Weekly Review — February 28, 2018, 12:01 pm

Weekly Review

Magic bullets

Following the year’s 30th mass shooting, which claimed the lives of 17 people at a school in Parkland, Florida, lawmakers debated the best way to stop gun violence in American schools.[1][2][3][4] As the 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, and 35th mass shootings occurred, the third-ranking Republican in the House of Representatives, which has repeatedly passed amendments to federal funding bills that prevent the Centers for Disease Control from directly researching the causes of gun violence, said the killings could not be addressed with a “magic bullet”; and US president Donald Trump, who has previously expressed a fear of sharks, blood, stairs, watching prostitutes urinate, collecting rent in Cincinnati, and holding a 27-year-old bald eagle named Uncle Sam, said that an officer who did not intervene in the Parkland shooting was a “coward,” that he would have stopped the shooter himself even if he “didn’t have a weapon,” and that “highly trained” teachers should be armed in the classroom.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] A school board in Kentucky voted to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons, police in Louisiana raided the home of a student who observed that the symbol for a square root resembled a gun, and a high school in Pennsylvania suspended a teacher for discussing the Parkland shooting in class.[14][15][16] The governor of Kentucky said the country needed to have “an honest conversation” about violent music and pornography “in the hands” of “young people”; congresspersons in Florida rejected a ban on assault rifles and then passed a resolution that declared pornography a public heath risk; a former Pennsylvania senator blamed “absent dads” for mass shootings; and the National Rifle Association, which in combination with its self-described “lobbying arm” paid $5 million to lobbyists last year, announced through its chief spokeswoman that it wasn’t “a lobby group” for gun ownership.[17][18][19][20][21] Trump said the country must “do something” about how “young people’s thoughts” are shaped by “violence on video games”; and the NRA’s president said that “socialists” wanted to take away American’s handguns and semi-automatic rifles so that citizens wouldn’t be able to defend themselves against an attack by the US government, which employs a total of 1,373,650 active-duty personnel; owns 5,884 combat tanks, 41,062 armored vehicles, 1,934 self-propelled artillery guns, 19 aircraft carriers, 63 destroyers, 70 submarines, 2,296 fighter planes, and 947 attack helicopters; maintains a stockpile of 6,800 nuclear bombs, including some that are 80 times more powerful than the bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima during World War II; and operates on a budget of about $600 billion, which congressional Republicans said should be increased, and which the military used in part to fund Army-themed video games designed to recruit teenagers.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28] 

Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox. Subscribe to Harper’s Magazine today!

Share
Single Page

More from Joe Kloc:

From the May 2019 issue

Lost at Sea

Poverty and paradise at the edge of America

Weekly Review May 9, 2018, 4:25 pm

Weekly Review

Essential consultants

Weekly Review May 2, 2018, 3:40 pm

Weekly Review

The Count and the Candyman

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

October 2019

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Secrets and Lies·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1973, when Barry Singer was a fifteen-year-old student at New York’s Yeshiva University High School for Boys, the vice principal, Rabbi George Finkelstein, stopped him in a stairwell. Claiming he wanted to check his tzitzit—the strings attached to Singer’s prayer shawl—Finkelstein, Singer says, pushed the boy over the third-floor banister, in full view of his classmates, and reached down his pants. “If he’s not wearing tzitzit,” Finkelstein told the surrounding children, “he’s going over the stairs!”

“He played it as a joke, but I was completely at his mercy,” Singer recalled. For the rest of his time at Yeshiva, Singer would often wear his tzitzit on the outside of his shirt—though this was regarded as rebellious—for fear that Finkelstein might find an excuse to assault him again.

Post
Seeking Asylum·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Out of sight on Leros, the island of the damned

Post
Poem for Harm·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Reflections on harm in language and the trouble with Whitman

Article
Good Bad Bad Good·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

About fifteen years ago, my roommate and I developed a classification system for TV and movies. Each title was slotted into one of four categories: Good-Good; Bad-Good; Good-Bad; Bad-Bad. The first qualifier was qualitative, while the second represented a high-low binary, the title’s aspiration toward capital-A Art or lack thereof.

Some taxonomies were inarguable. The O.C., a Fox series about California rich kids and their beautiful swimming pools, was delightfully Good-Bad. Paul Haggis’s heavy-handed morality play, Crash, which won the Oscar for Best Picture, was gallingly Bad-Good. The films of Francois Truffaut, Good-Good; the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, Bad-Bad.

Article
Life after Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

For time ylost, this know ye,
By no way may recovered be.
—Chaucer

I spent thirty-eight years in prison and have been a free man for just under two. After killing a man named Thomas Allen Fellowes in a drunken, drugged-up fistfight in 1980, when I was nineteen years old, I was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Former California governor Jerry Brown commuted my sentence and I was released in 2017, five days before Christmas. The law in California, like in most states, grants the governor the right to alter sentences. After many years of advocating for the reformation of the prison system into one that encourages rehabilitation, I had my life restored to me.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

A solid-gold toilet named “America” was stolen from Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, in Oxfordshire, England.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

By

“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

Subscribe Today