The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for December 17th through January 14th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for December 17th through January 14th:

  • How The NRA Became The Most Powerful Lobby In Washington – In gun lore it’s known as the Revolt at Cincinnati. On May 21, 1977, and into the morning of May 22, a rump caucus of gun rights radicals took over the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association.
  • Where Does Immigration Reform Begin for Same-Sex Couples? – When Republican Sen. John Kyle quipped in November that young undocumented immigrants should consider marrying U.S. citizens to get a green card, his comments were rightly assailed as insensitive and inaccurate. But for many bi-national couples, Kyle's flourish carried an additional sting, because marriage is a path to legal residency that's not accessible to all.
  • The Failure of Rheeism – I want our children to get the best education possible. Were teachers’ unions an impediment to that education, I might take Rhee’s arguments seriously. But they aren’t. There’s just zero evidence that Rhee’s policies work. What I see are teachers’ unions telling authorities that students can’t learn when schools don’t have air conditioning. There’s not a single institution in this country more invested in children learning that teachers’ unions. The real problem with education is poverty. But Very Important People don’t want to deal with poverty.
  • The Gun-Control Debate May Be a Circus, but at Least It’s Not Fading – The Daily Beast – Some in the media are turning a dead-serious debate into a spectacle. But Howard Kurtz says the noise is helping the White House press its case on guns.
  • Robert Creamer: Why the NRA Is Becoming the ‘Great Oz’ – The American people, and Members of Congress, are gradually awaking to the fact that — just as with the Wizard of Oz — there isn't much behind the NRA's magic curtain but the big booming voice of a special interest bully whose power derives more from perception than reality.
  • Steven Strauss: Five Concerns About Armed Guards in Schools – Shootings in our schools are tragic, and each of us has the urge to "do something," but I have major concerns about placing armed guards in our schools.
  • Republicans in Congress lack diversity – Republicans can crow about diversity all they want. But to the extent that it exists at all, it’s just window-dressing.
  • Why gun control could pass now – Gun control advocates have urged bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines after all of the mass killings over the last four years, but watched as Republicans and Democrats, including President Obama, ignored the issue.

    But that could change after the deadly shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Here’s why:

  • Guns have never saved us – Forget the Second Amendment. If opponents of stricter regulation of assault weapons had the courage of their convictions, they wouldn’t hide behind legalistic interpretations of the Second Amendment to the federal constitution. They would argue that private ownership of small arsenals of assault weapons would be a good thing, even if it weren’t allegedly protected by the constitution. Indeed, if they were consistent, they would argue that private ownership of assault weapons should be compulsory among citizens, as a defense against government tyranny — not only in the U.S. but in every democracy in the world.

    So forget about the constitutional and legal argument. And while we are at it, forget about the argument from rural sportsmen, too. Nobody uses a machine gun on a deer or a dove or a duck.

  • George Lakoff: The Price of Our Freedom – The time is ripe to end the conservative grip over nearly half of America. That starts with an all-out effort to put in place responsible gun safety laws. Total registration, just like with cars. An end to automatic and semi-automatic weapons. And an end to blaming massacres on crazies. Gun massacres require guns that can massacre. Eliminate them.

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