FROM Josh Sugarmann
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.
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?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.