Here’s a California gun law that saves lives. If only Florida had such a law: David French of the National Review, among the nation’s most prominent conservative writers, recently extolled the wisdom of gun violence restraining orders. He writes that the restraining orders recognize “the inherent right of self-defense and the inherent right of due process.” And, we hasten to add, the right of children to go to school and the rest of us to go about our lives without becoming victims of some guy with a gun. Read more.
Jack Ohman checks out the latest example of Donald Trump’s collusion. Snuggle up here.
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David Ulin: Those Florida school shooting survivors staging protests are our children – finally calling us to account. Read more.
David Freed: In 1984 in San Diego, following what was then the worst mass shooting in modern American history, a colleague and I tracked down the widow of the deranged killer, James Huberty. It’s not just the guns, or even the mental illness. Why aren’t we talking about rage? If we aren’t going to pass gun control, then let’s at least talk about why we’ve let mass slaughter become a way of life. Read more.
Erwin Chemerinsky: One myth is that efforts at gun control violate the Second Amendment. Nonsense. The 2008 Supreme Court decision, District of Columbia v. Heller, for the first time recognized the right of an individual to have guns in their homes for the sake of security. But very importantly, the Supreme Court emphasized that the Second Amendment is not an absolute right. Writing for the majority, the late Justice Antonin Scalia specifically wrote that, “like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” In fact, the court made clear that the government can regulate who owns a gun, what types of guns can be owned, and where those guns can be located – because the government has a legitimate interest in protecting public safety. Banning semi-automatic assault weapons and large capacity magazines would not violate the Second Amendment. Nor would universal background checks or a host of sensible other gun regulations. Read more.
Columns & op-eds
Dan Walters, CALmatters: The essence of California’s pension crisis was on display last week when the California Public Employees Retirement System made a relatively small change in its amortization policy. The CalPERS board voted to change the period for recouping future investment losses from 30 years to 20 years. The bottom line is that it will require the state government and thousands of local government agencies and school districts to ramp up their mandatory contributions to the huge trust fund. Read more.
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Every politician who accepts money soaked in blood from the extremist NRA should consider themselves on notice: You are being called out by America’s children. Read more.
Assemblyman Frank Bigelow: The California Water Commission says no water storage proposal deserves funding. As a principal author of the bond measure, I disagree. The Sites and Temperance Flats reservoir projects are ready to break ground and have broad support. Read more.
Miami Herald: They aren’t from a rural area that soon will be forgotten by the national media. They aren’t spread out around the country like the music fans who attended the Las Vegas concert. They have grown up with mass school shootings, and if they stick to a clear message they can be the critical voice for change as they honor their fallen friends with their advocacy. This feels different, because the teens are getting support at the opposite end of the spectrum of age and power. Read more.
Raleigh News & Observer: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper – and all North Carolinians – should force legislators to declare which gun violence measures they don’t support. Make lawmakers go on the record if they don’t think it’s a good idea to protect their constituents in any reasonable way they can, so that N.C. voters can know come election time. We’ll be happy to provide those reminders for Charlotte. Read more.
Dan Borenstein, East Bay Times: CalPERS, which has cooked the books for years, last week turned down the heat a skosh. No one should deceive themselves that numbers from the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, the nation’s largest plan, will now accurately portray the extent of the pension crisis. But the board’s unanimous decision to require that the state and local governments pay down future debt faster was a welcome step that should slightly help long-term shore up the ailing pension plan. Read more.
Los Angeles Times: Faced with an unholy tonnage of chip bags, soda bottles, takeout containers and other disposable plastic items flowing into our landfills and our waters, winding up in wildlife, drinking water and food, policymakers in California have tried reining in plastic waste bit by bit. Considering the magnitude of the problem, however, this item-by-item, city-by-city approach isn’t going to cut it. Read more.
Orange County Register: With the federal budget on track to hit deficits of $1 trillion a year, President Trump’s long-awaited $1.5 trillion infrastructure proposal was finally released last week. A core focus of Trump on the campaign trail, the proposal certainly contains some important ideas, but it comes at a time when neither the Trump administration nor congressional leadership have shown any great interest in balancing the federal budget. Read more.
San Diego Union-Tribune: A defining quality of California’s state government is sluggishness. Now Californians are witnessing an especially egregious example of this state trait. Forty months after state voters reacted to a brutal drought by lopsidedly approving a $7.5 billion water bond, none of the $2.7 billion the measure set aside for water storage projects has been appropriated by the California Water Commission. Read more.
David Brooks, New York Times: It’s necessary to let people from Red America lead the way, and to show respect to gun owners at all points. Then we can strike a compromise on guns as guns, and not some sacred cross in the culture war. Read more.
Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times: The gun control fight can’t be won on Twitter or Instagram. They do get people into the streets. But social media have created a world of faux activism. The NRA is not just in the chat rooms. It’s in the cloakrooms of Congress and state legislatures with bags of money. Read more.
Paul Krugman, New York Times: President Trump’s latest outbursts were very much in character. When did you last see a member of the Trump administration, or for that matter any prominent Republican, admit error or accept responsibility for problems? Read more.
Kathleen Parker, Washington Post: City by city, state by state, people have every right and reason to enact their own strict gun laws rather than wait for federal lawmakers to abandon their preferred pretzel poses. Read more.
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post: Americans do need to talk about guns. Yet, while we’re distracted by that conversation, there’s a long list of other really important things we’re still not talking about. Read more.
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Faced with compelling evidence that Russian cyber-saboteurs worked to sway the 2016 election, influencing swing-state voters with lies on social media and even staging real-life campaign rallies, President Trump’s only response has been a frantic and pathetic attempt to protect his own delicate ego. Read more.
Kansas City Star: A grand celebration would raise the national profile of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and help preserve the league’s history going forward. It will take money to pull this off. To maximize the opportunity, public and private donations are needed. And planning should start now. Read more.