The racially-motivated mass shooting in El Paso made me question if our unstable country is a safe place to raise my three-year-old bi-racial son. And I can't be the only one.
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast/Photos GettyIt’s been roughly half a month since dual mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, forced the president, his administration, and Capitol Hill lawmakers into yet another debate about gun control. And in those short weeks, Donald Trump has already started to pump the brakes on his support for background checks legislation the likes of which, he said, “we’ve never had before.”“He’s started to move on,” a White House official conceded, adding that they haven’t heard the president discussing the topic in recent days with the same urgency or frequency that punctuated the immediate aftermath of the high-profile shootings. “If it were up to the president, he’d do background checks today. But that’s not how it works, and he loses patience [quickly].”So far this month, President Trump has posted four tweets directly addressing the need for more robust background checks for gun purchases, one fewer than he’s posted about Diamond & Silk, the Trump-loving, self-described “Video Vloggers” who make regular appearances on Fox News and Fox Business. Trump Flips on Gun Control After NRA Sits Him Down in Oval OfficeThat Trump’s attention span drifted elsewhere before Congress could even reconvene to debate gun control reform was hardly a surprise. The president has promised to tackle background checks before, only to drop the idea once the mass shooting that precipitated his apparent interest faded from the news cycle. Two sources close to the president each said they had spoken to Trump in the past week, and neither recalled him saying anything about seriously pushing expanding background checks.But for officials on the Hill, Trump’s latest backtrack still serves as a notable illustration of just how quickly he can paralyze the legislative process—even on issues with wide public support. “There is nothing happening,” one Senate Democratic aide, who asked to be referred to as a "severely depressed staffer who has been through too many of these," said of the current state of negotiations. “This is all Trump. It is all in his hands. No one is talking to Republicans or their offices. If the president says, ‘Yes I wanna do it,’ it gets 85 votes. If he doesn't, it doesn't.”So far, the president has not said he wants to “do it.” There have been no conversations with Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.V.)—the chief Democratic co-sponsor on the most bipartisan piece of background check legislation—since the two talked early last week. White House staff have not had substantive follow up conversations with Senate staff since they convened to discuss the Manchin-Pat Toomey legislation, aides say. And a senior Democratic House aide confirmed that there was not “much movement” on their end of the Capitol either. DHS Official: Trump Can’t Admit ‘This Is Terrorism’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a radio interview on Aug. 8 that he had talked with the president and was “anxious” to work with him to get an outcome on guns. A spokesman for McConnell told The Daily Beast that the GOP leader and Trump talk frequently but would not say if they had spoken about prospective bills in recent days. A source familiar with the discussions said that Democrats remain willing to work with Trump to reach a legislative compromise on guns. But they are skeptical that it might happen, aware of his tendency to backtrack after past mass shootings. The hope among Senate offices involved in the discussions is that the White House will ultimately make clear what proposals Trump can and cannot support with respect to gun legislation and that that, in turn, will set the table for possible next steps, according to the source familiar with talks.But, so far, the president has signalled mainly that he is retreating from the idea that he can push an expanded background-checks bill through Congress. On Sunday, he told reporters that, “People don't realize we have very strong background checks right now,” before arguing that the issue with gun violence was a “big mental [health] problem.”In case there was any confusion, Trump added: “Look, I've had a great relationship with the [National Rifle Association], and I will always have a great relationship. I've been very good for the NRA.”Though the gun rights lobby finds itself in a state of internal turmoil, its influence has not waned on the Hill or within the West Wing. The group staunchly opposes ongoing efforts to expand background checks, and quickly jumped on the phone with Trump to restate that position in the wake of the two recent mass murders. Since then, more conservative voices, including figures closely aligned with Trump, have signalled their disapproval with far-reaching legislation favored by Democratic lawmakers. “We already have background checks on all gun transactions except those between private individuals. Spending time on this issue is a waste for anyone who really wants to help with mass shootings,” Ed Brookover, who served as a senior adviser on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, said on Monday.Democratic Hill aides expect that Republicans will, ultimately, not move on legislation this time around unless it has the NRA’s endorsement. And for that reason, there is growing resignation to the idea that Senate GOP leaders will end up pushing reforms to the background checks system that nibble around the edges rather than directly expanding its scope. One such bill was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) during the wake of the Newtown shooting in early 2013 and reintroduced in years since. The bill increased funding for school safety measures, criminalized straw purchases, and encouraged states to report mental health records; but it did not actually limit gun ownership, at least in material ways. Another possibility is a so-called “red flag law” proposal — which would aim to keep guns out of the hands of the most dangerous people — that represents probably the maximum level of gun control that the GOP can get behind. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has already said that Democrats won’t “settle” for gun action that is limited to red flag laws. On Monday, he called Trump’s “backtracks” on guns “heartbreaking” and called on McConnell to put universal background checks to a vote on the Senate floor immediately. There was no response from McConnell or Trump. “Every reporter called me up and said this time feels different,” the Senate Democratic aide said. “I was like, am I missing something?” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
The killing sprees in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 3-4, brought the number of mass shootings in the first 215 days of the year to 251. In the United States of Ammunition, that's more than one a day. What's going on? To paraphrase James Carville, “It's the masculinity, people.” It's infuriating to me that because it's so obvious who did the shooting. The media, politicians and pundits rarely cite the most significant common denominator of virtually every mass murder in the U.S. — the shooter's gender! Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old Texan charged with the El Paso murders, is an avowed white supremacist. The slain Dayton killer, Connor Betts, had previously compiled a “rape list”
Max Young, who joined the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in January, said his last day will be Friday. He'll be the new head of public affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit founded by former Mayor Michael Bloomberg that advocates for gun control.
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — The Virginia State Crime Commission will kick off a series of meetings on Monday that could help decide the future of gun control in the state. The meeting comes after a General Assembly special session on gun control ended abruptly in July. House Republicans voted to adjourn the session until Nov. 18, just six days after the November elections. Now, it's the job of the Crime Commission to objectively hear both sides before it makes a recommendation on what the state should do in regards to gun control. The Commission will convene ton Aug. 19 at the Capitol to hear presentations from federal and state organizations. The floor will not be open for public comment, but the
As Americans grapple with the debate over gun control in the wake of recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, the Associated Press' Julie Pace reports that Arizona is shaping up to be a new front line in that fight. Republican Sen. Martha McSally will likely face former astronaut Mark Kelly in the 2020 general election. Kelly, a Democrat, is married to former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who survived a shooting in Tucson in 2011.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper dropped his bid for president Thursday. "Today, I'm ending my campaign for president. But I will never stop believing that America can only move forward when we work together," Hickenlooper tweeted. He had been urged to run for Senate in Colorado, challenging Sen. Cory Gardner. In a video attached to his tweet, he said he'd give that "serious thought" but made no announcement. As a presidential candidate, Hickenlooper had painted himself as a relative centrist in the crowded, mostly progressive presidential field of more than 20 candidates. But he wasn't able to gain much traction. He had not met the polling or fundraising requirements to participate in
WASHINGTON (AP) � Beto O'Rourke will formally rejoin the presidential race on Thursday, resuming a campaign that has been suspended for nearly two weeks with what he promises will be a "major address to the nation" from his hometown of El Paso, Texas, where a mass shooting killed 22 people. The Democratic former congressman will outline "the path forward" for his presidential campaign "and for the future of the country." He will then resume traveling the nation as a 2020 White House hopeful, though his advisers have yet to announce where he'll go. O'Rourke was campaigning in Nevada on Aug. 3 when a gunman who denounced immigrants in an online screed opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, a U.S.-Mexico border town. O'Rourke rushed home and has tried to help his city cope.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is Lucy. Gun control is the football. Congress is Charlie Brown. Following his now well-established pattern after mass shootings, Trump continues to back away from his initial support for “strong background checks.” When the bodies are still being buried – whether after Las Vegas,; Parkland, Florida; or El Paso, Texas – the president proclaims that he will take meaningful action to address the epidemic of gun violence. But as public attention wanes, and he faces pushback from the National Rifle Association, Trump returns to saying the problem that needs to be addressed is actually mental health. “It's the people that pull the trigger, not the gun that pulls
Rallies around the country for change to gun laws after recent shootings. Linda Beigel Schulman, mother of a teacher who was killed in Parkland, Florida, discusses with MSNBC's David Gura.Aug. 18, 2019
It seems like an ever-repeating pattern: A mass shooting happens. Talk of gun reform is ubiquitous. Politicians make grand speeches about legislation to either limit gun access or to strengthen Second Amendment rights. Bills are written that die in committees, and the issue is untouched until the next tragedy. Following the deaths of 31 people in mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, two weeks ago, there is a renewed call for governmental action. The media now churns the same rhetoric seen after last year's shooting in Parkland, Florida, the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 and injured 422, and the shooting that killed 49 at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016. Why
Gun control advocates rallied around the country on Saturday, seeking to pressure Congress to tighten the nation's gun laws after the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio and Northern California. Demonstrators in Providence, Rhode Island, where several dozen people gathered. Some held signs that said, "Disarm Hate," ''Enough" and "No One Needs a Weapon of War at Home." In Baltimore, activists organized a march. Protesters in Charleston, West Virginia, carried signs that called for changing Congress if it didn't change gun laws. Demonstrators also gathered in front of City Hall in San Francisco. The group, Everytown for Gun Safety, announced recently that it planned to hold rallies