Shifting perspectives in gun debate

first_imgThe national gun debate is emotional — sometimes bitter — on both sides, but cool heads prevailed Wednesday at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).David Keene, president of the National Rifle Association, offered up his views at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum, a venue sponsored by the Institute of Politics (IOP). Engaging with him onstage was John King, CNN’s chief national correspondent and an IOP Fellow this semester. (Keene himself was an IOP fellow in 1976.)The venue? Stacked to the rafters, and primed for the sharp round of questioning after the 20-minute opening conversation.Most of those minutes went to Keene. His position:Make current background checks work before expanding the system. Keene argued that the present mechanism for vetting gun buyers — the National Instant Criminal Background Check System — is inefficient and lacks comprehensive data on criminal records and mental health.Gun shows are not “the Wild West.” Keene said 90 percent of the sales at such venues are made through federally licensed dealers, and the rest could be screened, too, but federal agencies have declined to do so. Meanwhile, half of private sales are between family members —transactions that even the White House would exempt from background checks.Keene called for a stronger focus on mental health issues, saying, “It’s not the gun, it’s the person with the gun.” But rating lawmakers on their positions on mental health is not part of the NRA’s mission, he added.Keene said the NRA is open to talking about national gun policy — “We don’t foreclose any kind of conversation”— but during a recent White House task force “the NRA was not invited for input.”King asked: What about classes of weapons not foreseen by the Founding Fathers “in the age of muskets”?Soundbytes: A Conversation with David Keene and John KingNational Rifle Association President David Keene joined CNN Chief National Correspondent John King for a conversation on gun control.  After a 30-minute interview which focused mainly on gun control policy, King turned the questioning over to audience members who re-directed the conversation to the marked increase in school shootings over the last decade.Citizens are rightly banned from owning most military-class firearms and weapons systems, said Keene. But AR-15 rifles, and firearms like them, are “widely owned and commonly used,” he said — making them legal to possess according to the findings of District of Columbia v. Heller, a 2008 Supreme Court decision. Confiscation schemes, floated by some anti-gun advocates and widely feared by gun advocates, are unlikely, added Keene.He called the AR-15 “the most popular long arm in the United States,” used widely for training, competition, and home defense, and “rarely used for illegal purposes.” More people are “beaten to death” every year than “killed by long arms,” said Keene.The 157 guns that would be banned by a renewed “assault weapons ban” proposed in the Senate, he said, were chosen because of the way they look and not the way they function. “You don’t make public policy that way,” said Keene, pointing to recent New York gun legislation that took cosmetics into account. “You look more carefully than that.”Current laws would work if they were enforced, Keene said. He said Chicago has a high murder rate involving firearms, and some of the nation’s toughest gun laws, but it ranks 89th among localities in actually prosecuting gun crime.From the audience, a questioner asked: Why would any American need to own a military-style rifle with a capacity of 20 or 30 rounds in one magazine? “They enjoy them,” said Keene, citing the long arm’s low recoil and good ergonomics for handicapped shooters.Sandy Hook and other recent mass shootings came up. Keene defended the NRA’s recent call for an armed presence at schools — a reality already, he said, at 30,000 of the nation’s 135,000 public schools. “We protect jewelry stores, we protect banks,” he said. “Why don’t we protect children?”The NRA president rejected the idea that the organization is simply a lobbying arm. Only 12 percent of its budget is set aside for advocacy, he said, and the rest goes to expenses like training, education, and matches. Nor is the NRA a megaphone for the gun industry, said Keene; only 4 percent of its revenue comes from industry sources. “We don’t represent the firearms industry,” he said. “We represent the consumer.”One questioner raised another common issue: In a gun debate dominated by talk of assault rifles, what about illegal handguns, which are seemingly ubiquitous in urban crime?Keene said again: Prosecute offenders, who too often — in Chicago and elsewhere — get off easy because authorities denigrate the idea of chasing small-time offenders. “You start with the guppies,” said Keene. “Then you get the sharks.”John King (left) asked NRA President David Keene about classes of weapons not foreseen by the Founding Fathers “in the age of muskets.” Keene responded by noting that citizens are rightly banned from owning most military-class firearms and weapons systems.Earlier in the day, about 80 students listened to a leading gun control advocate deliver a talk at Harvard Law School (HLS), sponsored by the student chapter of the American Constitution Society.Jonathan E. Lowy ’83, an attorney and director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, was originally slated to be in conversation with former NRA President Sandra Froman, J.D. ’74, who canceled her appearance. Froman spoke at HLS in 2007, calling the Second Amendment “the one right that protects all the others.”Lowy outlined an argument for the Brady Center’s basic message — having a lot of guns leads to a lot of violence.In the past 25 years, he said, 2.5 million Americans have been shot in crimes, suicides, and by accident — equivalent to all the residents of Boston and Cambridge combined. About 750,000 have died.And every year, about 30,000 Americans are killed in firearms incidents, more people than in every School at Harvard, said Lowy. “No other industrialized nation tolerates such slaughter of its citizens by guns.”The rate of gun homicides in the United States is 20 times higher than 22 equivalent developed countries combined, he said, yet crime rates among the same countries are equivalent. “It’s not that Americans are more criminal and violent,” said Lowy, who has litigated for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence for 16 years, it’s that the availability of firearms makes violent crime more fatal in America.It took only one mass shooting in Australia and another in the U.K. to prompt stricter gun laws, he said, yet stricter laws failed to materialize after many parallel incidents in the United States — more than 60 since the 1999 Columbine incident alone.But Lowy is optimistic Congress will soon stiffen at least some U.S. gun laws, beginning with requiring better background checks.Lowy said the Brady Center’s recommendations include universalizing criminal background checks for gun buyers, since only 60 percent of such purchases are made through federally licensed dealers, and limit the number of guns a person can buy at one time, because large-scale straw purchases enable illegal street sales.Lowy would also like to see firearms made beholden to U.S. consumer safety protections, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives freed from Congressional restrictions such as limiting federal agents to making only one spot check per gun dealer per year.Finally, said Lowy, gun data should be made available through the Freedom of Information Act.last_img read more

Richard Bean’s Great Britain Swiftly Transfers to the West End

first_imgAfter the U.K.’s National Theatre pulled the theatrical equivalent of a Beyoncé and opened Great Britain just days after it was announced with no preview period, Richard Bean’s play is swiftly transferring to the West End. Directed by Nicholas Hytner, the show will begin performances at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on September 10 and play a limited engagement through January 10. No word yet on whether the National’s cast, which includes Billie Piper as Paige, will transfer with the show. The new play is an anarchic satire about the press, the police and the political establishment. Paige Britain is the ambitious young news editor of The Free Press, a tabloid newspaper locked in a never-ending battle for more readers.center_img View Commentslast_img

The Appalachian Trail grows (slightly) longer

first_imgThinking about a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2015? We’ve got some bad news…kinda. Your hike just got about four miles longer.The A.T. gained 3.9 miles, bringing its total mileage to 2189.2 miles.Most of this is due to re-measurements rather than actual additions to the trail. In some places, the trail is rerouted or modified due to erosion, slope, or other factors.Every year, the latest mileage and shelter information is updated from volunteers who are constantly improving the trail, with volunteer Daniel Chazin of Teaneck, N.J. leading the efforts since 1983. This year, more than half of the changes in the mileage are in southwest Virginia, with two miles added to the total following a re-measurement by volunteers.Increases were also reported in New York-New Jersey (0.1 mile); central Virginia (0.1 mile); Tennessee-North Carolina (1.5 miles); and North Carolina-Georgia (0.2 mile).last_img read more

Evolution of Florida justice exhibit planned

first_imgEvolution of Florida justice exhibit planned Behind the tall metal doors of Florida’s Supreme Court building, the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society is opening new doors to the state’s unique history of justice.In a developing project, the historical society, the Florida Law Related Education Association, and the Arts in the Court Committee will co-sponsor a future permanent exhibit for the building, entitled “The Evolution of Justice in Florida: A Multimedia Perspective.”The exhibit, nearing the end of its research phase, intends to use art, artifacts, video, and interactive kiosks to facilitate for young and old alike a better understanding of the evolution of justice in Florida. The research gathered, which dates back to Native American conflict resolution, concentrates on the main components of the judicial system, the legal basis of the law, the court system, justices, and specific cases.As research historian for the ongoing project, Andrew Edel said the exhibit must go through three phases — research, script, and design.“The scope of the project is broad,” Edel said. “We’re just at the beginning.”Deciding that a chronological history would be appropriate to show this evolution, Edel searched more than 100 boxes of archival material, finding a rare law book from 1596, a letter signed by President John F. Kennedy, hand-written court reports from Civil War proceedings, Nuremberg trials photo notebooks, and blueprints of the old court building.Edel said the goal of the project was not only to give people a history of justice, but to include an educational element as well. “It looks like we are going to have a lot of very interesting artifacts and images, a lot of which has not been available to the public before.”According to Edel, three adjacent buildings — the Old Capitol, the New Capitol, and the Museum of Florida History — each attract between 50,000 and 68,000 visitors annually, compared to the 8,000 that visit the Supreme Court building.Edel sees this as an opportunity to bring more interest to the courts and the administration of justice, and Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead agrees.“It [Florida’s justice system] has a unique history,” said Chief Justice Anstead, who appointed the Arts in the Court Committee and has a vision for this project. “We want to be certain when they [visitors] come into this building that they know foundations are very important.“Native Americans had a legal culture,” Anstead said. “They had a system for dispute resolution. The Historical Society is working on tracing our roots that will identify not only the culture that existed in tribes, but also the way they resolved disputes.”Chief Justice Anstead reiterated the impact that this early dispute resolution has had on modern justice, and how the same methods of “restorative justice” employed back then, which hold persons directly accountable for their actions, remain effective methods today. Seeing the project start to materialize, Justice Anstead believes the court has a story to tell.“The concept came up several years ago,” said Park Trammell, executive director of the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society. “At the end of phase 1, the plan is to pursue additional funding; up until now we really haven’t had anything to show anyone.”That’s where Edward Jonas comes in. As an independently employed sculptor and artist with a background in exhibit design, Jonas, who co-chairs the history subcommittee of the Arts in the Court Committee, has begun to think of ways to give the project life.“We don’t want to turn the Supreme Court into a museum,” Jonas said. “But it would be nice to give people something to look at other than marble walls.”Jonas said the things to consider when designing an exhibit include space allotted, presentation, and when the exhibit would be open. Admitting that the project is very important for the state to undertake, Jonas said that it is also important to do things right.“It’s getting to that point where things are getting slow,” said Jonas, who also said that the opening date of the exhibit, which is estimated to be a while off, depends largely upon finding the grant money to move forward.Contributions to support the exhibit are also welcomed, and can be sent to Park Trammell, Executive Director, Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, P.O. Box 11344, Tallahassee 32302-3344. Evolution of Florida justice exhibit plannedcenter_img October 15, 2003 Regular Newslast_img read more

Brebes emerges as COVID-19 cluster as residents test positive after attending Gowa gathering

first_imgThe Central Java administration has announced that Brebes has been designated a COVID-19 “red zone” after 16 of its residents tested positive for the virus. Those 16 people went to Gowa regency in South Sulawesi in March to attend an international tabligh (Islamic mass gathering), dubbed Asia’s World Ijtima 2020 (Ijtima Dunia Zona Asia 2020), which was subsequently canceled as a result of the outbreak. By the time the event was canceled, however, thousands of its attendees had already arrived at the site.Brebes was previously categorized as a “yellow zone”. Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo said on Wednesday that at least 16 Brebes residents returning from the gathering had later tested positive for COVID-19. Read also: Participant of Islamic gathering in South Sulawesi diesHe further revealed that around 1,500 Central Java residents went to Gowa in late March to participate in the event, but only a few of them have been tracked and tested so far.”I call on everyone returning from the ijtima to report to the authorities [for testing],” Ganjar said. He further instructed all regional heads and health agencies across the province to track down the participants to prevent a much larger outbreak.Central Java had recorded 891 positive cases as of Wednesday afternoon, with 64 fatalities. (vny)Topics :last_img read more

Arsenal are a bigger club than Manchester United and Liverpool, claims Mikel Arteta

first_img Comment Mikel Arteta claims Arsenal are bigger than Manchester United and Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta claims the Gunners are the biggest club in England.The Spaniard signed a three-and-a-half year deal with the Gunners earlier this month and in doing so sealed a return to the club where he spent five years as a player.Arteta made it clear to Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola that he would only leave his role as assistant manager for one other Premier League outfit and that was Arsenal.The 37-year-old takes charge of the Gunners for the first time at the Emirates today when Chelsea make the short trip across the capital.ADVERTISEMENT Arsenal are a bigger club than Manchester United and Liverpool, claims Mikel Arteta Arteta takes charge at the Emirates for the first time today (Picture: Getty)And, speaking ahead of that clash, Arteta has made the bold claim that he’s joined the biggest side in the Premier League ahead of giants such as Manchester United and Liverpool.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘We are the biggest football club in England, and we have to play a little bit with that arrogance, that belief,’ Arteta told Sky Sports.‘This stadium has to create fear again. I used to hate coming here as an opponent, and we need to use that power. The opponent must be uncomfortable playing here. We need to recover here.‘It was incredible to play here as an Arsenal player. It’s one of the most beautiful, exciting stadiums in the world. When this crowd gets going, and you feel them right behind the team, it’s an incredible place.’Arsenal are the third most successful club in England behind Liverpool and Manchester United.The Emirates is the third biggest club ground in the Premier League, behind Old Trafford and White Hart Lane.More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errorsChelsea’s recent slip has allowed Arsenal to revive their hopes of a top four finish and a win today would move the Gunners to within five points of the Blues.Just eight points separate Chelsea in fourth and Arsenal in 12th.MORE: Graeme Souness reveals his major concern over new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta Advertisement Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterSunday 29 Dec 2019 11:30 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link7.3kShareslast_img read more

Dutch pensions regulator downscales board of directors

first_imgAccording to the regulator, having fewer directors will result in the most efficient and effective board considering the context of a new European banking union.The four remaining directors will be Klaas Knot, Jan Sijbrand, Frank Elderson and Job Swank.Knot will be in charge of the internal corporate processes at DNB, in addition to his position as chairman of the board at the regulator and as a member of the ECB Governing Council.Sijbrand, as chairman of supervision, will be in charge of banking supervision and the department of supervisory policy, in addition to taking on the supervision of insurance companies.Elderson will be director for the DNB’s new role as clearing authority.In addition, he will be in charge of pension fund supervision and the oversight of horizontal functions (previously centres of supervisory expertise).Elderson will not be charged primarily with banking supervision, monetary policy or financial stability so as to ensure the clearing role may be fulfilled in an autonomous and independent manner.He will continue to be responsible for Legal Affairs.Swank, in addition to his roles as director of monetary affairs and financial stability, will take responsibility for payment transactions.The DNB’s new portfolio division will become effective from 1 November. The Dutch financial regulator (DNB) has announced it is to reduce its board of directors from five to four.Joanne Kellermann, whose is expected to leave the watchdog in November, will not be replaced.The DNB said the move was a direct result of the shift of the banking supervision centre of gravity to Brussels.In a statement, it said: “Considering that banking supervision is becoming more of a European matter and decision-making authority is in part being shifted to the ECB, the board of directors and the council of commissioners have decided to limit the number of directors to four.”last_img read more

Bourne tidal works through permitting channels for grid link

first_imgMarine Renewable Energy Collaborative (MRECo), the organization in charge of Bourne Tidal Test Site development, has filed a draft application to federal regulators to interconnect the infrastructure to the electrical grid.On November 5, MRECo filed a Draft Pilot License Application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to interconnect the Bourne test site to the power grid, the organization informed.The application is available for public comments until December 20, 2018, after which the decision will be made.It will follow the recently approved permit – granted to MRECo by the US Army Corps of Engineers – which extends MRECo’s real estate license and regulatory permit for the Bourne test site for another year.In addition, MRECo is preparing a Chapter 91 license application for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, which will – if approved – convert the existing short-term Chapter 91 permit into a 30-year license to operate, MRECo said.The Bourne Tidal Test Site project consists of an existing turbine support platform mounted on two primary pilings that are spaced approximately 23 feet apart and embedded to a depth of 50 feet below the seabed, and that rise approximately 45 feet above the seabed.It is suitable for testing of tidal energy components or turbines of up to 3 meters in diameter with maximum output of 100kW.To remind, the Massachusetts Legislature appropriated $205,000 to MRECo to wire the test site to shore, and enable turbines and sensors to receive shore power and produce power to the grid back in October 2018.The funding is still pending legislative approval, and MRECo is now working with Senator DeMacedo’s Office to ensure the Office of House and Economic Development releases the funds, the organization informed.last_img read more

Robertine M. “Bobbi” Burke

first_imgRobertine M. “Bobbi” Burke, age 94 of Batesville, died Sunday, June 17, 2018 at St. Andrew’s Health Campus.  Born November 27, 1923 in Los Angeles, California, she is the daughter of Rose (Nee: McGranahan) and Heber Stromness.  She married Roger Burke September 16, 1944 in Cincinnati, Ohio and he preceded her in death October 5, 2010.  She was a secretary for the Hill-Rom Company 16 years before retiring in 1985.Bobbi’s family explained that she was an excellent cook, making only what was necessary to feed the family, so left over’s were rare.   An even better baker, her pies were hard to beat, especially the pecan pies.  Her strawberry shortcake will also be missed.  Bobbi liked watching Purdue basketball, golf and the Hallmark Channel as well as the old movies on Turner Classic Movies.  She and Roger enjoyed traveling and some of their favorite trips included Germany, Switzerland, Australia and a couple of visits to Hawaii.  The kids described her as the perfect mother and doting grandmother, but joked that during trying times she would look to the heavens and say, “Patience and fortitude!”She is survived by her daughters Barbara Eder of Bodalla New South Wales, Australia, Christine Ruehl of Crestview Hills, Kentucky; sons Roger of Obetz, Ohio, Steve of Ithaca, New York; eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her husband and parents.Visitation is Friday, June 22nd, from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Weigel Funeral Home.  Funeral services follow at 11:30 a.m. at St. Louis Church with Rev. Stan Pondo officiating and burial will be in the church cemetery.  The family requests memorials to St. Louis School.last_img read more

FDA issues recall for popular blood pressure medication

first_imgWashington D.C. — The Food and Drug Administration has issued a recall for popular blood pressure medications because they contain a chemical known to cause cancer.Officials say the presence of NDMA (N-nitrosodimethylamine) in the popular drug, Valsartan, is na surprise and thought to be due to changes in the way the active substance was manufactured.A Valsartan recall was announced weeks ago but did not include the United States and was only for the generic version.Here is a list of the recalled drugs compiled by FDA officials:Valsartan – Prinston – Pharmaceutical Inc.Valsartan – AvKAREValsartan – A-S Medication Solutions LLCValsartan – Bryant Ranch Prepack Inc.Valsartan – HJ Harkins CompanyValsartan – Major PharmaceuticalsValsartan – Solco HealthcareValsartan – Northwind PharmaceuticalsValsartan – Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd.Valsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) – Proficient Rx LPValsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) – Remedy RepackValsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) – Solco HealthcareValsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) – Teva Pharmaceuticals Injustries Ltd.The FDA has also compiled an updated list of medications not included in the recall:Amlodipine and Valsartan – Alembic Pharmaceuticals LimitedValsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) – Alembic Pharmaceuticals LimitedValsartan – Alembic Pharmaceuticals LimitedByvalson (Nebivolol and Valsartan – Allergan Inc.Valsartan – American Health PackagingValsartan – Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLCDiovan and Valsartan  – Aphena Pharma SolutionsValsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) – Apotex Corp.Amlodipine and Valsartan – Aurodindo Pharma LimitedValsartan  – AcPAKValsartan – Cardinal HealthDiovan – Carilion Materials ManagementAmlodipine and Valsartan – Gavis Pharmaceuticals, LLCValsartan  – Jubilant Cadista Pharmaceuticals Inc.Valsartan – Lucid PharmaAmlodipine and Valsartan – LupinValsartan – Macleods Pharmaceuticals USAAmlodipine and Valsartan – MylanValsartan/Hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) – Northwind PharmaceuticalsDiovan  – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.Amlodipine and Valsartan – Novel Laboratories Inc.Valsartan  – Ohm Laboratories Inc.last_img read more