January 7, 2016
I'M BETTING that gun makers, sellers, and the NRA are pretty happy today. That's because any time there's a push toward any sort of gun control, such as President Obama made yesterday, gun sales go up. That means more guns in a nation that, according to the Congressional Research Service, already has more guns (357 million) than people (319 million). It means more money for the guns and ammo trade, a $13.5 billion business, according to industry analysts. And it likely means more members and political power for the NRA. This is certainly an unintended consequence of efforts to reduce gun violence.
January 7, 2016 |
Politicians who don't mind appearing to carry water for the National Rifle Association offered a swift, knee-jerk response to President Obama's new executive measures to regulate gun sales. "No president should be able to reverse legislative failure by executive fiat," said House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.). No doubt the congressman used the words "executive fiat" to rattle people who fear Obama often exceeds his presidential powers. But it's the "legislative failure" Ryan alluded to that is more concerning.
December 30, 2015
By Larry Farnese If you're venturing out to catch Star Wars: The Force Awakens , you should know that many theaters are confiscating toy light sabers. Which they are legally entitled to do. What theaters can't do, despite multiple movie theater shootings, is confiscate guns. Think about that. A movie theater can take away plastic light sabers because they pose a threat as "weapons," while an actual weapon can stay in a moviegoer's holster. I'm not advocating that movie theaters confiscate guns.
December 25, 2015 |
Diane Marano's 25 years as an assistant prosecutor in Camden County's juvenile unit made her an expert in her field. As she neared retirement, however, she started Ph.D. studies, adding more depth to the topic she knew so intimately. Her research - focusing on the relationship between young offenders and guns - became the basis of her recent book Juvenile Offenders and Guns: Voices Behind Gun Violence . At 64, Marano now teaches at Rutgers-Camden. In the spring, she will teach two classes: Youth and Juvenile Justice, and Perspectives on Youth Violence.
December 14, 2015 |
Since America's response to its grotesque gun violence is more guns, it's hardly surprising that in the face of a campus binge-drinking epidemic, more colleges have decided to sell alcohol at sporting events. Having already ceded authority over their athletic programs to boosters, shoe companies, and TV networks, university presidents have more recently been busy surrendering to powerful brewers. "One of the main issues confronting universities is alcohol abuse," West Virginia University president Gordon Gee said earlier this year.
December 11, 2015
ISSUE | FRACKING Industry needs rules The fracking industry has effectively controlled recent Pennsylvania budget negotiations, buying its way out of a severance tax by throwing massive amounts of money at state lawmakers - $17.9 million spent on lobbying and $2.8 million on campaign contributions in the most recent cycle. You can follow the money at marcellusmoney.org as you envision handshake deals in smoke-filled rooms. When will this industry finally be held accountable to the people of the commonwealth?
December 4, 2015 |
I WAS SITTING on a train from D.C. to Philadelphia, coming from a Senate press conference about gun trafficking, when I read about yet another mass shooting - this one in San Bernardino, Calif. I'm reminded of a day almost exactly three years ago, when sitting on the same train coming from a gun-violence prevention conference, I read about a mass shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn. Predictably, both times, my email blew up and my Facebook feed was full of laments - "no more," "enough," "God, stop this please," "this has to stop.
November 27, 2015
PHILADELPHIA'S suddenly climbing murder rate makes me turn to Mayor Nutter's startling remarks that the "gun violence" we suffer in Philadelphia is "domestic terrorism. " He let his emotions and frustration overrule his intellect. "Domestic terrorism is international terrorism," Nutter said in a Washington interview after meeting with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "Domestic terrorism is international terrorism," he said.
November 20, 2015 |
MAYOR NUTTER recently did some semantic gymnastics with the word "terrorism. " In an Associated Press interview Monday following a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, he said gun violence in American cities was a form of "domestic terrorism" and comparable to international terrorism. While all gun deaths are unacceptable, it is a serious stretch to equate everyday criminal violence in America with vast international terrorism conspiracies such as ISIS. He is correct that both have the effect of making citizens feel afraid and insecure.
October 12, 2015 |
Since a shooter killed nine people Oct. 1 at an Oregon community college, Republican presidential candidates have sounded variations on one refrain: New gun laws aren't the solution. "I don't think more government is necessarily the answer to this," former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said while discussing the Second Amendment and shootings, also saying: "Look, stuff happens. There's always a crisis. " On Facebook, neurosurgeon Ben Carson wrote that he "never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.