Special guest at 7:06 AM and 9:06 AM: Dr. Brad Bushman of The Ohio State University is one of the nation's leading experts on the impact of violent media (in various forms) on violent behavior in today's society. Our conversation will not focus specifically on mass murderers and the mentally ill, which are not Brad's specialty, but rather on the overall societal impact of things like violent rap lyrics, Grand Theft Auto, and glorifying violence in movies. Is there a true causal impact, or are those things scapegoats for other trends in our culture leading to a massive increase in anti-social, even sociopathic, behavior?
Will it really be "different this time" in terms of political reaction to a mass shooting, and especially a mass shooting at a school? If it is different, it will be because of the pressure put on politicians by young men and women like these survivors of the Parkland shooting. To be sure, these kids have little understanding of the decades-long debate about the issues at play. But in terms of politics, I do believe that this will play into the Democrats' strategy to maximize the gender gap in 2018.
It was reported that President Trump was asking members at his Mar a Lago golf resort what they thought about whether he should support tighter gun control laws. It was also reported, and confirmed by the White House, that the president supports the Fix NICS Act. If (after any necessary fixes) this thing can't get passed, then nothing can. In fact, not only does the NRA support the bill, they've actually gone out of their way to correct what they say is misleading information being spread by a congressman against the bill:
I still think the very best answer is to make schools less "soft" targets. Secondarily, I think there is a difficult discussion to be had, continuing on the conversation that Greg Brophy and I had last week, about whether the government should be allowed to take a person's 2nd Amendment rights away (temporarily) if that person is deemed likely to be an imminent threat to himself or others.
On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein laid out a detailed summary of an indictment against 13 Russians for their efforts to interfere with American elections. The charges include wire fraud and identity theft...against people the FBI will never get their hands on.
The NY Times has an interesting rundown of the people actually charged:
The Russians appeared to care at least a little about swing states, including Colorado:
On the other hand, it's been reported for quite some time that they stupidly spent more resources (although still not much) on absolutely safe blue states than in key swing states:
Arguably one of the most ridiculous overreactions...this one by someone who's theoretically a conservative but who is a determined Never-Trumper: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11998004
But Karen Tumulty gives him a run for his money:
This is one of Trump's many tweets after the indictments, and the specific one Tumulty refers to:
If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
Others are making the same argument that Trump makes here, but frankly I don't buy it. In a way, the argument lets fundamental incompetence off the hook too easily:
Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018