[Authentic] Assignment – The Nation

Details: The Nation. since 1865
UPFRONT
4 NRA by the Numbers:
Outsized Lobbying; 8
These Men Have Blood
on Their Hands: Top
NRA Recipients in
Congress; 11 Back Issues:
(1978) A World Man
3 Act Up for Gun
Control
4 Don’t Stop the Music
Richard Kim
5 The Score
Bryce Covert
COLUMNS
6 The Liberal Media
Broken Cable
Eric Alterman
10 Between the Lines
Each Other’s Keeper
Laila Lalami
11 Deadline Poet
An Explanation of
Trump’s Explanation
Calvin Trillin
Features
12 Attack of the
Superbugs
Sonia Shah
New contagions are a
scientific challenge—and a
political one.
16 The Genius of
Jane Jacobs
Roberta Brandes Gratz
She insisted on the
importance of local wisdom
in urban planning.
18 A Plague of Private-
Prison Deaths
Seth Freed Wessler
Inmates are dying, and the
US government is ignoring
its own watchdogs.
Books &
the Arts
27 The Odd Couple
Peter E. Gordon
32 The Repossessed
Alisa Solomon
35 Brave Peculiarity
David Hajdu
37 Shelf Life
Larissa Pham
VOLUME 303, NUMBERS 1&2,
July 4/11, 2016
The digital version of this issue is
available to all subscribers June 16
at TheNation.com.
Cover illustration by Edel Rodriguez.T
he massacre in Orlando, Florida, will haunt us for a long
time. The worst mass shooting in modern American history
took place at Pulse, a gay nightclub where patrons
were enjoying “Latin Night” and also celebrating Pride
Month. Forty-nine people were killed and another 53 wounded. Mostly
Act Up for Gun Control
Latino and LGBT, the dead include Franky Jimmy
Dejesus Velazquez, a professional jíbaro dancer
from Puerto Rico who at age 50 was the oldest victim,
as well as Akyra Monet Murray, 18, the youngest.
Murray had just graduated from high school
and was looking forward to starting college on a
full basketball scholarship. In between are 47 other
beloved human beings—healthcare workers, veterans,
cancer survivors, mothers, brothers, students,
retail workers, girlfriends, boyfriends—whose loss
is breaking someone’s heart right now.
Around the world, in acts large and
small, people of conscience expressed their
solidarity with the citizens of Orlando and
with LGBT people, especially those of
color. Thousands of Floridians waited for
hours to donate blood in a line whose
length could only be captured by a helicopter’s
aerial footage. Vigils sprang up in
the gay neighborhoods of world capitals,
but also in the Main Streets of small towns
across the country. And, in what has now become an
all-too-familiar gesture, President Obama performed
something of a Greek chorus, mourning the dead and
lamenting this country’s inability to pass gun-control
laws: “This massacre is therefore a further reminder
of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on
a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school,
or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a
nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of
country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is
a decision as well.”
In contrast, the presumptive Republican nominee,
Donald Trump, demonstrated once again that
he is unfit not only to be president, but to possess
any kind of leadership position whatsoever. While
barely expressing sympathy for the victims, Trump
bragged on Twitter that the attack proved the wisdom
of his proposal to ban all Muslim immigrants
to the United States—even though the perpetrator,
Omar Mateen, was a natural-born American citizen.
He called on President Obama to resign because
he did not use the words “radical Islam” in the immediate
aftermath, and went so far as to suggest that
Obama had some kind of connection to the Orlando
attack itself, presumably because Trump believes the
president is a secret Muslim. In a terrifying speech,
Trump launched blanket accusations at Muslims
and claimed that the United States has “no real
checks or scrutiny” for new immigrants
(it does). When his conspiracy theories
were challenged by The Washington Post,
Trump banned the paper’s reporters from
attending his events, as he has also done to
journalists from BuzzFeed, The Huffington
Post, Univision, The Daily Beast, and
Politico—demonstrating that he truly intends
to govern as a demagogue with
contempt for the role of a free press in
a democracy. Just as Americans stood up
in solidarity with victims of the Orlando shooting,
so too must we rise up to forcefully reject Trump’s
divisive, hateful politi…

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