Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley rail service is an old idea whose time has come again: Sacramento is, at heart, a rail city, though over the decades, trains became a thing of a bygone era. We didn’t know what we were giving up.
Jack Ohman sees a frightening American gun violence strip. Read the cartoon here.
Dan Walters, CALMatters: Political discourse is full of hype, obfuscation and downright lying, which is why two independent authorities play such vital roles in the Capitol. State Auditor Elaine Howle, Legislative Analyst Mac Taylor and their staffs of policy experts provide the Legislature and, more importantly, the California public with unvarnished information and analysis about state and local governance.
Jeffrey Tanji: Here’s how to better protect high school athletes from injury: California is the only state that does not regulate athletic trainers, the front-line professionals who are responsible for preventing and treating injuries.
Brad Rowe: Bags of cash, kidnappings, torture – that’s no way to run a California business. U.S. banking laws make California cannabis entrepreneurs act like drug dealers. The state’s legal weed industry needs a parallel banking system.
F. Noel Perry & Christopher Thornberg: Forcing Californians out of internal combustion engines would help the economy, and it’s the only way to cut emissions. So, no. Banning gas-powered vehicles in California isn’t crazy at all.
Take a number: $179.95
That’s the list price for Slide Fire’s bump stock, the sort of device that apparently allowed Stephen Paddock legally transform his semi-automatic rifles into automatic machine guns, and kill 58 people and injure for than 520 from his perch at on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Slide Fire’s website says it has suspended sales for the time being, which is driving up the price. Bloomberg reported that bump stocks were being peddled on an auction site for upward of $315. Such devices have been illegal to possess in California for decades, but not under federal law, as interpreted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives under the Obama administration. Sen. Dianne Feinstein introduced the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act to ban the devices, and 34 senators, all of them Democrats, immediately signed on. No Republicans joined. Slide Fire’s motto: “Freedom Unleashed.” And this: “Your rifle is hungry. Feed it.” Among the selling points, its device “allows your firearm to unload a virtually unlimited ammunition supply.” Or help kill virtually unlimited numbers of concert-goers.
San Francisco Chronicle: For about $400, the Las Vegas shooter turned a pair of rifles into full-auto killing machines, capable of spewing scores of rounds in a few seconds. This nonstop fusillade enabled him to kill and wound hundreds with rapid-fire ease. It’s inexcusable that lax rules allow for this brand of carnage.
San Diego Union Tribune: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apologized for how his company was used: “For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask for forgiveness and I will work to do better,” he wrote on Facebook. The next night, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history happened in Las Vegas, and once again, users of the tech platforms were sharing untruths and malign speculation.
Baltimore Sun: The question? Whether there is a point at which manipulation of voting districts for the purpose of favoring one political party over another goes so far that it denies constitutional rights of voters, and if so, whether the courts can then reasonably intervene to correct that problem.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The world needs dreamers like Elon Musk. The most audacious explorers always come across as unrealistic until they succeed in doing what was previously thought impossible. If interplanetary travel is part of the next stage in human evolution, Musk will likely have some role in it.
David French, National Review: The left can challenge the NRA all it wants, but until it defeats those ideas, it will not transform American attitudes toward guns. Or let’s put it another way: In the left’s fight for gun control, the great bogeymen aren’t the leaders of the NRA, they’re the Founders of our country.
E.J. Dionne Jr., Norman J. Ornstein & Thomas E. Mann: Claims that our republic is democratic are undermined by a system that vastly overrepresents the interests of rural areas and small states. Americans in metropolitan areas have limited influence over national policy.
Dana Milbank: Fake news comes to the Supreme Court in the gerrymandering case.
Ross Douthat: Why gun control loses and what the Las Vegas shooting might change that.
Frank Bruni: God bless America? Yes, a divine intervention sorely is needed in a country seriously lost.
“McClintock is for unfettered ownership of guns, but is against the Affordable Healthcare Act. This is a sick mind.” – Jack Garon, Placerville
Tweet of the day
“There’s agreement that automatic weapons should be illegal. There should also be agreement that accessories that allow weapons to mimic automatics should be illegal.” – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, @SenFeinstein