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?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?