FROM Mark Rosenberg
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.
Can Gun Violence Research Keep Us Safe? In the 1980's, gun violence was declared a public health issue, but Congress blocked research into prevention by the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health. In 2012, after the Sandy Hook massacre, President Obama proposed to resume that effort, and some Republicans agreed. What's happened since? Since the first of this year 5,823 people have been injured by guns and 3,479 have been killed. That's according to the Gun Violence Archive. Is there an "epidemic?" Could efforts to stop it stop short of gun control?
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?