Self-described former "Second Amendment absolutist" says it's now time for "common-sense gun control." I wholly sympathize, having only lately accepted Thom Hartmann's prescriptions for a) regulating semi-automatics as strictly as we regulate automatics and b) regulating guns generally the same way we regulate cars. Averse as I am to making people pay over and over again for their past crimes, I would caution expanding background checks too broadly -- I would only want to check someone's criminal background if they were buying an automatic or semi-automatic, and only because these guns are basically killing machines, and thus machines whose sole purpose is to deprive other people of their rights (like, you know, life).
The unsuccessful prosecution of the Pulse shooter's widow constitutes, for Maha Ahmed at The Intercept, "The Criminalization of Domestic Abuse Survivors." Shooter Omar Mateen being dead, prosecutors rang up his abused wife, Noor Salman, on charges for which she has since been acquitted but which took up two years of her life fighting. Prosecutors often go after "somebody to punish," in one observer's words, and "(a)buse victims often end up being that 'somebody'" -- and a prosecutor has a lot of ways to bend these victims to their will, like charging them with failure to protect their children from abusers. With the vast majority of women in prison having suffered domestic abuse at some point in their lives, you'd think we could intervene more effectively than we do. But I sometimes think we'll even get past racism before we get past sexism.
Texas woman gets five years in prison for voting illegally -- because she was a convicted felon who did not understand that she had to finish the supervised release part of her sentence before she could get her right to vote back. Maybe she should have known beforehand, and maybe we should be treating folks who commit tax fraud more harshly than we do, but none of that matters in this instance, because she should never have lost her right to vote in the first place! Laws depriving folks of their right to vote because of felony convictions are a stain on our nation, and not merely because a vote isn't anything like a Tommy gun.
Michael Hiltzik at the Los Angeles Times notes that the current Administration's "sabotage" of the Affordable Care Act will result in our government spending $33 billion more to insure 6.4 million fewer people. I like saying "heck of a job" to things like that as much as the next guy, but as a journalist (and a damn good one, by the way!) I suppose Mr. Hiltzik can't just come out and say the obvious: why, it's almost like spending more federal money and covering fewer Americans is the whole idea! Luckily, I'm not a journalist, so I get to say it.
Finally, the notoriously right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns nearly 200 TV stations and will own over 40 more if its proposed merger with Tribune Media goes through, has apparently forced its media personalities to read the same script about the "the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country." And then an enterprising Twitter user put together an 11-second video (embedded at the above link) depicting at least nine of these media personalities saying the exact same thing. A bunch of "local" news stations all owned by the same corporation all denouncing "fake news" and "media bias" in exactly the same way? Didn't I see that on Black Mirror?