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21 June 2016 - US Senate rejects series of gun measures

Publié par Marion Coste le 21/06/2016
A divided Senate answers Orlando with gridlock on gun curbs
Alan Fram and Mary Clare Jalonick (The Washington Post, 20/06/2016)


A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando’s mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists.
In largely party-line votes, senators rejected one proposal from each side to keep extremists from acquiring guns and a second shoring up the government’s system of required background checks for many firearms purchases.
With the chamber’s visitors’ galleries unusually crowded for a Monday evening — including relatives of victims of past mass shootings and people wearing orange T-shirts saying #ENOUGH gun violence — each measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to progress. Democrats called the GOP proposals unacceptably weak while Republicans said the Democratic plans were too restrictive.

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Wasted opportunity

The Senate's shame on guns: Our view
The Editorial Board (USA Today, 20/06/2016)
You'd think that if there was one step both parties in Washington could support in the wake of the nation's worst mass shooting, it would be to close a yawning gap in federal gun background checks — a strategy supported by nearly 90% of Americans.
Yet in an extraordinary act of cowardice on Monday evening, 56 senators — 53 Republicans joined by three Democrats — threw away yet another opportunity to keep guns out of the hands of more felons, fugitives, the mentally ill or people prone to domestic violence.
These spineless lawmakers voted against advancing a commonsense measure to expand background checks to virtually all sales of guns, not just those sold by federally licensed dealers. The existing gap allows buyers who purchase from private sellers at gun shows, online or from newspaper ads to simply avoid the federal background check system.

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Republicans

A week after Orlando, Republicans protect terrorists’ right to bear arms
Dana Milbank (The Washington Post, 20/06/2016)
On May 24, the House Appropriations Committee took up a proposal “to deny transfers of firearms to persons known or suspected to be engaged in conduct related to terrorism.” In a party-line vote, Republicans defeated the plan 29 to 17.
Nineteen days later, a man whom the FBI had investigated as a possible terrorist went into an Orlando nightclub and, claiming solidarity with the Islamic State, shot 49 people to death with weapons he bought legally.
The legislation couldn’t have prevented the massacre; it wouldn’t have taken effect for months. But it highlights an absurd situation: Lawmakers have known for a long time that those suspected of terrorist activities can legally buy guns, but the Republican majority, putting Second Amendment absolutism above modest national-security considerations, is refusing to fix the problem.
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Gun violence

Making a Killing: The business and politics of selling guns
Evan Osnos (The New Yorker, 06/2016)
Bars in the Old City neighborhood of Philadelphia let out at 2 A.M. On the morning of January 17, 2010, two groups emerged, looking for taxis. At the corner of Market and Third Street, they started yelling at each other. On one side was Edward DiDonato, who had recently begun work at an insurance company, having graduated from Villanova University, where he was a captain of the lacrosse team. On the other was Gerald Ung, a third-year law student at Temple, who wrote poetry in his spare time and had worked as a technology consultant for Freddie Mac. Both men had grown up in prosperous suburbs: DiDonato in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia; Ung in Reston, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.
Everyone had been drinking, and neither side could subsequently remember how the disagreement started; one of DiDonato’s friends may have kicked in the direction of one of Ung’s friends, and Ung may have mocked someone’s hair. “To this day, I have no idea why this happened,” Joy Keh, a photographer who was one of Ung’s friends at the scene, said later.
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"21 June 2016 - US Senate rejects series of gun measures", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), juin 2016. Consulté le 28/09/2020. URL: http://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2016/21-june-2016-us-senate-rejects-series-of-gun-measures