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Another Shooting, Another Gun Debate. Will the Outcome Be the Same?

By evening, one anti-gun group had mobilized and already sent out its first email: “RESOURCES + EXPERTS AVAILABLE: Florida High School Shooting.” Another group, Everytown for Gun Safety, founded and financed by Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York mayor, activated the 1,500 members of its “survivors network,” and soon paid $230,000 for an advertisement in The New York Times shaming pro-gun lawmakers.The National Rifle Association followed its own playbook: remaining silent for several days — a recognition that its message might be unwelcome during the initial burst of grief. But it used its NRATV channel to argue to its members that more guns in schools could prevent massacres. Sales of so-called bump stocks, which can make a semiautomatic weapon fire like an automatic, rose out of fear that they would be banned.The battles waged after shootings in Newtown, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; Las Vegas; and Sutherland Springs, Tex., began playing out all over, presumably heading toward the same stalemate.But this time, a few things are different: The gun control side has developed a well-financed infrastructure that did not exist when Mr. Barden’s son Daniel and other schoolchildren were fatally shot at Sandy Hook. Within days of the Parkland shooting, one anti-gun group flooded Florida lawmakers with 2,500 calls and 1,700 emails opposing a bill allowing guns in schools.Another difference is an unpredictable president who belongs to the National Rifle Association and promotes the N.R.A.-favored solution of arming trained teachers but has also embraced a couple of modest gun control measures opposed by gun rights groups.And perhaps most dramatically, the We-Call-B.S. teenagers of Florida have injected a passionate new energy into a stale debate, organizing demonstrations, flooding the Statehouse in Tallahassee, composing songs, creating protest signs, confronting politicians and taking to TV airwaves with an intensity and composure and power rarely seen in recent years.“The initial reaction was the same kind of sickened resignation — this is one of the worst ever, and this probably won’t be enough either,” said Matt Bennett, a founder of Third Way, a center-left advocacy group in Washington.PhotoWayne LaPierre, the chief of the National Rifle Association, criticized Democrats on Thursday for calling for more gun control laws.Credit Pete Marovich for The New York Times“What has changed since then is the kids and the extraordinary, galvanizing force they have become,” he added, interrupting an interview to take a call from his 17-year-old son, whose class was leaving school to march to the White House. “No one knows when we are going to hit a tipping point on this issue […]

Europe Edition: Syria, Winter Olympics, Neanderthals: Your Friday Briefing

SubscribeLog In SubscribeLog InAdvertisementBriefingEurope EditionSyria, Winter Olympics, Neanderthals: Your Friday BriefingBy Patrick Boehler Feb. 23, 2018(Want to get this briefing by email […]

N.R.A., Manafort, Syria: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

#briefing-market-module.interactive-embedded .interactive-caption { display: none; } Market Snapshot View Full Overview ____ Photo Credit Andrew Keh/The New York Times 10. Finally, when David Chang tells you to go eat something, you listen. Our reporter at the Olympics got tips on the local cuisine from Mr. Chang, the famed Korean-American chef. (“Go eat the snow crab!” he said.) Above, freshly killed raw octopus. It was easy to get a table — most visitors are staying inside the Olympic bubble, and queuing up outside McDonald’s […]

The Making of a No. 1 YouTube Conspiracy Video After the Parkland Tragedy

“I had no idea where all the attention was coming from,” said “mike m.” in an online chat interview with The New York Times. “I just noticed it started to take off.”Many commenters were confused. “Why is this on trending, especially on news? Nothing special,” wrote one. Others, tipped off by the caption calling Mr. Hogg an actor, knew exactly what they thought they were seeing: “Someone get this kid an Oscar!” one wrote.By noon on Wednesday, YouTube had pulled the video for violating its policy on harassment and bullying.It was not the first time that YouTube had served not just as a source of fringe conspiracy theories, but as an accomplice in their rapid spread.After the massacre in Las Vegas last October, YouTubers filled a void of information about the killer’s motives with dark speculation, crowding the site with videos that were fonts of discredited and unproven information, including claims that the tragedy had been staged.After a mass shooting last November at a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., those seeking news about the event on YouTube were overwhelmed by videos falsely claiming it had been a “false flag” attack meant to spur gun control measures or a plot carried out by the so-called antifa (short for anti-fascist) movement.PhotoMr. Hogg speaking at a rally calling for more gun control after the shooting at his high school.Credit Jonathan Drake/ReutersIn the wake of this latest tragedy, which left 17 people dead at the school in Parkland, YouTube still seemed caught by surprise by the rise of another video meant to peddle a baseless theory.Continue reading the main story“In 2017, we started rolling out changes to better surface authoritative news sources in search results, particularly around breaking news events,” YouTube, which is owned by Google, said in a statement. “We’ve seen improvements, but in some circumstances these changes are not working quickly enough. […]

Marco Rubio and an N.R.A. Official Were Jeered and Lectured on Gun Control

President Trump and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, a Republican, both declined invitations to participate in the town hall-style meeting.The father of a 14-year-old girl who was killed at Stoneman Douglas angrily lectured Mr. Rubio for his refusal to support gun control legislation.The father, Fred Guttenberg, demanded that Mr. Rubio explain his opposition to a ban on the kind of assault weapon that the gunman at the school used to shoot his daughter, Jaime.“My daughter, running down the hallway, was shot in the back with an assault weapon, the weapon of choice,” Mr. Guttenberg said during the forum as Mr. Rubio stood stone-faced. “It is too easy to get. It is a weapon of war. The fact that you can’t stand with everybody else in this room and say that, I’m sorry.”The room erupted in applause for Mr. […]

Parents and Students Plead With Trump: ‘How Many Children Have to Get Shot?’

Mr. Trump used the event to pitch his own ideas about how to prevent such debacles in the future, polling the group about whether they supported allowing teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons, an idea he said could have halted the carnage in Parkland.“That coach was very brave, saved a lot of lives, I suspect,” Mr. Trump said, apparently referring to Aaron Feis, a coach at Stoneman Douglas who reportedly died using his body as a shield to protect students. “But if he had a firearm, he wouldn’t have had to run, he would have shot and that would have been the end of it.”VideoTrump Suggests Giving Teachers GunsAt a listening session with grieving parents and school-shooting victims, including students from Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, President Trump suggested teachers should be allowed to carry firearms.By WHITEHOUSE.GOV on Publish Date February 21, 2018.Photo by Tom Brenner/The New York Times.Watch in Times Video »embed Mr. Trump said he would press to strengthen background checks for people buying guns and press for enhanced mental health measures. “We’re going to go very strongly into age — age of purchase,” he added, appearing to refer to a proposal to set an age threshold for buying certain weapons, including the AR-15.But in a session that began as a subdued conversation and sometimes descended into tears and shouting, policy proposals were overshadowed by raw expressions of fear, anger and sorrow.“We’re here because my daughter has no voice — she was murdered last week, and she was taken from us, shot nine times,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was one of the 17 killed in Parkland. “How many schools, how many children have to get shot? It stops here, with this administration and me, because I’m not going to sleep until it’s fixed.”Most of the students and parents invited from the Florida school appeared to support Mr […]

N.R.A. Chief, Wayne LaPierre, Offers Fierce Defense of 2nd Amendment

Mr. LaPierre’s pugnacious appearance appeared to signal a tactical shift for the N.R.A., which had officially remained mostly quiet in the week after the Florida shooting, even as a movement of young people, including survivors of the massacre, made emotional pleas for gun control. The organization typically uses the first few days after an episode of mass gun violence to lie low before it comes out hard in opposition to any new gun control measures.“The N.R.A. will not only speak out,” he said, “we will speak out louder and we will speak out stronger than ever before.”Mr. LaPierre, who for around three decades has been the N.R.A.’s public face of unwavering resistance to tighter restrictions on guns, used his speech to play to the fear and mistrust that many on the right have toward government.He raised the specter of mass gun confiscation. He accused federal agencies like the Justice Department of weaponizing their power to punish political enemies. He warned darkly that “our country will be changed forever” at the hands of socialist conspirators.“History proves it. Every time in every nation in which this political disease rises to power, its citizens are repressed, their freedoms are destroyed and their firearms are banned and confiscated,” he said, reading slowly and deliberately from his prepared text.Mr […]