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Entries in Gun Control (5)


EA Special: 10 Predictions for 2013 --- Assad Gone, an Angry Middle East, and Little Change on "Human Rights"

See also 2012 in Review: How Did EA's Predictions Turn Out?

1. Syria --- The Assad Regime Will Fall It remains unclear what happens once President Assad is gone, but his regime will crumble in 2013. It may find some corner of Lattakia or Tartous to claim as a new capital for some time, but this will not last.

Assad's presence in the east has been reduced to a single airbase near Deir Ez Zor. Insurgents, led by Islamists, are also moving into Raqqa Province, and Hassakah will soon be cut off. The regime's supply lines to Aleppo are completely cut, with insurgents picking off military bases outside the city.

Eventually, Aleppo will fall. Insurgents will march south from Idlib Province, first taking Hama, then Homs, and then on to Damascus. If the Assad regime survives and is not overtaken by a surge in the capital before this, then the regime will have its back against the wall. The majority of Syria will already be in someone else's hands.

But whose hands?

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US Audio Feature: History, Politics, and "Gun Culture" --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

Charlton Heston, President of the National Rifle Association, 20 May 2000: You Will Take This Gun "From My Cold, Dead Hands"

See also US Audio Feature: Why Can't America Have Gun Control? --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

On Monday, at the end of a day of 11 interviews with BBC outlets, I spoke with BBC Radio 4's flagship programme "World Tonight" about the historical setting for America's "gun culture" and the difficulties of introducing gun control....

The discussion begins at the 17.07 mark.


US Opinion: Thoughts on Gun Control and Friday's Mass Murder in Connecticut

Photo: Adrees Latif/ReutersAt the end of the day, the politicians are woefully weak, and campaign dollars win the debate, the National Rifle Association and other gun lobbies too strong for their grip on legislators to be broken.

I doubt that the newly re-elected President Obama will take on the gun lobby. He has other battles that he will choose to fight with Congress. And I am sickened --- yes, after thought, that is not too strong a word --- by an American society where those who try to avert the next mass murder are overwhelmed by the forces of money.

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US Audio Feature: Ryan, Romney, and Guns --- Scott Lucas with the BBC

See also US Politics Analysis: Why Paul Ryan's VP Nomination is So Important

I spoke with BBC WM on Tuesday about the US Presidential election.

The conversation started with an easy question, in light of a series of shooting sprees causing multiple deaths, "Will gun control be a prominent issue in the campaign?" (Answer: No.)

The more challenging task was to introduce Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's choice as Vice Presidential running mate, and assess his effect on the race.

The take-away line is that Ryan --- in contrast to the 2008 candidate, Sarah Palin --- is strong on ideas; however, his strong positions on the economy and social spending are likely to bring as many problems as benefits to the GOP effort. In US politics, you whip up your party by appealing to the committed, but you win elections by persuading the "center".

There is also discussion of the geographical factor: this is the first time in decades that neither candidate on the Republican slate has come from the West or the South.

The discussion starts just before the 1:39.00 mark.


The Arizona Shootings: Getting to the Missing Point --- "It's Guns, Stupid" (Matlin)

The repercussions and the debate around this episode will continue for years. But you can be certain that a question  poseed elsewhere --- “Where did the alleged attacker Jared Lee Loughner get the gun?” --- will not be a priority in America. From The New York Times to The Washington Post to CNN and MNSBC, this query was not being posed, let alone answered. No one wants to touch the subject of gun ownership. It has become the third rail of politics.

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