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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Senate’

The Next Frontier in Gun Control is Mental Health

Moms are very resilient. And that’s a good thing given the huge whiff of air being let out of the balloon around gun control. It isn’t just President Barack Obama feeling like he got sucker punched by the U.S. Senate’s vote to consider expanded background checks. Which, according to this article in the New York Times, was just a gesture to begin with.  Click here for the full article http://nyti.ms/13jPSCx. It’s the general sense that something needed to happen but didn’t.  A sense that Moms were fed up and ready to engage to keep their kids safe. And who can blame them for feeling defeated when close to 90% of Americans support expanded background checks for gun shows and online sales and yet, at the end of the day, special interests and lobbyists held more sway than they did. Not even Gabbie Giffords, a gun owner, a second amendment advocate, a public servant who was shot in the head by a deranged voter, could sway the conversation. 

But I would like to say to all of you resilient Moms out there, don’t give up just yet. There is an effort underway that was crafted by a Republican and a Democrat working together. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan are pushing for better intervention for the mentally ill as a way to curb school shootings and other senseless gun slayings. The two have been looking into access and funding with an eye to identifying the shooters before they explode. The lone wolf who is in pain and whose actions seem to be the result of some sick and twisted – and tragically delayed – cry for help. Their ideas are not without controversy. A sure sticking point will be how to protect patient privacy laws around mental health while identifying and intervening to help the Adam Lanzas and James Holmes’ before they strike.  

Here’s an article worth reading, http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/293941-stabenow-urges-colleagues-to-support-mental-health-amendment

Also worth looking at today are both the President and Sen. Blunt’s recent press announces on gun reform. 

President Obama calls defeat on background checks shameful 

Sen. Blunt pushes better mental health intervention 

 

 

What Ashley Judd and Todd Akin are doing in the same sentence

What Ashley Judd and Todd Akin are doing in the same sentence

Bill Lambrecht, Post-Dispatch

WASHINGTON • It’s unclear where it started, probably in blogging land.

But it stuck, and across the internet the actor and U.S. Senate candidate-in-waiting is being compared to the former Missouri congressman in this shorthand: Is Ashley Judd the Democrats’ Todd Akin?

Her supporters rebut the analogy vigorously, but it’s a certainty that if Judd continues on her path to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., in 2014, her past remarks would put her under Akin-like scrutiny.

National Journal’s headline on a story yesterday read thusly: Is Ashley Judd a 30-second ad waiting to happen?

The piece by Jill Lawrence observes that Judd, an activist on women’s issues and other matters, has uttered incendiary things like: “The era of the coal plant is over.”

That might not be the most prudent campaign platform in the state that ranks third in coal production.

Judd, 44, has no qualms about talking publicly about rape. She has spoken of being a three-time rape survivor, and offered comments that some might find inspiring but others in a red state like Kentucky could find hard to digest.

Akin enters the picture again in the recounting of her response to his fateful remarks last August about “legitimate rape” and the female capacity to ward off rape from pregnancy.

“At any time, in any relationship, at any age, and in any place, rape is rape,” CNN reported her saying at the Democratic National Convention last year.

“If we make medically accurate sex education available to boys and girls and women and men, and we make modern family planning available to them, (then) we prevent unintended pregnancy,” she said.

Another account said she recalled her work on behalf of women in Congo, remarking that “most of them conceived in rape” — and then made a “gesture” regarding Akin.”

Judd’s supporters contend that women especially would appreciate her straight talk. And rather than a Hollywood loose cannon as cast by her detractors, they see her as a thoughtful, committed professional who took the time recently to get an M.A. from Harvard.

Provocative or not, Judd surely likely would elevate the Kentucky contest to the marquee Senate race in 2014.