#215 Mass Shootings: After El Paso & Dayton

Most of America's deadliest mass killings have happened within the last ten years. The deaths of more than 30 people in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, have led to renewed demands for federal background checks and gun violence restraining orders, or "red flag" laws.

America is also facing a growing crisis of violent extremism and white nationalist terrorism. The FBI and other law enforcement agencies are under pressure to expand their investigations.

In testimony before Congress, FBI Director Christopher Wray, said white supremacy poses a “persistent” and “pervasive” threat to the United States.

In this episode, we look at a range of solutions, with the understanding that no single proposal is likely to lead to a dramatic reduction in domestic terrorism, mass shootings, gun homicides, or racial hatred.

We hear from James Burnett, Editorial Director of The Trace, an independent news site that covers America's gun violence crisis. He explains that the U.S. has the highest homicide rate among all industrialized countries, but that only 2% of all deaths are in mass shootings. 

Critics of President Trump say his harsh language and repeated claims of an "hispanic invasion" have contributed to fear and violence. Bob Spitz, author of “Reagan: An American Journey” tells us about some important lessons to be learned from President Reagan’s style of leadership. And we repeat part of Gregg Easterbrook's argument on "How Do We Fix It?" that pretending everything is awful, when many things for most people have never been better, "keeps Americans in an endless state of depression and anxiety, preventing reforms such as gun regulation".