LAWMAKERS FIGHT ASSAULT WEAPONS AND MASS MURDER WITH WISTFUL VERSE DEDICATED TO “SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.”
Nearly 20 Americans have been killed and dozens more injured in two of the worst mass shootings in the nation’s history, both occurring within days of each other in Aurora, Colorado and at a Sikh religious center outside Milwaukee. But the mounting carnage made possible by the ability of the two separate killers to obtain and use powerful guns with virtually no questions asked has done nothing to instigate political pressure or legislative action to curb the violence. Amy Goodman writes that the knee-jerk reaction to blame this inaction on partisan “gridlock” on Capitol Hill is wrong. Instead, the driving force behind the deadly national apathy towards controlling America’s gun addiction is a disturbing “bipartisan consensus” that gun control is to be avoided at all costs. President Obama’s message after the most recent shooting in Wisconsin spoke of the need for “soul searching” as the proper response to mass murder. And the White House has consistently put out releases after both events reaffirming the president’s promise to only back limited gun control measures that “protect second amendment rights.”
You can mark off another box on the checklist of U.S. military intervention in Syria, as President Obama’s senior counter-terrorism adviser announces that the administration is working on a plan to impose a no-fly zone across the embattled Middle Eastern country. John Brennan told reporters this week that a U.S. or NATO-enforced no-fly zone over Syria is not “off the table” as the U.S. continue to discuss the “scenarios that might unfold” in order for the regime of Syrian President Assad to fall. The tacit support for a no-fly zone comes as the United States is considerably expanding its aid — both public and covert — to Syrian rebels fighting against the Assad government. Even without American planes in the air over Aleppo and Damascus, the U.S. has provided significant support to opposition fighters that has allowed the unrest to be sustained.
The death of a young black man while detained by police has “set off” racial tensions in the city of Jonesboro, Arkansas. A college town home to Arkansas State University and a place that residents like to feel is distinguished by its academic core and growing industrial sector, Jonesboro is normally a typical Bible Belt community dominated by evangelical Christianity and where differences between the white and African American residents are usually kept out of the spotlight. Now the death of 21-year-old Chavis Carter has ripped open Jonesboro’s festering racial divide, leading to questions from its African American community about just how welcoming their city is. Carter was arrested on a July night and found to have a small amount of marijuana in his car. Handcuffed and shoved in the back of a Jonesboro police cruiser, the cops on the scene that night say that the young black man committed “suicide” by shooting himself with a gun they claim to have found in the back of the police car. Most aren’t buying the police version of events, and even the local police chief understands that his explanation for how Carter killed himself while cuffed in a police vehicle is “bizarre.” The FBI is now investigating the incident in a bid to discover the truth of what happened to Chavis Carter that night.
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