Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton goes today where few politicians of any stripe in Arkansas dare — gun safety measures.
She will announce in New Hampshire — a gun-friendly state where neighboring Sen. Bernie Sanders leads her in the polls — some ideas on curbing gun violence, chiefly closing the gun show and Internet loopholes on required background checks for weapon purchases. She also reportedly will leave open the possibility of executive action as president to achieve that aim if Congress wouldn't go along. Which it won't, if the past is any predictor.
She also reportedly will target a loophole that allows felons to purchase guns if their background check hasn't been completed in three days. This allowed South Carolina shooter Dylann Roof to buy a gun despite a felony record.
She says she wants to lead a national movement to counter the NRA. This is more popular with the public at large than it is with the political class. Another Clinton, named Bill, stood up to the NRA as governor of Arkansas and managed to weather its anger, but guns have been potent weapons against other politicians in recent Arkansas history.
Messaging is everything and the NRA is nothing if not sophisticated about messaging. A bare majority in 2015 Pew polling, for example, said that it was more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than to control gun ownership. (My emphasis.) Gun safety advocates criticized the wording, but you can expect to see it repeated in the public debate.
But specific questions reveal a different picture: 85 percent support background checks for private and gun show sales; 67 percent want a federal database to track gun sales; 80 percent want to prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns; 58 percent want a ban on semi-automatic weapons.
They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents. /more/
As promised, Sen. Bart Hester, the extreme-right Republican, filed legislation late yesterday to exempt guns and ammo from the sales tax on a weekend beginning the second Saturday in September. It's silly demagoguery, which doesn't mean it won't become law. /more/
Sen. Alan Clark files yet another incremental gun expansion bill — to allow concealed carry permit holders to have guns in vehicles on the private parking lots of employers who otherwise ban guns on their premises. /more/
I am frustrated and angry with those who claim the only chance of future success is for the Democratic Party, especially in the South and Midwest, to abandon speaking directly to women and people of color and the LGBT community and instead focus on the economy and other "more comfortable" topics in order to win back some of the center. /more/
Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report has the latest numbers: Hillary Clinton's lead in the popular vote is now 2.7 million, giving her a 2 point advantage over Donald Trump (for all the good that does!). /more/
Donald Trump Friday night signed an executive order directing government to scale back Obamacare to the extent possible. Though the signing was mostly symbolic, it likely has implications for Arkansas.
They've had a forum in Fayetteville today on Rep. Charlie Collins' fervent desire to force more pistol-packing people onto the campus at the University of Arkansas (and every other college in Arkansas.) He got an earful from opponents.
Judge P.K. Holmes is rethinking whether lawyers deserve punishment in a class action lawsuit against an insurance company abruptly pulled from his court after pending more than a year and then quickly settled in a state court.
The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
Check out the trailer for "Shelter," the Renaud Bros. new feature-length documentary about homeless teens navigating life on the streets of New Orleans with the help of Covenant House, the longstanding French Quarter shelter for homeless kids.
"Why do you guys not care about your community? You’re tearing it down, not building it up, especially in the black community … It’s just a simple question — do you care?" one mother asked the superintendent. "Ma’am, I do care deeply about this district, and I do believe wholeheartedly we are making a better district every day," Poore replied.