This is the age of video violence

Returning from a vacation in Southwest Florida, I missed President Donald Trump’s speech in which he offered a bowlful of leftover porridge to the families of the victims in El Paso and Dayton. When I endured three minutes before switching the YouTube station to a SZA track, I noted again the president’s talent for readingContinue reading “This is the age of video violence”

Uh, let’s repeal the Second Amendment

“By describing gun rights as foundational to the nation and liberty through the Second Amendment, it elevated guns and related issues into a cultural and political identity that went beyond the legal technicalities of gun control,” German Lopez wrote almost two years before in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shootings, two years before twoContinue reading “Uh, let’s repeal the Second Amendment”

‘I should burn in hell and I was a deformity’

Decapitated Barbie dolls, dirty laundry, and a van whose interior smelled like thirteen rotting possums. And Sayoc, the Trumpist nut, was an asshole homophobe too. His former boss at a Fort Lauderdale pizza restaurant said Sayoc, who worked there as a delivery driver during the graveyard shift, would openly mock her for her sexuality andContinue reading “‘I should burn in hell and I was a deformity’”

Protests can work

And sometimes in the midst of death we get life: Publix is backing down in a standoff with survivors of this year’s mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school, saying it has suspended political contributions. The regional supermarket chain, which is based in Florida, announced its decision amid a “die-in” at several Publix storesContinue reading “Protests can work”

John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment

The retired John Paul Stevens, ninety-seven, published a column in today’s NYT in which the following words appeared: But the demonstrators should seek more effective and more lasting reform. They should demand a repeal of the Second Amendment. Concern that a national standing army might pose a threat to the security of the separate statesContinue reading “John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment”

Defeating gun culture: ‘We should be able to hold multiple truths at the same time’

My friend Justin Jacoby Smith, an activist for many years, posted this cogent summary on Facebook written by a colleague, a response to fusty adults shaking their pince-nez at the progeny of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding a change to gun culture: We should be able to hold multiple truths at the same time.Continue reading “Defeating gun culture: ‘We should be able to hold multiple truths at the same time’”

The importance of seizing the moment

After watching the performances of the blocs of Marjory Stoneman Douglas students in the last several days, Dahlia Lithwick distills what she has learned: The Stoneman Douglas students don’t seem to be wasting their time debating or negotiating with the gun lovers on the other side. They are simply working to get gun legislation passed,Continue reading “The importance of seizing the moment”

Marco Rubio’s day of reckoning

Black Americans have most to fear from whites doing them harm, but I doubt they comprise a majority of the National Rifle Association’s membership. Also: gay Americans. I wonder how many of them attended C-PAC yesterday; speeches like this put the lie to the NRA’s claim that it takes everybody. An argument for another time.Continue reading “Marco Rubio’s day of reckoning”

Taking aim at a modest proposal

I’ve read Facebook acquaintances who should know better writing a variation on, “Let’s train teachers to carry weapons.” My answers: (1) I’m not paid enough to teach a hundred students per section, yet you want to train me to murder somebody? (2) What will this training consist of? Would it be part of any pedagogicalContinue reading “Taking aim at a modest proposal”

The state with the prettiest name, part #851

A dandy distillation of Florida’s gun laws, i.e. none. Print and hang on your fridge! You don’t need a permit or license to buy a gun, nor do you have to register a firearm. You don’t need a permit to conceal carry a rifle or shotgun, although you do need it to conceal carry aContinue reading “The state with the prettiest name, part #851”

Once again — the carnage in Parkland

At the dawn of the new millennium I covered Parkland as a Sun-Sentinel news intern. A quiet city undergirded by an opulence that avoided ostentation — Al Gore visited several times that autumn (it remains a Democratic stronghold in Florida’s most Democratic county). Compared to, say, Sunrise and Plantation, Parkland was a model city, knownContinue reading “Once again — the carnage in Parkland”