FROM David Fellerath
American History and the Politics of Gun Control A mystery to people from other countries, America's gun culture is as old as the Revolution, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, perpetuated by the Civil War and mythologized as "how the West was won." But, since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, even gun owners are joining the movement for gun regulation — at the same time supporting the 2nd Amendment. The NRA is still warning about a plot for gun confiscation, but it's hunkering down for a major battle in Washington. We hear from gun owners on both sides and go to the inner cities, where gun violence is epidemic despite tough gun restrictions. If city kids can get around local controls, is that an argument for cracking down at the state and federal level?
In Janesville, WI, Middle America meets the new American dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn't prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. We hear what's happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.