Ma­jor elec­toral wins for gun con­trol . . . then an­other mas­sacre

Bay of Plenty Times - - World - Colby Itkowitz anal­y­sis

Af­ter 14 teenagers were slain in hall­ways and class­rooms at Mar­jory Stone­man Dou­glas High School in Park­land, Florida, ear­lier this year, the sur­viv­ing stu­dents spurred a groundswell of ac­tivism. Na­tion­wide, Amer­i­cans marched in the streets, declar­ing they were through tol­er­at­ing the mas­sacre of in­no­cent peo­ple in schools, churches, night clubs, movie the­atres and con­certs. And they promised that come Novem­ber they’d be send­ing politi­cians that mes­sage.

Be­tween the Park­land shoot­ing and now, 10 peo­ple were killed in an­other high school in Texas, 11 Jewish peo­ple in a sy­n­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh and then 12 peo­ple, likely col­lege stu­dents, in a bar in Cal­i­for­nia. And those are just high­fa­tal­ity mass shoot­ings. It doesn’t in­clude the five jour­nal­ists killed in their news­room in An­napo­lis, Mary­land, or the slay­ings in the mid­dle of a yoga class less than a week ago — which won’t make any mass gun vi­o­lence, pub­lic opin­ion on guns pol­icy has shifted in re­cent years. While Amer­i­cans are about evenly split on ban­ning as­sault weapons, a whop­ping 92 per cent say there should be back­ground checks on all gun sales, ac­cord­ing to Gallup polling.

The Democrats win­ning the House is also a ma­jor boon for gun con­trol ad­vo­cates, who will now push their can­di­dates to take up anti-gun vi­o­lence leg­is­la­tion. While it will go nowhere in a GOP-led Se­nate and with Pres­i­dent Trump in the White House, it will give the is­sue a ma­jor edge in the 2020 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign if House Democrats push it.

And there’s past prece­dent for bi­par­ti­san ac­tion. Three years ago, af­ter the Sandy Hook El­e­men­tary School shoot­ing, where 20 6 and 7-year-olds were mur­dered, sev­eral Repub­li­cans voted in favour of mak­ing some in­cre­men­tal changes to gun laws, like back­ground checks. It was nar­rowly de­feated, but sug­gested there is room for com­pro­mise.

PHOTO / AP

Matthew Whi­taker Pro­test­ers gather in front of the White House to de­mand Act­ing US At­tor­ney Gen­eral Matthew Whi­taker re­cuse him­self from over­see­ing the on­go­ing spe­cial coun­sel in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.