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In the category of: At the end of the day, it’s always the same thing.
Trump has blamed mental health, video games, and security for mass shootings. But not guns.
It’s an evasive maneuver that neglects a big disparity: A recent study in JAMA found that the US leads the developed world in civilian gun violence. The study found that the US had a rate of 10.6 gun deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, compared to Switzerland’s rate of 2.8, Canada’s 2.1, Australia’s 1, Germany’s 0.9, the United Kingdom’s 0.3, and Japan’s 0.2.
Americans have become acutely aware of this problem over the past several years as we continue seeing a regular spate of mass shootings — one that no other developed nation has to deal with.
There are many things that make the US different from these countries. But it’s not mental health issues, video games, lacking security, or even the death penalty (at least in the way that Trump is suggesting).
It’s guns. America has far weaker gun laws, and far more guns, than any of these other countries. That makes it so just about anyone with bad intentions in the US can pick up a firearm and kill people with it.
Trump is ignoring that problem.
In the category of: In case you’re wondering why all this sh*t is happening.
The Trump administration in office has blended standard Republican policies (a big corporate tax cut; attempts to undermine the Affordable Care Act; bombing Syria in response to its use of chemical weapons) with various alt-right gestures (economic protectionism; the travel ban on people from select Muslim countries; family separation imposed on immigrants at the southern border). And then, of course, there are Trump’s statements and tweets, which inevitably spew vituperation, sow division, and actively encourage fear of outsiders. The president might occasionally talk about the need for unity, but his nearly every substantive comment seems designed to encourage the already badly divided country to become even more sharply polarized.
It’s also designed to activate right-wing extremists, by convincing them that their ideas and goals are no longer quite as anathema as they once were. Trump might disappoint the most rabid of them, but he’s nonetheless managed to move the Overton Window in the direction favored by the deplorables. Jewish journalists were among the first to experience this during the 2016 presidential campaign when anti-Semitic attacks online shot through the roof. The chilling events of the past week are the clearest sign yet of what life will be like in a country in which emboldened, heavily armed right-wing terrorists act to advance their aims.
In the category of: The U.S. might want to sweep it under the rug, but the Turks, not so much…
Sources tell Al Jazeera meeting between two sides ‘didn’t go well’ as Ankara urges Riyadh to reveal ‘whole truth’.
Sources have told Al Jazeera that Istanbul’s chief prosecutor’s office was left “unsatisfied” following a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s top prosecutor over Khashoggi’s killing.
Saud al-Mojeb, who arrived in Istanbul from Riyadh on Sunday, had been expected to provide testimonies from the 18 suspects being held in Saudi Arabia, but according to the sources he did not.
Turkey called for the suspects to be extradited from the kingdom, saying their alleged use of a local collaborator in the killing was a legitimate reason for them to face trial on Turkish soil.
Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Istanbul, said the meeting, which lasted around 75 minutes, “didn’t go well because each party had its own expectation about what it wanted from the other side”.
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