghazi Attacks ()
Three top State Department officials resigned today, after yesterday's report blaming "management failure" for the lack of security in Benghazi. That's where militants killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. Retired Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen led the independent investigation into the killings in Benghazi on September 11. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sent word that she accepts their conclusions. Eric Schmitt is national security correspondent for the New York Times.
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