TIME Crime

Los Angeles to Ban High-Capacity Gun Magazines

gun los angeles
Nick Ut—AP Parents of victims of gun violence, pastor Ruett Foster, from left, his wife Rhonda and Anna Del Rio hold pictures of their late children, during a rally supporting a city ordinance to ban the possession of high-capacity gun magazines outside Los Angeles City Hall, on July 28, 2015.

Possessing magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition would be illegal

The city council of Los Angeles unanimously voted to prohibit possession of gun magazines that can contain more than 10 rounds of ammunition on Tuesday.

Gun groups such as the National Rife Association have already threatened to sue the city over the ban, claiming it is preempted by California law and violates 2nd Amendment rights, the Los Angeles Times reports. “If the NRA wants to sue us over this, bring it on,” Councilman Paul Krekorian, one of the twelve council members who voted (three were absent), said at a City Hall rally. “People who want to defend their families don’t need a 100-round drum magazine and an automatic weapon to do it.”

California mostly prohibits the manufacturing and sale of such high-capacity magazines, but the state doesn’t outlaw possession of them. Juliet Leftwich, the legal director for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told the Times that the high-capacity magazines targeted by the law are “the common thread” between the country’s mass shootings, including Columbine, Newtown and Virginia Tech.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he plans to sign the measure, which would give residents 60 days to turn in or legally sell the magazines before the law goes into effect. Breaking the law, which is modeled after similar ordinances in California cities San Francisco and Sunnyvale, would be a misdemeanor.

[LA Times]

TIME Crime

Rick Perry Wants to Allow Guns in Movie Theaters

Perry's comments come mere days after the Lafayette theater shootings, which injured 11 and killed two plus the gunman

Rick Perry believes Thursday night’s movie theater shooting in Lafayette, La., shows why gun-free zones are “a bad idea,” in an interview with CNN’s State of the Union and said it “makes a lot of sense” to allow guns in movie theaters.

“I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to use firearms, to carry them,” Perry told host Jake Tapper. “If we believe in the second amendment and if we believe in people’s rights to protect themselves and their families—to tell them they cannot carry a weapon that they are legally obliged to carry, that they have been through the training for, makes no sense to me.”

John Russell “Rusty” Houser entered a showing of Trainwreck on Thursday night and opened fire with a handgun that he had legally obtained from a pawn shop. Houser shot 11 people, killing two, before fatally shooting himself.

Perry, a former Texas governor and now a Republican presidential contender, said gun laws were in place, but enforcement was the issue, saying that current laws should have prevented Houser, who had a history of mental illness and a criminal record, from obtaining a gun.

But Perry remained steadfast in his belief that had theatergoers had been allowed to carry guns into the movie theater, the tragedy might have been lessened or even prevented. “I believe, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there’s as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette,” he said.

 

TIME White House

The Lack of Change in Gun Laws During His Presidency Has Been ‘Distressing,’ Obama Says

Michelle Obama Hosts 2015 Beating The Odds Summit At White House
Mark Wilson—Getty Images U.S. President Barack Obama greets guests during a surprise visit to First Lady Michelle Obama's event on higher education in the East Room of the White House July 23, 2015

The President spoke of feeling "most frustrated and most stymied" over the issue

Failure to pass what he called “common-sense gun-safety laws” during his tenure in the White House has ranked among his greatest frustrations, Barack Obama has told the BBC, in a wide-ranging interview covering much of the last years of his presidency.

Obama said he felt he had made strides in many political arenas but that it was “distressing” not to have affected significant change in gun laws “even in the face of repeated mass killings.”

With less than two years left in power, Obama said guns were the policy area that made him feel “most frustrated and most stymied. “If you look at the number of Americans killed since 9/11 by terrorism, it’s less than 100,” he said. “If you look at the number that have been killed by gun violence, it’s in the tens of thousands.”

During a turbulent summer that saw nine African Americans killed at a South Carolina prayer meeting in June, Obama told reporters that “politics in [Washington]” precluded most options for change in gun control policy.

The BBC interview was conducted previous to the July 23 shooting at a movie theater in Louisiana and did not touch on that event.

[BBC]

TIME celebrities

Kim Kardashian Talks Hillary Clinton, Gun Control and Feminism

"I guess people would call me a feminist," she said. "I just do what makes me comfortable"

Kim Kardashian got serious Tuesday night at an event in San Francisco, where she discussed gun control, feminism and whether the U.S. will elect its first female president next year.

Kardashian was interviewed by retired state judge LaDoris Cordell in an event organized by the prestigious Commonwealth Club of California, an institution founded in 1903 that has previously hosted speakers like Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. When Cordell asked Kardashian to give the audience an idea to change the world, she answered, “Gun control.” She also said she hopes Hillary Clinton will be the first female U.S. president. But when asked whether she’s a feminist, Kardashian said “I don’t like labels.” She said she wouldn’t use that word but didn’t distance herself from the phrase. “I guess people would call me a feminist,” she said. “I just do what makes me comfortable.”

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star said she has consciously flipped the script on media objectification of women, and taken control of her own image. “You really can take that power and put out what you want people to look at,” she said. Even her new book of selfies, entitled Selfish, is an exercise in purposeful self-objectification, as she explained: “I’ve taken them … I’m proud of them … I have the control to put out what I want, even if I’m objectifying myself.” Kardashian also noted that the key to a good selfie is excellent lighting, and said that she doesn’t use filters, ever.

Kardashian revealed that she got her start in the fashion universe after she got her dad to buy her seven pairs of Timberland Manolo Blahnik shoes (at $750 each) after she saw Jennifer Lopez wearing them in a music video, then sold them on eBay for $2,400 each. She credits that experience as proof of her early love of “selling and hustling.”

The interview in the Commonwealth Club’s “Inforum” series is part of a string of slightly more substantial interviews Kardashian has been giving in the past few weeks, including an appearance on NPR and a cover story in Rolling Stone. Some people haven’t taken kindly to the appearances, with NPR listeners writing in to complain that they were “disgusted” and that “the Kardashians represent much of what is wrong with America today.”

There was plenty of self-promotion from Kardashian during the event in San Francisco, including a video ad played before the event for her app Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. When responding to a question from Cordell about whether she promotes an “unhealthy standard of beauty,” Kardashian pivoted to speaking about how her hair care and makeup lines are affordably priced so they can be consumed by “the masses.”

But when Cordell asked Kardashian what she thought of backlash to her appearance on public radio—and at the Commonwealth Club event—she said, “I don’t know. And I really don’t care.” The crowd cheered for her, some yelling, “We love you, Mrs. West!” Still others just begged for her to take selfies with them.

TIME White House

Obama Delivers Powerful Eulogy to Slain Charleston Pastor

President Obama delivered a stirring eulogy and meditation on the nature of grace at the funeral of Rev. Clementa Pinckney Friday, one week after the pastor and eight others were gunned down in a church.

For a little over 30 minutes, Obama traded his typical even tone for a more rousing preacherly style, bringing the crowd of thousands at College of Charleston’s TD Arena, to its feet again and again. At one point, he even sang “Amazing Grace,” a hymn written by a reformed slave-trader who converted to Christianity.

Though the touchstone of his remarks was Pinckney, Obama blended personal remembrances with calls for political renewal and a recurring theological discussion of grace, evoking the very kinds of sermons an AME pastor might give.

“We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith,” the president said. “A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance.”

He referred to Pinckney, who also served as a Democratic state senator, as a “good man,” and noted that though he didn’t know Pinckney well, he did have the pleasure of knowing him.

Upon meeting the man who friends and family members have said was “anointed,” and destined to be a public servant and leader, Obama said he was drawn to his “graciousness” and “reassuring baritone.” Pinckney in many ways fulfilled the destiny those around him prophesized, entering the pulpit at age 13, getting ordained by 18 and later becoming the youngest black person ever elected to the state legislature.

Obama said Pinckney was, “wise beyond his years in his speech, conduct, in his love, faith, and purity.”

“What a good man,” Obama said of Pinckney. “Sometimes I think that’s the best thing to hope for when you’re eulogized. After all the words and recitations and resumes are read, just to say somebody was a good man.”

Obama remarked that he was proud of Republican Gov. Nikki Haley for calling for the removal of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina state capitol. The alleged killer in last week’s massacre, Dylann Roof, was found to have embraced the flag and a white supremacist mindset that would later fuel his hatred and lead him to open fire in Emanuel AME Church.

Obama would later recall the names of each of the nine victims of last week’s massacre, noting that they had all found grace — a grace that Obama said the alleged killer couldn’t have known they possessed when he entered the church with the intention of ending their lives.

“Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding Pinckney and that Bible study group,” Obama said.

Grace, the president noted, was the virtue he’d been reminded up in the week since the brutal killing. “Grace,” he said, “ is the free and benevolent favor of God.”

“As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us,” he said. “For he has allowed us to see where he have been blind.”

But the politics of the moment were not lost on the president. Obama again called for serious reflection on gun reform and gun violence. “I’m convinced that by acknowledging the pain and loss of others, even as we respect the traditions and ways of life that make up this beloved country,” Obama said, “by making the moral choice to change, we express God’s grace.”

Obama called on the nation not to retreat into a “comfortable silence” in the wake of last week’s tragedy in hopes that by refusing to do so, despite the lack of movement on policies from gun control and ongoing debates on race relations.

“It would be a betrayal of everything Rev. Pinckney stood for, I believe, if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again,” Obama said.

TIME

Pro-Martin O’Malley Super PAC Targets Bernie Sanders

Democratic Presidential Candidate Martin O'Malley Campaigns In Iowa
Scott Olson—Getty Images Democratic presidential hopeful and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley speaks to guests during a campaign event at the Sanctuary Pub on June 11, 2015 in Iowa City, Iowa.

A super PAC supporting Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley released a video Thursday attacking liberal rival Bernie Sanders’ gun control record, marking the first critical advertisement of the 2016 primary for the Democratic nomination.

In the 15-second ad released on YouTube Thursday morning, the pro-O’Malley super PAC Generation Forward points to Sanders’ 1993 vote against the Brady Bill, which required background checks for gun purchases and his later vote to protect gun manufacturers from victim lawsuits.

The ad also points out that the National Rifle Association paid for ads attacking a Sanders opponent in a 1990 congressional race.

“Bernie Sanders is no progressive when it comes to guns,” intones a voice in the ad.

It’s a small, yet significant move in the Democratic primary race. Until now, none of the candidates or their proxies have put forward ads attacking their Democratic competitors’ records. O’Malley has implicitly criticized Clinton, but generally refrained from direct attacks.

After the ad was posted on YouTube, Sanders tweeted a response from his personal account.

A spokesperson for O’Malley’s campaign said the former governor was not aware of the ad before it was released and that he doesn’t currently fundraise for Generation Forward.

O’Malley’s super PAC is a scrappy operation without the fundraising firepower of the pro-Hillary Clinton Priorities USA or Jeb Bush’s Right to Rise operations. The governor’s long shot chance in winning the primary and his anti-Wall Street rhetoric don’t help attract donors, and many donors that do contribute to his nascent campaign will do so directly, not to outside groups.

Damian O’Doherty, who runs Generation Forward, recognizes as much.

“We have to do the things that the Ewoks taught us in Return of the Jedi,” said O’Doherty, referring to the furry, technologically backward animal species that helps defeat the powerful Galactic Empire in the third Star Wars movie. “If I think I’m running some slick TV effort—no way.”

Instead, O’Doherty says the strategy is to run a ground-based grassroots operation in the early states and targeting voters through digital efforts. Generation Forward is hiring staff and has already rented out office space in Des Moines. “It’s knocking on doors,” he said. “It’s old-time and online.”

Part of the strategy involves testing ad models on voters in Iowa to test messaging, and finding areas in which O’Malley differs from Clinton and Sanders.

“We’re going to constantly encourage debate, and that’s what this ad is intended to do,” said O’Doherty about his group’s ad criticizing Sanders’ gun positions.

Sanders—a staunchly left progressive who supports single-payer healthcare and sweeping tax reforms—has a moderate record on gun rights. While he supports basic gun control including an assault weapons ban and background checks, he has expressed skepticism about the effects of gun control.

“Obviously, we need strong sensible gun control, and I will support it,” Sanders said in an interview with NPR. “But some people think it’s going to solve all of our problems, and it’s not.”

O’Malley, by contrast, enacted as Maryland governor some of the toughest gun laws in the country, banning high-capacity magazines and assault rifles and tightening background checks.

TIME Race

5 Lessons Charleston Can Teach Us About Race, Guns and Healing

Smiley is host and managing editor of Tavis Smiley on PBS and author of My Journey With Maya

The talking points have been many, varied and often wrong. Here’s how we can go forward with clarity and the resolve for change

After last week’s massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, there should have been no question of guilt, or motivation. Dylann Roof made it clear what he did, and why, long before his confession. And yet, the media has bungled so much of it, from beginning to, if not the end, then the point at which we continue, which today saw South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley call for the immediate removal of the Confederate flag.

Why did it take this event to lead to that? How can we reexamine the assumptions we hold and expand our inventory of ideas about the way we talk about race in America? Here are five points, just for a start.

1. EVERYTHING SLICK DON’T SLIDE

Never in my media career have I seen media outlets refuse to show the face of any adult black murderer. Never. Quite the opposite: they loop it. All day, all night. We tend to see black men on television in one of two positions: handcuffs in the front or handcuffs in the back. So what was with the burst of momentary morality that had certain talk show hosts refusing to show the killer’s face? Really? To all of a sudden decide to not show Roof’s face seemed not only disingenuous, but racial.

2. IF YOU QUOTE KING, VOTE KING

Can we stop letting pundits and politicians get away with selectively quoting Dr. King when black tragedies happen? Sure, King is the quintessential example of “nonviolence” and “love thy neighbor as thyself,” but he was also felled by an assassin’s bullet, and six years after his death, his mother was shot and killed as she sat playing the organ at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Never mind that the black folk for whom he risked his life are still overwhelmingly the victims of gun violence in America.

To quote King about the “beloved community” and not get serious about gun violence in America is at best empty rhetoric—and at worst, a malignant mangling of his message. If you’re going to quote King, then vote King: get serious about gun control.

 

3. TO DO NOTHING, ONE EXCUSE IS AS GOOD AS ANOTHER

It didn’t take long for partisan politicians and the chattering class to start manufacturing excuses about this tragedy. First it was an attack on faith. Then it was an “accident” that might have had more to do with drugs than guns, bumbled former Texas governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry. Or it was all about quickly casting Roof as “mentally ill” and “unstable,” not a thug, criminal or terrorist. (Sidenote here: for all our handwringing, we are no more serious about adequately addressing America’s mental health crisis than we are about addressing the gun epidemic.) Truly unbelievably, a board member of the NRA actually blamed one of the victims of the shooting for his political position on concealed-carry gun laws. Finally, the media seized on Roof’s statement to police investigators that he “almost didn’t go through with it.” But he did.

Any excuse to do nothing, any route to circumvent the ugly truth! And what is the ugly truth? Lack of gun control. Personal and systemic racism. A political system undermined by corporate interests. Politicians who put personal gain and fleeting support above the needs of the citizens.

 

4. THE TERRORIST TEST

When is a terrorist not a terrorist? Apparently when he’s a 21-year-old white male in America. Were he a 21-year-old Muslim attacking a sacred site in America, the media would have declared him a “terrorist” sooner than right now and quicker than at once.

Jim Naureckas, editor at FAIR.org, said it best: “If media are going to use the word ‘terrorist’ they need to have a single standard for its application. By applying the word to a [Boston Marathon] bombing with initially unknown perpetrators, and largely declining to use it in connection with a massacre allegedly perpetrated by a white supremacist hoping to spark a race war, media failed that test.”

The media is a runner coming off the blocks. How it frames a breaking story is critical to both initial public perception and eventual public policy.

 

5. THE POWER OF LOVE

The most important message to come out of this tragedy is, sadly, the lesson that we will likely forget soonest: forgiveness.

Maybe it’s just me, but given our society’s unconscious biases about black men, I have a hard time believing that a 21-year-old black male in the South could just roll up into an all-white prayer circle, cop a seat next to the pastor and be welcomed like a Christian brother, no questions asked.

I was at a dinner party after Roof’s confession, and even the black folk at the table thought it was strange and abnormal that the black prayer warriors let this out-of-place white male just randomly stroll up in the church.

I didn’t agree. That’s love. Growing up in a black church, I’ve seen it happen countless times with all kinds of random visitors. Indeed, our church’s welcome, uttered in unison, went like this, “Welcome to the church where everybody is somebody, nobody is a stranger, and you belong here. Welcome!”

Sadly in this world, sometimes trust makes you vulnerable and love can get you killed. And, yet, love is the only antidote to hate. What else is there?

For a true Christian, there really is no more noble way to die. Refusing to judge folk, meeting them where they are, and sharing the Good News. Black America has learned to love this country in spite of, not because of. Even when the victim of the most heinous of assaults, at our best, we forgive so that we might live.

The next time this happens, the media won’t likely remind us of the extraordinary grace that we’re witnessing right now. So, remember Charleston.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME justice

HBO Documentary Highlights Gun Violence

Filmmakers Shari Cookson and Nick Doob attend the HBO screening of 'Requiem For The Dead' at HBO Theater on June 15, 2015 in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin—2015 Getty Images Filmmakers Shari Cookson and Nick Doob attend the HBO screening of 'Requiem For The Dead' at HBO Theater on June 15, 2015 in New York City.

A new HBO documentary about gun violence will air Monday, just days after a deadly massacre at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

Requiem for the Dead uses documentary material such as Facebook status updates, 911 calls, news reports and police investigations to tell the stories of some of the estimated 8,000 people who died from gunfire between March and June of 2014.

“People now document themselves in these very intimate ways,” co-director Shari Cookson tells TIME. “It was like reading a diary.”

“Every story,” her filmmaking partner Nick Doob adds, “is a kind of Greek tragedy.”

In one example, a 12-year-old boy confesses to police that he killed his 11-year-old friend while showing off his father’s loaded handgun.

Another example, about a 12-year-old who shot his sister eight times before turning the gun on himself, is accompanied by a montage of photographs of his belongings, including the Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto videogames, a Hunter Education certificate and a picture of him beaming, one hand clutching a rifle and another caressing an antler.

While the directors say they emphasized character portraits over a political agenda, many of the examples in the documentary seem to highlight incidents that could have been prevented by proper gun storage or better mental health treatment.

“Of course,” Doob admits, “we want to foster dialogue. We want the film to open people to talk so that even NRA people can look at this.”

TIME faith

Pope Francis Says Arms Manufacturers Can’t Call Themselves Christian

"Duplicity is the currency of today...they say one thing and do another"

Pope Francis continued his week of politically charged comments on Sunday, saying arms manufacturers who call themselves Christians are hypocrites.

At a rally of thousands in the Italian city of Turin, the Pope said that those who claim to follow the teachings of Christ but also manufacture weapons “leads to a bit of distrust.”

His criticism was not limited to the manufacturers, however; Francis also called out investors, saying “duplicity is the currency of today…they say one thing and do another.”

Francis’ comments come on the tail of the leak, and subsequent release of, his 192-page climate change encyclical on Thursday, in which he said that man-made climate change disproportionately affects the world’s poor.

[Reuters]

Read next: Pope Slams ‘Great Powers’ Over Mass Deaths in 20th Century

Listen to the most important stories of the day

TIME faith

Why Some Pastors Bring Their Guns to the Pulpit

Charleston Shooting
Stephen B. Morton—AP Police tape surrounds the parking lot behind the AME Emanuel Church as FBI forensic experts work the crime scene where nine were killed in Charleston, S.C., on June 19, 2015.

Advocates push for firearms in church following shooting in Charleston

When associate pastor Brian Ulch is preaching at Trinity Lighthouse Church in Denison, Texas, he’s armed with a Glock. It sits on his right side just under his suit jacket or dress shirt. And when he’s not preaching, he’s training other churchgoers around the state to protect themselves and others.

“We feel like we owe it to our congregation to engage any type of threat,” Ulch says. “If people aren’t willing to combat a threat, then they’re making themselves vulnerable.”

Since the shooting at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine people Wednesday, gun control is once again in the spotlight. But this time, some gun control advocates have focused on a lack of security at many places of worship around the country.

Concealed weapons are often banned at church, and some—most recently GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee—are calling for more security and more armed pastors and churchgoers. At least one business owner in Tulsa, Okla., has offered free gun training to local pastors.

Many pastors argue that arming congregants goes against religious teachings of non-violence and that guns have no place in a place of worship. Many states, including South Carolina, specifically prohibit guns in church. “The presence of a cross in our sanctuary reminds us that God’s response to violence is never greater violence,” Pastor Baron Mullis of Atlanta’s Morningside Presbyterian Church told WGCL-TV. “This is a place of peace. … This is not a place for guns.”

But increasingly, churchgoers are able to pack heat in the pews if they wish. A number of states have recently passed laws allowing concealed weapons in churches, including Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois and North Dakota. Bryan Crosswhite, president of 2AO, an organization that advocates for Second Amendment rights, says that roughly 25 states allow concealed carry weapons in churches. But after the shooting in Charleston, his group is pushing for more states to open up their churches to firearms.

“Churches are often gun-free zones,” Crosswhite says. “That makes them a major target for those who go to worship. In most churches, the congregation has their back to the doors. People could walk right in and shoot so many people if you don’t have a plan in place.”

Several organizations specifically work with churches to arm congregants that volunteer to provide security. Chuck Chadwick, founder and president of the National Organization for Church Security and Safety, says that his organization has worked with thousands of churches since the group’s founding in 2005, including churchgoers who attend security seminars and pastors who go through gun training. “We train men and women to run toward the sound of gunfire,” Chadwick says.

NOCSSM has worked with churches around the country, but in Texas, where the organization is located, Chadwick says his group has trained hundreds of officers who are now deployed throughout the state. Since the Charleston shooting, Chadwick says he’s been getting flooded with calls from churches looking to boost their own security.

The shooting in Charleston has already reignited the push to allow guns in church, but it could potentially have a lasting effect on people of faith who no longer feel like their churches are sanctuaries from violence. Ulch, the associate pastor, doesn’t see it that way. “Personally, I would not attend a church if it didn’t have armed security,” he says. “There’s no other place where everyone is welcomed and people can come and go freely without question. I believe every ministry owes it to their people.”

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