Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 3, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page B:3

B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 3, 2018 OPINION B3 Mountain Views News Saturday, March 3, 2018 OPINION 
Mountain Views 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Richard Garcia 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Kevin Barry 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Merri Jill Finstrom 
Rev. James SnyderDr. Tina Paul 
Katie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanRenee Quenell 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Mountain Views News 
has been adjudicated asa newspaper of GeneralCirculation for the County 
of Los Angeles in CourtCase number GS004724: 
for the City of SierraMadre; in Court Case 
GS005940 and for the 
City of Monrovia in CourtCase No. GS006989 and 
is published every Saturday 
at 80 W. Sierra MadreBlvd., No. 327, Sierra 
Madre, California, 91024. 
All contents are copyrighted 
and may not bereproduced without the 
express written consent ofthe publisher. All rights 
reserved. All submissions 
to this newspaper becomethe property of the Mountain 
Views News and maybe published in part or 
Opinions and viewsexpressed by the writersprinted in this paper donot necessarily expressthe views and opinionsof the publisher or staffof the Mountain Views 
Mountain Views News is 
wholly owned by GraceLorraine Publications, 
and reserves the right torefuse publication of advertisements 
and other 
materials submitted for 
Letters to the editor and 
correspondence should 
be sent to: 
Mountain Views News 
80 W. Sierra Madre Bl. 
Sierra Madre, Ca. 
Phone: 626-355-2737 
Fax: 626-609-3285 
Mountain Views News 
Mission Statement 
The traditions of 
community news-
papers and the 
concerns of our readers 
are this newspaper’s 
top priorities. We 
support a prosperouscommunity of well-
informed citizens. We 
hold in high regard thevalues of the exceptionalquality of life in our 
community, includingthe magnificence of 
our natural resources. 
Integrity will be our guide. 

For all of those who thought they’d never witness it, it appears the NationalRifle Association is on the run. 

A growing number of its long time allies who stuck with the association’s 
“never give an inch” positions are cautiously distancing themselves fromthe organization in light of the national outrage over the murders of 17students and faculty at a high school in Parkland Fla.

Several large corporations have severed their business ties with theNRA, withdrawing from underwriting insurance coverage or offeringdiscounts to members. 
Accustomed to using its deep pockets and organizational resources tosupport or oppose candidates and incumbents, the group succeededin fending off firearms control legislation even in the wake of mass killings of first graders, nightclubpartygoers, worshippers and audiences at a movie theater and outdoor concert.

It now appears that the killings at the Florida high school pushed the nation over the edge. An outragedpopulace appears increasingly fed up with the Association’s excuses and rationalizations. 

The NRA’s campaign of fear that gun control measures are the first step in a government plot todisarm the American people, trample on Constitutional rights, and install a despotic ruling junta haslost credibility. It has damaged itself further by the hysterical responses of its leaders and has turned to its’favorite whipping boy - “the liberal media.” 

That tactic hit a new low when Association spokesperson Dana Loesch, in an appearance at theConservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) said “many in legacy media love mass shootings.
Crying white mothers are ratings gold.” 

The depth of such lunacy leaves one speechless. Was it incredibly callous or incredibly stupid? Both. 

Its tantamount to saying to one of those crying white mothers, “So your daughter got shot up at school.
Big Deal. Suck it up. Get over it and move on. You’re bad for business.” 

It is beyond dispute that multiple failures by government agencies at all levels contributed to thetragedy at Parkland.

A clearly disturbed young man openly advertised his intention to “shoot up a school,” and all warningsigns were dismissed by local authorities and the FBI.

All those involved in a clear dereliction of duty will spend the remainder of their lives with theknowledge that, but for their laxity, 17 people would be alive today.

The slow erosion of support for the NRA is surely worrisome to the association’s leaders. It faces 
defections in Congress and in statehouses with the prospect of further fissures in its solid wall ofopposition.

Enhanced background checks for prospective gun buyers - an idea ridiculed by the NRA asmeaningless and ineffective - has become a real possibility, for example, as has extending the checks toprivate sales of weapons.

President Trump has expressed support for establishing 21 as the legal age for gun purchases, a movethe NRA opposes. He has also recommended a ban on “bump stocks,” a device which, when attached toa semi-automatic rifle, mimics the rapid-fire action of a fully automatic one.

He’s spoken in favor of arming teachers or other school personnel to confront potential threats andwants enhanced mental health programs to identify individuals suffering psychological issues and denythem the ability to purchase a weapon.

Despite rising demands, a ban on the sale of AR-15 semi-automatic rifles like the one used in theFlorida high school shootings will not be enacted.

The argument over a prohibition will continue, but there is little appetite in Congress to impose one. 
The NRA will prevail in that argument; its clout hasn’t diminished to that extent.

With a Republican in the White House and the party in control of the Congress, it’s virtually assured 
that some action will be taken although it’s unclear at his stage what it will entail.

The test for the NRA will be whether to make a stand. It has historically opposed any changes it canargue infringe on gun ownership. Maybe it will recognize the public outrage unleashed by the high schoolmassacre and accept modest changes in gun regulations.

The NRA can look reasonable and portray itself as a part of the solution to gun violence or it can fallvictim to the worst stereotype of a band of wild-eyed gun nuts.

It’s on the run for the first time and one immediate step it can take is to lash a muzzle on Dana Loeschand apologize to every crying mother she insulted with her loony assertions. 
Copyright 2018 Carl Golden, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Carl Golden is a senior contributing analyst with the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy at StocktonUniversity in New Jersey. You can reach him at cgolden1937@gmail. 




Donald Trump, the man who needs a cue-card to feign basic human empathy,IS PACKING HEAT is serious about gun control?
Yeah, right. This is still the same president whose promises far outperform his

President Donald Trump tossed out some wacky nonsense about arming teachers,

actual ability to carry them out.

which encouraged the press and public to go nuts debating this ludicrous suggestion,

Remember when Trump promised a spectacular replacement for Obamacare?

totally ignoring commonsense remedies like banning civilians from purchasing

That hasn’t happened. In fact, he made it worse.

Trump promised a massive infrastructure program. What we got relies on a paltry $200 billionweapons whose sole function is to kill the most people in the shortest time possible.
investment from the federal government to magically conjure $1.5 trillion from private interests and cash-The man is not as dumb as he looks, which at last count was considerable. 
strapped state and local governments.That was just one of the president’s multiple responses to the latest in a distressing

He loved the Dreamers until he squeezed them so he could get more money for his preposterousseries of school shootings. He was all over the map like a class of apprentice cartographersborder wall. And immigration reform, of any kind, remains at a the belly of a garbage scow during a category 4 typhoon.
And now we’re supposed to believe that he’ll successfully push for comprehensive background checks,

First, he said we should arm teachers, then yelled at the mainstream media for saying

raise the age of gun-purchasers to 21 and move to ban bump-stocks?

he said we should arm teachers, then he said we shouldn’t just give teachers guns, but

It would be nice to think Trump is serious about actually doing any of those things. Unfortunately,

bonuses. And snacks. Not rulers. Or pencils. Stationary targets, yes. Stationery, no.

hard experience teaches us that his desire for approval far outweighs his desire to make substantive policy

During a listening session with relatives and survivors of various school massacres


“Only one candidate in the general election came to speak to you, and that candidate is now thehe was photographed carrying a cheat sheet reminding him to say “I hear you.” His staffpresident of the United States, standing before you,” Trump said at the NRA’s 2017 annual convention, is apparently aware that hearing people in a listening session is not his first instinct.
according to The New York Times. “You came through for me, and I am going to come through for you.” Listening is what people do to him, not he to them.

On Thursday, Trump doubled-down on his support for the NRA, calling them “great AmericanTrump also promised to focus on mental health issues, forgetting that one of his firstpatriots,” on Twitter.moves as POTUS was erasing rules that restricted some mentally ill from purchasingAccording to NBC News, the NRA donated $21 million to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.firearms. Like Germany complaining they don’t have any decent Jewish delis anymore.
When Republicans in Congress starts feeling the heat, Trump’s base begins to squawk and the NRA

“Now is not the time to politicize the gun issue.” Why is the time to talk about guns

mobilizes gun owners, who do you think is going to win the argument?

always later? “Now?” “No, later.” “Now?” “No, later.” And repeat. Now is the time to

Sadly, it probably won’t be the kids from Parkland.

talk about mental health issues. Voting to fund programs to deal with those issues is a

Still, as with everything with Trump, it’s more important to watch what he does, not what he says.

different story.

Take, for instance, how Trump proposed to ban bump-stocks, which allow semi-automatic weapons

to be converted into nearly automatic weapons.The NRA says the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
He signed a memo recommending that Attorney General Jeff Sessions propose regulations to banThe problem with good guys with guns is a lot of them believe in that whole “kill ‘embump stocks. Unfortunately, there are more if/then statements baked into it than one of the old BASICall and let god sort ‘em out” school of thought. Except that security guard outside theprograms you wrote in middle school.Parkland, Florida high school.
That’s because the argument over any new regulation could rage on for months as it goes through theGiving guns to teachers, what a great idea. Probably cut down on tardiness, notestandard regulatory review process -- let alone any litigation.passing and backtalk as well, not to mention making faculty meetings and parent

The faster way to ban bump-stocks would be through legislation, which Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the

teacher conferences a lot more interesting. The penalty for truancy is a flesh wound.

ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said is the only answer.

As with most of 45’s ideas, details were murky, but this plan could easily lead to arming

That’s because, as The Washington Examiner reports, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms

janitors, crossing guards and cafeteria ladies. Although many would argue that school

lacks the power to ban the weapons on their own, leaving a bill the only answer.

“If [the] ATF tries to ban these devices after admitting repeatedly that it lacks the authority to do so,lunches were already weaponized during the Reagan Administration.
that process could be tied up in court for years, and that would mean bump stocks would continue to beBesides, 20 percent of American teachers is 700,000 people. Do they all get the samesold. Legislation is the only answer,” Feinstein said in a statement.gun? Would these teachers going heavy be appointed or volunteers? Or would most

Getting such a bill passed, though? That’s another matter entirely.folks offered guns spontaneously develop bone spurs like somebody else we know?
That depends on whether such a bill could garner “60 votes in the Senate,” and clear the U.S. House,Think back. How many of your high school teachers would you have confidently

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., told me this week.armed? The ex-Marine wrestling coach? The English teacher who spaced out during
At an appearance at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa., Toomey said he does think “there is broad

John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn?” The librarian regularly hitting her flask behind

Republican support for using legitimate regulatory authority” to regulate bump stocks in the same way

the stacks? Sister Mary Uzi?

the government strictly regulates civilian access to fully automatic weapons.

And you do realize of course that once teachers are armed, it’s only a matter of time

“Whether that translates into legislation or not, I’m not sure,” said Toomey, one of the Senate GOP’s 

before kids themselves feel the need to start packing. “I’m going to study hall. Cover

most vocal proponents of expanding background checks for gun purchases.

Toomey told reporters that he wants to talk to Trump about expanded background checks. Theme.” 
Pennsylvania Republican said he will probably reintroduce the compromise measure he initially crafted-
with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., that fell six votes short of the number needed to pass the Senate inCopyright 2018, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.
2013. Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former“My goal is to move this process forward,” he said. “It might take some tweaks to the legislation. I’m opensod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, includingto that. I do think it is reasonable to require a background check on commercial gun sales.” his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit 
And that may be what it takes to keep Trump’s famously short attention span focused on this issue.
If Toomey and other senior lawmakers stay focused on this potent (election-year) issue, which couldrequire a spinal transplant in the face of NRA pressure, Trump may remain focused as well.
Left to his own devices, the president will just move on to the next Twitter fight. 

Copyright 2018 John L. Micek, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

An award-winning political journalist, Micek is the Opinion Editor and Political Columnist for PennLive/
The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. Readers may follow him on Twitter @ByJohnLMicek and email him 

Follow us online at 
Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: