After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year, something was supposed to change. The murder of 20 children, a nation expected, would give rise to a different kind of political climate.
Before Newtown, gun control was always seen as a nonstarter. Even after the shooting rampage in Aurora, Colo., in July 2012, or after former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in broad daylight in 2011, nothing really moved.
But after Sandy Hook, headlines read, “Conn. tragedy seems to stand out,” in the Arizona Republic, and The Washington Post, an editorial on Jan. 10 stated, “It’s huge: Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, attention to the issue has not waned and pressure for action has not diminished. Please don’t dismiss this achievement.”
The shooting prompted President Obama to wake a waning liberal daydream — comprehensive gun reform — and make it his administration’s top domestic priority. And then not much happened.
“Over the past year, gun-control groups reported spending five times as much on federal lobbying as they had the previous year: $1.6 million versus $240,000,” the organization reports. Which sounds like a lot, until you consider the gun-rights figure. “Organizations backing gun rights, such as the National Rifle Association, reported lobbying spending of $12.2 million, more than seven times as much as gun-control groups.”
(Sunlight Foundation)Whereas gun-rights organizations went big on lobbying, gun-control groups went big on directly appealing to people through ads.
Taken together, these graphs show the enormous amounts of money spent on what effectively maintains the status quo.
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Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”
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Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says 41 Secret Service agents have been disciplined in the fallout of an investigation over the agency's leak of personnel files. The leaker, who has resigned, released records showing that Oversight and Government Reform Chair Jason Chaffetz—who was leading an investigation of Secret Service security lapses—had applied for a job at the agency years before. The punishments include reprimands and suspension without pay. "Like many others I was appalled by the episode reflected in the Inspector General’s report, which brought real discredit to the Secret Service," said Johnson.
Mitt Romney spoke in an interview with the Wall Street Journal about his decision to challenge Donald Trump. “Friends warned me, ‘Don’t speak out, stay out of the fray,’ because criticizing Mr. Trump will only help him by giving him someone else to attack. They were right. I became his next target, and the incoming attacks have been constant and brutal.” Still, "I wanted my grandkids to see that I simply couldn’t ignore what Mr. Trump was saying and doing, which revealed a character and temperament unfit for the leader of the free world.”
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