Mother Jones reports that Sonic and Chili's outlets in Texas refused to knuckle under to intimidation tactics of open carry gun advocates. Growing backlash at the intimidation tactics appears to have backed the gun toters down.
Joe Nocera in the New York Times, prompted by another killing spree, draws from a new book on the 2nd Amendment to explain how the NRA and politicians have bent the amendment all out of shape of what the founding fathers intended — a tool to guarantee a "well-regulated militia." It was not, he writes, intended to allow an individual right to trump the public good.
A reader sends this photo of a new sign at Little Rock City Hall announcing that concealed weapons are not allowed on premises, except when carried by law officers. This is only a restatement of long-standing law, I'm pretty sure. But the sign is new and I've noticed them elsewhere, such as at the fitness center in War Memorial Park.
The New York Times reports on a trend in Republican primaries: candidates offer up sweepstakes with a gun as the prize to attract interest —and collect personal data — from the GOP base. Local angle: See above an event last month for Curtis Coleman, running in the Republican primary for governor. "Look what we will give away at this Concert!! AR-15 & 100 Rounds of Ammunition." Somewhat awkwardly, this gun giveaway was at a middle school.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York and co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is launching a $50 million campaign to support candidates favoring gun control. Bloomberg is attempting to push back on the influence of the National Rifle Association in 15 targeted states, including some hostile territory (Texas, Montana, Arizona). Arkansas is not among the targets, as far as I can tell from the press release. Bloomberg, of course, has targeted Sen. Mark Pryor in the past for his opposition to gun-control measures. Of course, in gun-happy Arkansas, Pryor took Bloomberg's criticism as a badge of honor. And the alternative to Pryor is Rep. Tom Cotton, who is, shall we say, not on board with Bloomberg's gun safety agenda.
Excellent piece in the Washington Post yesterday from former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Paul Stevens on the Second Amendment, how its original intent has been twisted by the gun lobby, and the five word clarification that could clear up a bit of the original language that has allowed the NRA to get a philosophical toehold. It's a fascinating argument, even if you'll never see Stevens' fix implemented in your lifetime.
Did the Arkansas legislature really intend to allow open carry of guns in addressing a technical issue of what constitutes a 'journey' under the old law on carrying a firearm? No, says a new legal analysis.
From Talking Points Memo: A small meeting for a gun control group in Texas was disrupted on Saturday by dozens of armed, pro-gun advocates, some of whom were photographed kneeling in a parking lot and brandishing their weapons.
State Education Commissioner Johnny Key fired Baker Kurrus as Little Rock superintendent last week because he ventured off the reservation when he presented data to the state Board of Education on the damaging impact of charter schools on the district, which the state now runs. Kurrus was questioning proposed expansions of two charter schools already draining easier-to-educate children from the LRSD.