Quick Takes: Mass Shootings Are Getting More Deadly

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* You might have heard that the shooting in Las Vegas was the most deadly in U.S. history. But it was only 16 months ago that the second most deadly shooting happened at a night club in Orlando. Philip Bump provides us with the trajectory.

* Let’s hope there are more Americans like Caleb Keeter, one of performers at the country music festival in Las Vegas. Here is a portion of his statement today.

I’ve been a proponent of the 2nd amendment my entire life.

Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus.

They were useless.

We couldn’t touch them for fear police might think that we were part of the massacre and shoot us. A small group (or one man) laid waste to a city with dedicated, fearless police officers desperately trying to help, because of access to an insane amount of fire power.

Enough is enough.

* Gov. Sam Brownback’s policies is Kansas have often been cited as the example of what would happen nationally under Republican governance. They continue to fail.

In a case with potentially hundreds of million of tax dollars at stake, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the Legislature’s latest efforts to provide adequate and fair funding for schools still falls short of a constitutional burden requiring suitable funding of education.

The decision will send the issue back to the Legislature with orders to add more funding to school district budgets statewide next year.

The ruling also ordered a fairer distribution of state funding to ensure that students in poor districts have the same educational opportunities as their peers in wealthier communities.

* Ronald Feinman tells us what Nixon, Reagan and Trump have in common.

Richard Nixon in 1968 was able to convince South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu at the end of October to refuse to participate in peace talks in Paris, which President Lyndon B. Johnson had promoted with North Vietnam and the Viet Cong guerrillas. This intervention, which Johnson considered treason, helped Nixon to slow the surge of support that Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, the Democratic nominee, had gained in the last two weeks leading up to Election Day…

Ronald Reagan in 1980 had emissaries who secretly made contact with Iran’s revolutionary government of Ayatollah Khomeini, which was holding 52 Americans hostage since November 4, 1979, at the US Embassy in Teheran. President Jimmy Carter, running for reelection, was dogged by the stalemate in releasing the hostages, which reached a full year by Election Day, and the Reagan emissaries arranged for the hostages to be freed, only upon the hour of the inauguration of Reagan on January 20, 1981, therefore destroying any chance that Carter could claim the credit…

Now, we have Donald Trump, who manipulated public opinion on the issue of Hillary Clinton’s private email server…

But there is much more than that which has been revealed. We now know, despite vehement denials by President Trump and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and others, that there were all kinds of contacts and involvement between the Trump campaign and administration figures and Russian agents.

* Finally, it is time to say “Rest in Peace, Tom Petty.” This song feels like an appropriate way to do that for several reasons.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.