Tuesday, December 18, 2012

  • As Newtown’s First Victims Are Buried, Washington Shows Signs of Life in Taking on Gun Lobby

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    Residents of Newtown, Connecticut, have begun holding the first of many funerals for the 26 victims killed in Friday’s shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On Monday, Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto — both six years old — were laid to rest in small caskets. In the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, a number of pro-gun lawmakers are now signaling a new willingness to soften their opposition to restrictions on weapons sales. Will the Newtown massacre lead to a new way of thinking about guns? [includes rush transcript]

  • New Town to Newtown: How ’96 Massacre Spurred Gun Laws in Australia — and No Mass Shootings Since

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    In the wake of the Newtown killings that left 27 people dead on Friday, we go to another New Town — in Australia — the home of a mass shooting that killed 35 people in 1996. Just 12 days after what became known as the Port Arthur massacre, Australia’s government responded by announcing a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. There have been no mass killings since. We’re joined by Rebecca Peters, an international arms control advocate who led the campaign to reform Australia’s gun laws after the Port Arthur massacre. She also produced the landmark report, "Gun Control in the United States: A Comparative Survey of State Firearm Laws," with the Open Society Institute in New York. [includes rush transcript]

  • "Americans Kill People": Michael Moore on Newtown, Mass Shootings, and the U.S. Culture of Violence

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    We air an excerpt of an address by the legendary filmmaker Michael Moore delivered just hours after the Newtown massacre. Moore won an Academy Award for his 2002 documentary, "Bowling for Columbine," about gun violence in the United States. He discussed the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre at a New York City event on Friday night. Video courtesy of filmmaker Lorna Tucker. [includes rush transcript]

  • As NRA Hides from Public After Newtown, ALEC Ties Reveal Extensive Lobbying Behind U.S. Gun Laws

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    Since Friday’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 27 dead — 20 children and seven adults — the National Rifle Association has been silent. The powerful lobbying organization has long pressured lawmakers to maintain easy access to firearms in the United States, prompting many to say the NRA is standing in the way of reform. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the NRA has spent more than $2.2 million lobbying Congress this year alone. By comparison, the gun control lobby spent just $180,000. We’re joined by Lisa Graves, who has extensively tracked how the NRA’s power and wealth has long thwarted gun control proposals. Graves documents how one of the key avenues used to exert its influence is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the secretive group that helps corporate America propose and draft legislation for states across the country. Graves formerly served as deputy assistant attorney general in the Clinton administration’s Justice Department, where she handled national gun policy. [includes rush transcript]