FROM Mark Follman
Will the Body Count in Orlando Make a Difference on Capitol Hill? The massacre of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary failed to generate the political will for some form of gun regulation in 2012. Now 49 people have been gunned down at a gay club in Orlando – in the worst mass shooting in American history, and Democrats are feuding with Republicans again in the House and the Senate. The latest proposals involve the "gun-show loophole" and the no-fly list. Are the prospects for action better now than they were four years ago? The country already has more guns than people, and the NRA is especially powerful in an election year.
Gun Control and the Race to the White House For the first time since Al Gore lost to George W. Bush, Democrats are pushing for gun control in a presidential campaign. Three years ago, the US Senate refused to enact new gun control legislation. Now President Obama is using his bully pulpit to explain admittedly "modest" executive actions guaranteed to get the political pot boiling. Sure enough, Hillary Clinton's embracing them, while Republicans are predictably outraged. With California enacting new restrictions while Texas goes for open carry, which party is taking the greatest risk in the national campaign?
A Mass Shooting in San Bernardino: Was It Terrorism? The motive is still unclear, but there's no doubt there was prior planning. The FBI is leading a massive investigation. Terrorism is not being ruled out.
What's the Real Cost of Gun Violence in America? Debate over gun ownership and the Second Amendment never ends, but seldom discussed are the unintended consequences of 300 million privately owned guns. The NRA and other gun advocates have discouraged research into the cost of gun violence, but some numbers are available: $229 billion taxpayer dollars for law enforcement, medical bills and beyond — $700 for every man, woman and child. Is that the whole story behind one of America’s most polarizing controversies? In 2012, the massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado killed 12 people and left 58 injured. The trial of James Holmes is scheduled to start on Monday. After the incident, Mother Jones magazine wanted to know how much care survivors and victims’ families would need. How far would the costs ripple into the broader community? Those questions started years of research.
America's Gun Debate Continues: With Schools in the Crossfire In just over two years since 26 killings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, there've been 100 school shootings: one every five weeks. Congress has done nothing, but in various states new laws and ballot measures are going in different directions. Some are toughening gun controls, while others are allowing concealed carry in public schools, and there’s big money for campaigns on both sides. At the same time -- while guns are still selling, the number of people who own guns is on the decline. Last December, the Pew Research Center reported that — for the first time — a majority of Americans favored the rights of gun owners over gun control. Last week, a different finding by the University of Chicago : the number of Americans who live in a household with at least one gun owner is the lowest ever: just 32%, compared to 50% in the 1980's. We look at some challenging contradictions.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
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.