Opinion

Dallas police deaths, gun control, Philando Castile and the NRA

On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

Horrific deaths of police officers in Dallas and officer-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota dominated our attention and that of other editorial writers. We’ll get right to it.

Take that

The massacre of five Dallas police officers, after officers shot to death black men in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights, Minn., once more raises troubling questions about race and weaponry.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that Twin Cities-area police found cause to pull over Philando Castile 52 times since 2002 for minor traffic violations, underscoring the hazards of the simple act of driving for African American men.

The STrib also confirmed that Castile had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, casting further doubt on whether an armed citizenry makes anyone safer. The NRA was subdued in its defense of the right to carry concealed weapons after Castile’s death. Hypocrisy is unceasing.

Our take

Editorial: Toward a more focused approach to gun safety.

Editorial: Dallas ambush tests our resolve for fair policing.

Erika D. Smith: I cringe at how unyielding and impatient Americans have become.

Dan Morain: Yes, Kevin de León is ambitious, aspires to higher office and knows gun control is a winning political issue in his urban Los Angeles district. But there’s a reason why, upon arriving in Sacramento, he introduced legislation to regulate bullet sales.

Marcos Breton: Black lives, blue lives – they matter equally.

Their take

Dallas Morning News: Our country has been breaking apart for many months.

Fort Worth Star Telegram: Don’t forget about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

San Antonio Express: There’s a temptation to blame those who protest. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick went there Friday.

Minneapolis Star Tribune: Offering a blueprint for better police-community relationships.

Miami Herald: Police feel under siege and black people fear excessive and deadly force.

Charlotte Observer: Each day, police overwhemingly do what we expect of them, and sometimes more.

The LA Times: We’re at a crossroads.

San Francisco Chronicle: The gun lobby needs to lose the argument that an armed citizenry makes us safer.

The National Review: The vast majority of law enforcement are honorable public servants.

Take a number: $168.5 million

California Attorney General Kamala Harris on Friday issued a press release announcing a $168.5 million settlement with K12 Inc., a for-profit, publicly traded company that offers online classes to students.

K12 responded by denouncing Harris’ characterization as “flat wrong,” and pegging the amount at $8.5 million. The $160 million difference involves what Harris calls debt relief to K12’s California Virtual Academy schools.

What’s undisputed is that Jessica Calefati’s excellent reporting for the Bay Area News Group brought questions about K12 to the public’s attention. Her strong pieces helped spur legislation, AB 1084 by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, pending in the Senate.

Double takes

Jack Ohman: America is great, and I’ll tell you why.

Dan Walters: The recovery is geographically and sociologically uneven and widens the “income inequality” gap between those in upper- and lower-income brackets.

Editorial: Sacramento County officials have a lot of explaining to do, based on the latest grand jury report.

Susan Sward, among our regular contributors: The nation’s aging infrastructure beckons as an assignment slip: It challenges America to reassess its enormous expenditures and find the dollars to make repairing our infrastructure a reality.

Debra J. Saunders in The Chronicle: The policy pendulum swings toward overincarceration, then overcorrects with underincarceration.

Syndicates’ take

Eugene Robinson: The great irony is that Dallas is something of a model.

Leonard Pitts Jr.: America has gone mad and there’s no place to hide.

Kathleen Parker: America’s killing fields.

Trudy Rubin: Germany has an overwhelming task trying to integrate many of the million or so Muslim migrants who have arrived since 2015.

Paul Krugman: The Republican establishment directly enabled the forces that led to Donald Trump; but many influential people outside the party in effect enabled the enablers.

Ruben Navarrette: Hillary Clinton’s skating on the email scandal proves our dual-track system of justice.

Dana Milbank: Republican attacks on James Comey undermine the rule of law.

And finally,

Yes, it was a tough week, and who knows what this week will bring. Why not take a break and head to the State Fair? Our trusty intern, Aly Pachter, offers a bacon-wrapped tour.

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