• Thumbnail for 298239

    Trump’s Hollow Gesture on Guns

    By Elaine Godfrey On Tuesday, in the aftermath of the shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, Trump sent a memo to Attorney General Jeff ...

Where Gun-Control Advocates Could Win in 2018

By Ronald Brownstein

The shifting geography of the electoral battlefield is providing gun-control advocates their best opportunity in years to tilt the balance on the issue in Congress.

Since the early 1990s, the National Rifle Association has sustained an impregnable congressional blockade against new gun-control measures. But the weakest link in that chain has always been the Republican-held suburban seats in the House of Representatives, where many voters support reasonable limits on gun access.

Even before the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school last week, Donald Trump’s unpopularity with college-educated voters was pushing those seats to the center of the midterm battle for control of the House. Now, the increased attention to gun issues could widen the wedge between suburban Republicans and the white-collar voters already recoiling from Trump’s tempestuous presidency.

“Where it coincides with the political realignment that’s occurring under Trump, the gun issue puts at risk a lot of these Republicans who have represented … suburban districts,” said Peter Ambler, the executive director of Giffords, the gun-control advocacy group founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

During his first term, then-President Bill Clinton overcame the NRA’s resistance to pass the 1993 Brady bill mandating background checks for most gun sales and the 1994 ban on assault weapons. Since then, two major dynamics have tilted the balance in the House toward the NRA and its allies.

The most visible change has been the GOP’s success at ousting Democrats in dozens of rural and small-town districts and replacing them with pro-gun-rights Republicans. But “visible” doesn’t necessarily mean “dispositive”: The Democrats’ rural losses didn’t change the legislative balance as much as commonly assumed, because most of the Democrats who formerly held those seats also voted against gun control. In 1993, 69 House Democrats opposed the Brady bill; in 1994, 77 opposed the assault-weapons ban. The rural realignment …read more

Via:: The Atlantic



What Clarence Thomas Gets Wrong About the Second Amendment

By Garrett Epps

Never let it be said that Justice Clarence Thomas is overly concerned with appearances. Witness his release of a passionately pro-gun opinion, less than a week after a school shooting took 17 lives at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

As near as I can tell, only two subjects excite this most phlegmatic of justices: the death penalty and the Second Amendment’s “right to bear arms.” I was present in Court two years ago when Thomas broke his 11-year silence on the bench—to ask Assistant U.S. Solicitor General Ilana Eisenstein why a misdemeanor conviction for domestic abuse should deprive the abuser of the right to possess firearms: “Can you think of another constitutional right that can be suspended based upon a misdemeanor violation of a state law?”

The quick-witted Eisenstein responded that Congress based the law on a record showing that “individuals who have previously … battered their spouses, pose up to a six-fold greater risk of killing, by a gun, their family member.”

But that answer didn’t satisfy Thomas. The following June, when the Court decided, 6 to 2, that Congress could outlaw gun possession by abusers, Thomas dissented, writing, “Under the majority’s reading, a single conviction under a state assault statute for recklessly causing an injury to a family member—such as by texting while driving—can now trigger a lifetime ban on gun ownership. … We treat no other constitutional right so cavalierly.” (Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined Thomas’s dissent as to the proper reading of the statute; but she refused to sign on to the section complaining that laws restricting gun ownership by abusers venture into “constitutionally dangerous territory.”)

Yesterday’s opinion was a dissent from the high court’s refusal to review California’s 10-day waiting period for purchase of a firearm. A district judge had struck the order down, in …read more

Via:: The Atlantic


Thumbnail for 298239

Trump’s Hollow Gesture on Guns

By Elaine Godfrey On Tuesday, in the aftermath of the shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida, Trump sent a memo to Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordering a proposal to ban bump stocks and to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. But experts and advocates say the move […]

Thumbnail for 298063

The Cultural Roots of a Gun-Massacre Society

By James Fallows “A Veteran on the Need to Control Civilian Arms” “‘Show Us the Carnage,’ Continued” “Only in America” “Show Us the Carnage” “The Empty Rituals of an American Massacre” and before that: “Why the AR-15 Is So Lethal” “The Nature of the AR-15” “Why the AR-15 Was Never Meant to be in Civilian […]

Thumbnail for 298035

A Cryptic Addition to a Long-Standing Murder Mystery

By James Fallows Back in the fall of 2001, exactly one month after the 9/11 attacks, a lawyer in Seattle named Tom Wales was murdered as he worked alone at his home computer at night. Someone walked into the yard of Wales’s house in the Queen Anne Hill neighborhood of Seattle, careful to avoid sensors […]

Thumbnail for 297922

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Florida Shooting Survivors Descend on the State Capitol

By Lena Felton Today in 5 Lines Billy Graham, the world-renowned evangelical preacher, died at the age of 99. Students who survived the Parkland, Florida, shooting met with top leaders in the state Capitol to lobby for gun control. President Trump also invited a group of students, parents, and teachers to a “listening session” about […]

Thumbnail for 297852

How the Activists Who Tore Down Durham’s Confederate Statue Got Away With It

By David A. Graham DURHAM, N.C.—“Let me be clear, no one is getting away with what happened.” That was Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews’s warning on August 15, 2017. The day before, a protest had formed on the lawn outside the county offices in an old courthouse. In more or less broad daylight, some demonstrators […]

Thumbnail for 297802

Billy Graham Fundamentally Reshaped Christian Outreach

By Emma Green Billy Graham, the famous preacher who reached millions of people around the world through his Christian ministry, died on Wednesday at 99. Over the course of more than six decades, he reshaped the landscape of evangelism, sharing the gospel from North Carolina to North Korea and developing innovative ways to communicate the […]

Thumbnail for 297765

Plastics Found in Majority of Deep-Water Atlantic Fish, Posing Potential Threat to Human Health

An Irish research team found that nearly three-quarters of deep-sea fish collected from the northern Atlantic Ocean had tiny plastic particles known as “microplastics” in their guts, suggesting that plastic pollution is penetrating deep into the marine food chain and could even threaten human health. (Photo: Bubbers13 / Getty Images) Nearly three-quarters of deep-sea fish […]