Stop The Violence: We Need Stricter Gun Control Laws


I’m in London, England at an academic conference this week so my posts will be sporadic until next Monday.

I was going to post a short piece today about London’s transportation system—I was able to take the Tube from Heathrow Airport to a station right across from my hotel for 3.80 pounds or $5 or so yesterday—and accompany the post with some photographs, but then I started reading about the tragedy in Orlando, Fla.

As you know, a gunman killed at least 50 people at a LGBT nightclub, the Pulse Club, in Orlando early Sunday morning. Here’s The Guardian story on the tragedy. I won’t rehash it, and, as usual in any mass shooting in the United States, the motive and other details are emerging as politicians weigh in and everyone makes points or tries to make points.

So here’s mine:

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The Downward Spiral Of Print

The news that The Oklahoman is outsourcing its printing operations to the Tulsa World is yet another indication of the demise and eventual death of the hard-copy newspaper.

In fact, the newspaper’s decision NOT to invest in new presses can actually be considered a decent business move by a company that alienates thousands upon thousands of potential customers through its extremist right-wing views on its editorial page and in its news coverage.

Chris Reen, publisher of The Oklahoman and President of The Oklahoman Media Company, announced the new arrangement this week in a rather cryptic statement. The move will result in the elimination of 65 full-time and 65 part-time positions, according to the announcement, and there will be “other manufacturing changes.”

Before I give my first take on the overall announcement, I want to wish anyone losing their jobs or getting their lives disrupted by this all the best.

So here’s my take:

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Democratic Lawmakers Stood Up In Recent Legislative Session

I believe it’s fair to argue that Democratic lawmakers this recently ended legislative session stood up strongly against Republican budgetary malfeasance and showed how the minority party in a deeply red state can be a force in a political arena dominated by ultra conservatives and the failed philosophy of trickle-down economics.

House Minority Leader Scott Inman and Senate Minority Leader John Sparks gave the Republicans a lot of, well, a lot they couldn’t or didn’t want to handle. Here was Inman, for example, on the Republicans back in April:

Their failed political philosophy, which turns on the premise that Oklahoma can somehow cut its way to prosperity or borrow its way out of debt, has given us $1 billion of tax cuts for the wealthiest of Oklahomans.

More importantly, however, is that Democratic lawmakers stood up for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and didn’t back down when some Republicans, including Gov. Mary Fallin, first supported it under the nomenclature of “rebalancing,” but then backed off the idea when it became apparent GOP lawmakers here weren’t going to have anything to do with Obamacare.

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