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“Do something” on guns? It comes down to one political equation in Washington

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Over 100 people are killed in America by gunfire every day.  Half are suicides.  Half are violent acts with guns as the weapon of choice.  There are more guns in the country than America’s 330 million citizens and residents

Bruce Wolpe on ticker NEWS

The United States has not followed Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Canada, the UK and other countries who have moved aggressively to curb gun ownership in the wake of gun massacres in their countries.

More weekends will be filled as this one has been with the President and Vice President visiting scenes of tragedy in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.  

There is no end to the horror, the agony, the anger, the losses and the mourning.

Consider the words of two presidents.  Biden from the White House last week:

“As a nation, we have to ask: When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?  When in God’s name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done? …Why are we willing to live with this carnage?  Why do we keep letting this happen?  Where in God’s name is our backbone to have the courage to deal with it and stand up to the lobbies? 

It’s time to turn this pain into action. For every parent, for every citizen in this country, we have to make it clear to every elected official in this country: It’s time to act. It’s time — for those who obstruct or delay or block the commonsense gun laws, we need to let you know that we will not forget.”

And Trump who spoke at the National Rifle Association convention in Houston:

“Sadly, before the sun had even set on the horrible day of tragedy, we witnessed a now familiar parade of cynical politicians seeking to exploit the tears of sobbing families to increase their own power and take away our constitutional rights …In 2022, we are going to vote for tough on crime, pro-Second Amendment candidates in record numbers.

Get out and vote — make sure the voting is honest, by the way.  Together we’re going to take back the House, we’re going to take back the Senate. And in 2024, we are going to take back that great and beautiful White House that we love and cherish so much.” 

The late Charlton Heston, the former actor and head of the National Rifle Association, addresses gun owners during a “get-out-the-vote” rally in New Hampshire in October 2002.

These are impossible chasms to bridge. 

But some Senators are trying to get something accomplished.  The bills seen as most compelling at this moment, when openness to “do something” is more serious with these tragedies still so raw, are to improve the system of background checks on purchasers of guns, and to have “red flag” systems that can remove guns from the hands of those who are under mental stress. 

More attention is also being given to the argument to raise the age of purchasing a gun from 18 to 21.  Florida passed such a law after the Parkland school massacre in 2018.

All these measures are popular with the American people by margins of 70-90% support.

But the gun lobby is not going to give a pass on any legislation.

And it will take 60 votes in the Senate to pass a bill – and that means 10 of the 50 Republicans in the Senate will have to vote” yes” for gun legislation.  

For decades, the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has prevented that from happening.

But Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, the leading lawmaker on gun control in Congress, believes there is a chance for progress this time.  He said over the weekend:

“I am at the table in a more significant way right now with Republicans and Democrats than ever before—certainly many more Republicans are willing to talk right now than were willing to talk after Sandy Hook.” 

Everywhere President Biden and members of Congress go, the shouts from the crowds are: “Do something!” 

In Washington, this moral cause is governed by a raw political equation that has but one calculation: 

Will Senators Chris Murphy and Mitch McConnell agree on a gun control bill and urge Senators support it? Without that, all the words, all the tears, all the memorial services will have failed to get Congress to “do something”—and finally act.

Bruce Wolpe is a Ticker News US political contributor. He’s a Senior Fellow at the US Studies Centre and has worked with Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term, and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former PM's chief of staff.

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BREAKING: Shots ring out at Trump rally

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Donald Trump was whisked off the stage at a rally in Butler, Pennsylvania after loud noises rang through the crowd.

Trump was showing off a chart of border crossing numbers when bangs started ringing through the crowd. Trump could be seen reaching with his right hand toward his neck. There appeared to be blood on his face.

He quickly ducked behind the riser as agents from his protective detail rushed the stage and screams rang out from the crowd. The bangs continued as agents tended to him on stage.

His motorcade has left the venue.

In a statement, Trump says he is “fine” and says he is being checked at a medical facility.

Donald Trump was safe, the U.S. Secret Service and his campaign said on Saturday after multiple shots rang out at a rally by the Republican presidential candidate in Pennsylvania as video showed Trump grimacing and raising a hand to his right ear.
The former president had just started his speech when gunshots erupted and Trump and other rally attendees hit the deck. Secret Service agents swarmed around him and live video showed blood on the right side of Trump’s face and ear.
 
Trump repeatedly raised his fist in the air, with an American flag visible behind him, as security ushered him away.
“The Secret Service has implemented protective measures and the former president is safe,” a spokesperson for the agency said on X after what it called an incident.
“This is now an active Secret Service investigation and further information will be released when available.”

A map of the site, showing where the alleged gunman was situated compared to Donald Trump.

CNN reported that Trump was injured, but gave no other details. It was not clear how or what injuries he may have sustained.

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NASA astronauts phone home, confident Boeing’s Starliner will return to Earth safely

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Stranded NASA astronauts express confidence in Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, assuring its capability to safely transport them back to Earth from the International Space Station.

The astronauts, over a video call to NASA, highlighted Starliner’s enhanced safety features and testing protocols as reassuring factors for their safe return.

“I have a real good feeling in my heart that this spacecraft will bring us home, no problem…”, said Sunita “Suni” Williams, one of the stranded NASA astronauts.

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Leaders

Franchising vs. Independent: key differences to choosing the right SMB model

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With latest Australian Federal budget, many SMB’s are weighing their options when selecting a suitable business model.

Franchising provides brand recognition, operational support, and economies of scale but involves ongoing fees.

Independent businesses offer full control and profit retention but face higher costs and regulatory challenges.

For risk and reward, the franchising model reduces risk through established practices and support but involves ongoing fees and profit-sharing with the franchisor.

On the alternative, independent businesses retain full control of profits but face higher risks and responsibilities in managing the business.

Sonia Shwabsky, CEO at Kwik Kopy Australia, joins to share her key insights on SMB’s. #featured

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