Inside Congress’s Battle for Prison Reform Under Trump

What a difference a year makes. While in 2017 efforts to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system seemed to fizzle out completely on Capitol Hill, this year it seems to be gaining momentum – and that’s in part because of the president himself.

“As America regains its strength, this opportunity must be extended to all citizens,” Donald Trump said in his fist State of the Union

This article originally appeared on Inside Congress’s Battle for Prison Reform Under Trump

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Source:: Rolling Stone – Latest Politics News

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: After Another Shooting

Today in 5 Lines

In the aftermath of the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, President Trump stressed the need to address mental-health issues, but did not touch on gun laws. Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old charged with killing 17 people at the school, made his first appearance in court. The FBI was warned about the alleged shooter in September. The Senate failed to advance a bipartisan immigration deal. During a closed-door meeting with the House Intelligence Committee, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon refused to answer some of the panel’s questions related to his time at the White House.

Today on The Atlantic

‘They Deserve a Vote’: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has prevented even the most popular gun-control proposals from coming to a vote. (James Fallows)

Back in 1996: Here’s why the U.S. doesn’t treat gun violence as a public-health problem. (Sarah Zhang)

Just Words?: On Thursday, President Trump called for increased vigilance to prevent mass shootings. But alerting authorities isn’t always enough. (David A. Graham)

The Once and Future Speaker?: Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has stuck around longer than any other Democrat or Republican leader. But if she stays on after the midterms, will she hold Democrats back? (Russell Berman)

Why Not AR-15s?: People who are willing to ban porn should be open to discussing further regulation of firearms, argues James Hamblin.

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.

SnapshotAustin Burden, 17, cries on the shoulder of a friend after a vigil at the Parkland Baptist Church, for the victims of the Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida. Gerald Herbert / AP

What We’re Reading

The Responsibility of a Free People: Gun legislation won’t stop mass shootings like the one in Florida, argues David French. Instead, people …read more

Source:: <a href= target="_blank" title="The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: After Another Shooting” >The Atlantic – Politics

They Deserve a Vote

The financial and political power of the National Rifle Association leaves many politicians terrified of crossing it in any way. Because of its ideological and propaganda power, a segment of Americans has come to equate any proposed limit on gun use or ownership as a catastrophic step toward the extinction of individual liberties and the completion of a confiscatory, totalitarian state.

Americans recognize that public-safety controls on use of a car—licensing laws, speed limits, insurance requirements, DUI penalties—don’t threaten the “right to drive.” They recognize that restrictions on some prescription drugs don’t threaten their right to buy and use aspirin, nor limits on what they can carry onto a plane threaten their right to travel or fly. But the NRA and its allies have succeeded in making gun control an absolute issue. If you believe in the Second Amendment, then whatever the potential control—on gun-show sales, on bulk purchases of ammunition, on waiting times for background checks—is a step not so much onto a slippery slope as over a cliff and into the abyss.

Thus even a restriction that seemed common sense a generation ago—for instance, banning a weapon like the AR-15 that was explicitly designed for use by troops in combat, and never meant to be in civilian hands—now is anathema. A weapon meant for soldiers or perhaps SWAT teams has now been sold by the millions to civilians in the United States, who use it mainly for “personal protection” and “hunting,” but also in most mass killings. “I think the shift you’re seeing now is the military-style weapon is here to stay because it’s appealing to a whole new generation,” Steve Denny, owner of a gun shop in North Carolina, told John Boyle of the Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen Times back in 2014. “You can see …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: ‘It Is a Horrible Day For Us’

Today in 5 Lines

Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie said there are “numerous fatalities” after a gunman opened fired at a high school in Parkland, Florida, adding “It is a horrible day for us.” President Trump spoke with Florida Governor Rick Scott about the shooting and offered condolences to the families of the victims. Trump addressed former Staff Secretary Rob Porter’s domestic-violence accusations, telling reporters he’s “totally opposed to domestic violence of any kind.” Republican Representative Trey Gowdy said his House Oversight Committee is investigating the White House’s handling of Porter’s employment. Senate moderates are expected to unveil a bipartisan proposal on immigration Wednesday evening.

Today on The Atlantic

Inside Peak: A network analysis of previous administrations shows that Donald Trump’s inner circle of close advisors surprisingly resembles Bill Clinton’s more than Richard Nixon’s. (Niall Ferguson and Manny Rincon-Cruz)

‘Deep Breaths and Calmer Second Thoughts’: The incensed reaction to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s comments about Anglo-American legal heritage is “merely absurd” and threatens to inspire counter-radicalization. (David Frum)

Inching Toward the Senate Seat: North Dakota Representative Kevin Cramer received an offer from Oklahoma oil tycoon Harold Hamm to be his finance chair—the clearest sign yet that Cramer may launch a campaign to unseat Senator Heidi Heitkamp. (Elaina Plott)

Economy, Exhaustion, and Equilibrium: President Trump’s poll numbers seem to be improving. Here are three reasons why. (David A. Graham)

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.

SnapshotParents wait for news after reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Joel Auerbach / AP

What We’re Reading

This Isn’t Normal: Why is the American media constantly calling out President Trump for being unconventional when his presidency has been relatively normal? (Ben Shapiro, Townhall)

Flying First Class: Following reports that he flies …read more

Source:: <a href= target="_blank" title="The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: ‘It Is a Horrible Day For Us'” >The Atlantic – Politics