We spoke with Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner about three issues that have been dominating headlines lately. In case you’ve missed them and need to catch up quickly, we’ve compiled the highlights so you can be a champion of serious water-cooler discussions.
The major take-away? Dubner urges you to think like a freak, and to listen to more public radio.
New Hampshire lawmakers are mulling two bills that would expand background checks for gun purchases.
The House is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation that would require private sellers to conduct sales through licensed firearm dealers who, under federal law, must perform background checks on prospective buyers.
A new bill would prohibit gun sales to some with mental illness. Supporters say it’s a common sense public safety measure. But there has been fierce opposition from some gun-rights groups, and from advocates who say the mentally ill are being unfairly singled out and are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of violence.
In the wake of the Newtown shootings, policy makers in New Hampshire and around the country asked themselves if there are policies that need changing. And one area where compromise seemed plausible was improving mental health reporting in background checks.
That was the subject of a bill before a state Senate committee today.
However, the proposal ultimately united groups --- ranging from the Second Amendment Sisters to the Disabilities Rights Center -- in opposition.
Since Newtown, debates over gun violence have focused largely on how to keep guns out of the hands of people who kill other people. The truth is that - by a margin of nearly 2 to 1 - suicide is the leading cause of death by gun violence.
It’s a toll not often discussed, but one that some law enforcement and public health officials say is worsened by easy access to guns. We spoke to Leon Neyfakh this past January when he wrote about the topic in the Ideas section of The Boston Globe.
The news was hard to fathom a year ago: twenty first graders and six educators shot to death during an ordinary school day in Newtown, Connecticut. Afterward, the national soul-searching seemed to reach new depths, with President Obama insisting “these tragedies must end, and to end them we must change.” At the time, polls showed a majority of Americans agreed some aspects of gun laws could be altered, expanding background checks, for instance. But Washington lawmakers failed pass legislation, and the debate has since shifted to the states. Both sides have scored victories in state leg
Last week, a Senate judiciary panel approved a measure to reinstate a ban on assault weapons. Those same legislators could have a whole new field of weaponry to contend with: homemade guns. A small, Texas-based company called “Defense Distributed” has been spearheading technological and legal advances behind the 3-D printing technology that could produce guns.
The increasing prominence of women’s issues on a global scale has a number of scholars and activists wondering if we are on the verge of a “Feminist Spring”. Two years after seething political and social discontent exploded into protests that changed the landscape of the Middle East, mass movements are forming around women’s issues. From the streets of India to Steubenville, Ohio, protestors are marching against sexual violence against women. In Syria, Bahrain and Yemen, women are active members of the ongoing resistance. Here in the US, a record number of women are now in congress and running states as governor, and issues like reproductive health and gun control have activated formerly silent female voters. Sahar Khamis is assistant professor of communication at the University of Maryland. She’s written extensively about female activism in the Arab spring uprisings, and joins us for a read of where those struggles stand today.
We wrap up our three-day series on possible lessons from the Newtown shootings, with a look at some of the battles brewing over gun control and gun rights. President Obama has said he’ll do what it takes to curb gun violence. And lawmakers here in the Granite State are gearing up to take on such gun-related issues as the state’s Stand Your Ground law.
Today, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband launched a political action committee with a goal of countering the influence of the gun lobby. the new PAC leverages public calls for stricter gun controls following the Sandy Hook shooting last month.
Gun violence is an everyday occurrence in many cities in the united states, but after a tragedy like the Aurora shootings or the Virginia Tech shootings, the gun control debate starts to make more noise on the socio-political landscape. The second amendment typically divides parties and beliefs, but are gun control laws starting to divide the N.R.A itself? The National Rifle Association is a major player in keeping the Second Amendment exactly how it is for better or worse.