Different Takes: Parkland Students Go Bold, Hope To Shake Apathy Toward Gun Control Measures; Red Flag Laws In States Seem To Be A Step Forward
Editorial pages focus on topics devoted to ending gun violence.
The Washington Post:
Parkland Survivors’ Gun Control Plan Aims To Reframe The Debate On Firearms
After last year’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it quickly became clear that students who had survived the horror weren’t willing to let their murdered classmates and teachers become just another statistic in America’s unending carnage of gun violence. They demanded change and ignited a grass-roots movement that has given youthful new vigor to the fight for gun safety. Now, these young activists have put forward a bold gun-control proposal that aims to reframe the debate on gun policy. (8/22)
The Wall Street Journal:
What ‘Red Flags’ Really Look Like
The debate over red-flag laws, which let police impound a person’s guns if a legal process determines he poses a threat, is playing out mostly in the abstract. How about a few real-life stories? An academic paper this week presents 21 case studies from 2016-18 in which California’s law was used “in efforts to prevent mass shootings.” ... More research and experience are warranted, and red-flag laws are no panacea for mass shootings. But only 17 states have these laws today and, if reasonably drafted, they appear to be a step forward: gun control for the dangerous and unstable. The genius of federalism is that the states can see what works, and useful lessons can be drawn and spread. (8/22)
Beto O’Rourke: As President, I’d Institute A Mandatory Weapons Buyback
On Aug. 3, my hometown of El Paso, Texas — one of the safest cities in America — was attacked in one of the deadliest mass shootings in our country’s modern history. This was an act of white nationalist terror, and one we could have prevented. All countries have video games. All countries struggle with mental health. All countries deal with hatred. But only America has more guns than human beings — 390 million firearms in a country of 329 million people — which kill nearly 40,000 people every year. (Beto O'Rourke, 8/22)
The Washington Post:
Who Does President Trump Treat Worse Than Anyone Else? Scientists.
President Trump may ridicule reporters and deride his opponents on Twitter. But there is a group of people he treats even worse than his most visible targets: scientists in his own administration. Whatever the president says about the media or his online foes, they can all respond. After all, the First Amendment is still alive and well. But those who work for the government are not so lucky. When the president silences them, they have far less room for recourse. And this can have dire consequences for our democracy. Take the recent directive from the Department of Health and Human Services to the communications staffers at the nation’s premier health research institutions. After two mass shootings this month, they were told not to post anything on social media regarding mental health, violence or mass shootings without prior approval from the government, The Post reported Tuesday. (Robert Gebelhoff, 8/22)