Robert Siegel talks to Dr. Richard Land, director of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and whether Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn., has changed his views on gun control.
President Barack Obama said that gun control would be a "central issue" in his second term on Wednesday. He also announced that Vice President Joe Biden will head up a panel that will offer proposals by mid-January to curb gun violence. The announcement, however, turned to an impromptu press conference, in which the president pivoted to questions about the fiscal cliff. He said the events in Newtown, Conn., should "give us some perspective" on the debate and urged quick action in Congress.
President Obama tapped Vice President Biden to lead a new government effort against gun violence on Wednesday. It's the first step toward what Mr. Obama promised as "meaningful action" in the wake of deadly shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.
For decades, Hollywood has been in the business of selling violence. But in the aftermath of Friday's school shooting in Connecticut, it's time to prove it's sensitive, too. NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports that movie studios, TV networks and radio stations have shifted some programming and high profile premieres.
MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Quentin Tarantino's new spaghetti western "Django Unchained" stars Jamie Foxx as a freed slave in the Deep South working with a bounty hunter to find his wife.
In thinking about the last week's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I keep coming upon the word epidemic. While the death of one child is too many, the death of nearly two dozen in one place, of hundreds in the span of a year — especially by violence, is intolerable. Or at least it should be.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program I will share a few thoughts in my Can I Just Tell You essay but now it's time for our Wisdom Watch conversation. That's the part of the program where we speak with those whose work has made a difference. Today we are speaking with a hip-hop pioneer.
Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:50 am
Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed pistols to be carried in schools and other places where they had been banned. The Michigan legislature had approved the legislation when its lame-duck session ended Thursday — one day before the Newtown elementary school shootings.
As NPR's Rick Pluta reported for today's Morning Edition, Snyder has said that Friday's tragedy played a role in his consideration of the bill:
The National Rifle Association of America has broken its silence to comment on Friday's gun violence that ravaged a tight-knit Connecticut community, releasing a statement in which the gun-owners' rights group said it "is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."
It's a nervous time for companies that make and sell guns.
On Tuesday, Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm, announced it was selling its stake in Freedom Group, maker of the American Bushmaster AR-15 rifle, which was used in the Newtown killings last Friday, along with other brands such as Remington.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is a freshman Democrat with an A-rating from the National Rifle Association. And he's one of those conservative and moderate Democrats who, since the Newtown killings, have spoken of the need to do something about guns. He's said everything is on the table. Senator Manchin, welcome.
SENATOR JOSEPH MANCHIN: Thank you very much.
SIEGEL: And I want to get a sense from you about how big a table you're really talking about. There was...
Hurricane Sandy pounded New Jersey back in October and has prompted serious debate about how best to protect coastal towns. The state wants to build bigger sand dunes to protect against a storm surge. But some beachfront homeowners say the plan threatens their property rights.
From member station WNYC, Janet Babin reports.
JANET BABIN, BYLINE: Ortley Beach is on a barrier island about two hours south of New York City.
From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
At the Catholic Church in Newtown, Connecticut, today, there were two more funerals. First, for 6-year-old James Mattioli, followed by a service for 6-year-old Jessica Rekos. They're among the 20 children killed in Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Also today, classes resumed at all Newtown schools except for Sandy Hook.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
And I'm Robert Siegel. In Newtown, Connecticut, religious leaders gathered this afternoon to share strategy on how best to help their hurting community. As NPR's Tovia Smith reports, the town's clergy are being tested in unprecedented ways, following Friday's devastating attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 1:04 pm
Fielding questions from reporters Friday in the first hours after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance made one thing perfectly clear: The news media could consider him the one and only reliable source for information on the tragedy.
There's a lot of talk about students struggling in K through 12 classrooms. But once they get to college, many students fall even further behind. Host Michel Martin speaks with Sarah Gonzalez, NPR's StateImpact Florida reporter, about the high number of college students enrolling in remedial classes.
There are some warnings parents drill into their kids: don't drink, don't smoke, and don't do drugs. Now that Washington state and Colorado have legalized marijuana, those conversations just got more complicated. Host Michel Martin speaks with pediatrician Dr. Leslie Walker for advice on how to talk with young children and teens about marijuana.
Newtown, Conn., is still reeling from the shock of last week's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Sadness is everywhere as the first of many funerals were held Monday. The police investigation continues but most of the big questions about the attack remain unanswered at this time.
Six school employees died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. President Obama has hailed them as heroes. The six women included a veteran school psychologist, a dedicated special education teacher and a young substitute at the beginning of her career.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund has been called the law firm for black America. Once run by Thurgood Marshall, the group played a major role in desegregating public schools and fighting restrictions at the ballot box.
Now, the Legal Defense Fund is preparing for a new leader — just as the Supreme Court considers cases that could pare back on those gains.
South Carolina is getting a new U.S. senator. Governor Nikki Haley announced today that she is appointing Republican Congressman Tim Scott to fill the seat being vacated by Jim DeMint who's retiring. Scott is a freshman member of the House.
And as NPR's Brian Naylor reports, he will be the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction.
In the aftermath of Newtown, school officials and parents across the country were asking themselves the same question today: How safe is my school? NPR's Claudio Sanchez has that story.
CLAUDIO SANCHEZ, BYLINE: In Nashville, Tennessee, Ruth Rosenberg asked her daughter's first-grade teacher what school was going to be like today. Teachers there were told to downplay any discussion of the Newtown shooting since many kids still don't know what happened, including her 7-year-old daughter, says Rosenberg.
Inside a modest storefront in Loxley, Ala., 18-year-old Maria Lola Melisio points out the Mexican spices and other products for sale in her mother's market.
"There are the leaves where you make your tamales — you roll them up in that," she says.
Melisio has long dark curls and is wearing a houndstooth scarf in support of the Alabama Crimson Tide. When she was 7 years old, she entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico with her mother, and still has a scar on her back from crawling under the border fence. It's a story she's kept secret until now.
In 2005, Red Lake High School in northern Minnesota was the scene of another school shooting. In all, 10 people died, including the 16-year-old shooter. When I went to Red Lake soon after the attack, I talked with the school principal, Chris Dunshee. He told me Red Lake had joined what he called a tragic fraternity along with schools in Columbine, Colorado, and Paducah, Kentucky. When I reached Dunshee today, he sad the Newtown shooting had brought painful memories flooding back.