Proving it has its finger firmly on the pulse of the corpse of America, the US Supreme Court on June 23 ruled that Americans have a right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, effectively upping the ante on concealed carry legislation that is sweeping the nation. This in the wake of recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, with more than two-thirds of Americans polled supporting tougher gun regulation. For more than a century, New York has had a gun safety law that bars the concealed carry of a firearm without a permit and requires good cause to obtain the permit; the conservative supermajority on the SCOTUS struck it down 6-3, ruling for the plaintiff in New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The case was the first the SCOTUS had weighed in on Second Amendment issues since 2010.
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On June 1, 2022, a disgruntled patient opened fire at his doctor’s office in Tulsa, Oklahoma, killing four before turning the gun on himself. Michael Louis, 45, had received surgery the month before for back pain, but found no relief. Enraged, when his doctor failed to ease his suffering, he bought a .40 caliber Smith and Wesson semiautomatic handgun on May 29th, then an AR-15 style assault rifle just three hours before the shooting.
By now we’ve all heard of the tragic events at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas last week, on May 24th, where Salvador Ramos killed 19 fourth-graders and two teachers, after shooting his grandmother. Ramos used two AR-15 assault-style weapons on his rampage, which he had purchased within days of his 18th birthday the week prior. It’s taken far too long for accurate details of the crime to emerge, with conflicting, not to say contradictory, reports about Ramos’ entry to the school, and a mystifying 40-minute delay in active response by law enforcement before terminating the gunman as a threat, exposing an astounding level of incompetence.
On April 22, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a mean-spirited, retaliatory Bill meant to punish Disney World for its outspoken opposition to his so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bans discussion of same-sex and transgender orientation in primary public schools in the Sunshine State, signed by the governor the month before. The new legislation revokes the Disney World theme park’s special status as a self-governing enclave within Florida, allowing it to function as a municipal or county government, providing its own electrical grid, security, emergency, medical, fire and rescue services, in exchange for special tax status in the state. DeSantis pushed for the law after Disney’s CEO Bob Chapek publicly denounced the anti-gay legislation, and announced a reassessment of Disney’s political contribution policy.
Vladimir Putin has dominated Russian politics for almost a quarter century. A former KGB officer, Putin entered politics after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, an event he describes as the greatest tragedy of the Twentieth Century. In 1996 he joined Boris Yeltsin’s administration; appointed as prime minister in 1999, he filled the role of acting president when Yeltsin resigned later that year, being elected to the office in 2000. At the time, Russia had a prohibition on an individual serving more than two consecutive terms as president, so after being reelected in 2004, in 2008 Putin swapped jobs with then prime minister Dmitry Medvedev for a term, only to assume the top spot again in the following election, four years later. That would have entitled him to two more terms, but Putin changed the law to allow himself to run for an additional two terms uninterrupted, potentially continuing his occupancy of the presidency indefinitely.