FROM Courtney Thomas
Could Risk Assessment Have Prevented Virginia Tech Tragedy? The gunman who killed 32 students yesterday at Virginia Tech has been identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a resident-alien student originally from South Korea. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the 23-year old showed signs of aberrant behavior before yesterday's violent shooting rampage. President Bush has ordered American flags flown at half-staff , and he's in Blacksburg, Virginia with the First Lady for a campus convocation. Republican Senator John McCain says the incident at Virginia Tech does not change his view that Americans have a constitutional right to carry firearms, except "to make sure that these kinds of weapons don't fall into the hands of bad people." We hear about a note reportedly left by the killer. Were there indications that he might turn violent? What about gun control?
"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."
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
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?
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.