Midday Culture Connections: Las Vegas Shooting; Gun Control; NFL Protest | WYPR

Midday Culture Connections: Las Vegas Shooting; Gun Control; NFL Protest

Oct 3, 2017

 

A candlelight memorial in Las Vegas for the victims of a mass shooting that left 59 dead and more than 500 injured.
Credit REUTERS/Chris Wattie

We begin with an update on the Las Vegas mass shooting that left 59 dead and more than 500 people injured. Almost immediately after the tragic shooting --which is being characterized as the largest mass shooting in recent U.S history-- Democrats and Republicans began the predictable debate about gun regulation in our country. Unfortunately it’s story we know all too well. Last year, following what is now the second largest mass shooting in recent history at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Democrats proposed extended background checks in private gun sales, and banning sales to suspected terrorists. Republicans proposed increased funding for a national background check database; and a judicial review process for people on a terror watch list when they attempted to purchase firearms. None of those bills passed. In 2012, after 20 children and six educators were fatally shot at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown Connecticut, President Obama made an emotional appeal to Congress for tougher gun laws. Obama signed several executive orders relating to gun control, but neither of the two major pieces of gun legislation proposed at the time passed in the Senate. 

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for the Washington Post. He joins Tom to talk about the prospects for progress on gun regulation. 

 Then, Dr. Sheri Parks joins Tom for Midday Culture Connections. More than a year ago, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence against African Americans. Many believe that protest cost him a job in the NFL. When President Trump suggested that NFL players who protest be fired, nearly 200 players took a knee; this past Sunday, only 52 did. We’ll talk about free speech in the age of a President who calls the media “the enemy of the people.” Dr. Sheri Parks, Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland.