“You’ll get my assault weapon when you pry it out of my curious six-year-old’s cold dead hands.” — ANTHONY JESELNIK
RELATED: President Obama’s campaign for new federal gun control laws takes him to Colorado on Wednesday, and next week back to Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre renewed the nation’s fraught conversation about guns. Though his trip to Connecticut was designed to coincide with the start of gun control debate in the U.S. Senate, that even further, and the president’s push for comprehensive federal legislation appears to be in jeopardy. “People assume the demise of this [Senate gun control] bill was how slowly it moved,” says Jennifer Duffy, senior editor at the Cook Political Report, which provides nonpartisan political analysis. “But it had more to do with the fact that it has more hot buttons in it than most legislation since health care reform. And without any of the sweeteners.”
Another reason is simple re-election politics, especially for Democratic senators in more conservative states facing 2014 races, including Mark Pryor in Arkansas, Mark Begich in Alaska and Mary Landrieu in Louisiana. Pryor and Begich oppose an assault weapons ban, and Landrieu is the subject of ads, funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to support comprehensive background checks on gun buyers. Politically, the picture is similar in the states. A handful of blue states — including Connecticut, which is expected to pass strict new legislation Wednesday — have approved more stringent gun laws since the Dec. 14 school massacre.
President Obama wipes away tears as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting Dec. 14 in the White House briefing room. Obama was in Colorado on Wednesday and planned to visit Connecticut next week to keep pushing for new gun laws.
Obama was in Colorado on Wednesday and planned to visit Connecticut next week to keep pushing for new gun laws. But many more red states have taken the opposite tack and eased gun laws, expanding, in particular, the ability of residents to carry concealed weapons, , which advocates for gun control laws at the state level. “The country has sorted, most people have aligned or realigned politically,” says Stuart Rothenberg, analyst and editor of his eponymous, nonpartisan political report. “That makes many of our issues, which weren’t partisan before, partisan now.” Politicians like Pryor and Landrieu, he says, are “caught between a rock and a hard place.” Translation: The horrors of the shooting spree, when Adam Lanza in a matter of minutes used semi-automatic firearms to massacre 20 children and six adults, have proven not enough to change political reality. MORE
The Black Angels build on bands that ARE our faves: Spacemen 3, Loop, Joy Division, and of course the Velvet Underground, from whom they copped their name (“Black Angel’s Death Song” being a track from Velvet Underground and Nico, and The Black Angels make the connection explicit by naming their publishing company Death Song). They do a great job of synthesizing and celebrating their influences, creating throbbing, druggy, hypnotically repetitive spaced out psychedelic pop, full of fuzzy guitars and swirling sitars, heavy and jammy, moody and melodic too. With floating female vocals that remind us not only of Nico, but also a bit of Siouxsie and the Banshees. The Black Angels play Union Transfer Sunday with Elephant Stone. MORE