Las Vegas shooting must, finally, stir Congress to act. But will it? Thoughts and prayers are well and good. But we know what actions must be taken. This time, what happened must not be forgotten.
Jack Ohman rolls the dice in Vegas with the NRA.
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Erwin Chemerinsky: Why UC Berkeley was right not to ban Milo, and other lessons from Free Speech Week.
Take a number: $713,360
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom ended the third quarter of 2017 where he left off at the end of the first half of the year: vastly out-raising other 2018 candidates for governor. Between the beginning of July and end of September, Newsom raised $713,000 in donations of $1,000 or more. That’s on top of the $13 million in cash he had amassed by the end of June. Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa came in a distant second, with $218,000 in the third quarter; he reported $4.4 million in cash at the end of June. Treasurer John Chiang, who had $5.7 million in cash at the end of the first half of 2017, raised $156,000 in increments of $1,000 or more. The latest fundraising numbers, gleaned from the secretary of state’s website, don’t mean Newsom is a shoo-in to become California’s next governor. But he’s certainly the front-runner.
Philadelphia Inquirer: This president, who was born with all the accoutrements of wealth, prides himself on being able to connect with working-class, churchgoing Americans who also own guns. Many of them have bought the NRA’s position that any further restrictions would become a slippery slope toward banning gun ownership. Trump has the stature to argue otherwise. To do that, he must find the same will he showed in avoiding a government shutdown by reaching a budget deal with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.
Charlotte Observer: How did we create a society in which more than 33,000 people are taken by gun violence every year? There are measures available that can lessen the chances of mass shootings and cut down on the gun deaths that happen every day. Improved background checks on purchases. More accessible mental health care. More sharing between states of mental health issues of gun buyers. Bans on automatic weapons or high-capacity magazines.
Baltimore Sun: Nevada is a state generally regarded as having some of the most lax gun control laws in the country. Nevada’s firearm death rate, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is 14.7 per 100,000 people. People are simply far more likely to die from a gunshot wound in Nevada than they are in most other states. But there is a limit to how much state-by-state restrictions on gun sales can accomplish. We grieve for those who lost their lives in Las Vegas, but we also grieve for a country that refuses to look at the circumstances the enable such mass shootings.
The Mercury News: The president, who threatens to annihilate other nations, suggested, in the wake of 58 deaths and more than 500 wounded in Las Vegas, that there’s nothing to be done about mass murder on the homefront by an American apparently unaffiliated with foreign terrorists.
L.A. Times: Messages of shock and support have poured out in what has become an almost Pavlovian national ritual. But as a nation, do we have any more prayers and thoughts to offer? Is this, as musician David Gray once sang, just so much meaningless movement of the jaws? We will hear shortly – count on it; it’s another part of our sickness – that this is not the right time to talk about gun control, and about our armed-to-the-teeth culture. But this is exactly the right time. As is tomorrow. And next week. And next month and, if we ever regain our collective sanity, on Election Day.
San Francisco Chronicle: Stephen Paddock, a Nevada retiree who appears to have no criminal record, will be united with every one of his long line of predecessors not by his motive, creed, race, nationality, or particular sickness, but by his ability to obtain extremely deadly weapons. It’s revolting enough that our leaders, who are quick to take every precaution against the far more remote threat of foreign terrorism, can’t find the courage to make it even a little harder to amass such an arsenal and murder Americans. That they keep making it easier is an absurdity and an outrage.
Cass R. Sunstein: As Neil Gorsuch steps into full term, what do we know about him? More than you think. Gorsuch is fiercely protective of the independence of the judiciary, skeptical about executive power, and is a bold thinker.
Michael Gerson: The uncomfortable truth of our nature is that our days together are counted and finite. Tragedy reminds us that life is temporary and precious. We hold others briefly in our arms, and try to reach out and shield them from harm.
Nicholas Kristof: Mourning the Las Vegas shooting won’t end carnage. Sensible policy steps might help.
Carl Hiaasen: All it took to awaken the dormant conscience gene in Tallahassee was the sight of dead grandmothers and dead grandfathers being wheeled out of a sweltering nursing home. How does any legislator watch that video without horror and shame?
Andres Oppenheimer: A new wave of authoritarian populism in Latin America could threaten the region’s incipient recovery by, among other things, scaring away investors.
“When will we admit more guns do not make us safer? When will we accept the reality that more gun restrictions are necessary?” – Alvin Vopata, Antelope
Tweet of the day
“Our six reporters have eight stories up, most of them constantly updating with new information. Please check them out.” Jon Ralston, @RalstonReports. We know Jon as Nevada’s premier political writer. But his Nevada Independent, a must-read if you want to know what’s truly going on in the Siliver State, provided excellent coverage of the Las Vegas massacre.