Two years after the mass school shooting in Newtown, Conn., a majority of Americans say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns than for the government to limit access to firearms, a Pew Research Center survey conducted this month found.
The center said that it was the first time in two decades of its surveys on attitudes about firearms that a majority of Americans had expressed more support for gun ownership rights than for gun control.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said it was more important to protect gun ownership rights, and 46 percent said the priority should be controlled access to firearms.
In a 2000 Pew survey, 29 percent chose gun rights over gun control, and in a 2013 survey conducted a month after the Newtown shooting, 45 percent favored gun rights.
“To some extent, this is the continuation of a trend,” said Jocelyn Kiley, associate director for research at the Pew Research Center. “It may be that Newtown stunted that trend to some extent.”
On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown before killing himself in one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
The Pew poll on firearms, conducted in early December, also found that African-Americans have become increasingly likely to believe that firearm ownership does more to protect people than it does to threaten an individual’s safety, even as they continue to support gun control measures.
When asked in 2012, 29 percent of African-Americans said guns offered people protection rather than exposed them to greater danger, but in this year’s survey, the number of African-Americans who viewed firearms as offering more personal safety nearly doubled to 54 percent.
By contrast, the views of whites who believe guns are more likely to provide personal protection have changed more modestly — rising to 62 percent this year from 54 percent in 2012, the poll found.
Over all, 57 percent of Americans said gun ownership was more helpful in protecting people from becoming victims of crime, and 38 percent said it did more to endanger one’s safety. Read More
With Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. facing a deadline over whether to force a reporter for The New York Times to reveal his sources, Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, has recommended that Mr. Holder approve a subpoena for another journalist, a reporter for CBS News.
Mr. Bharara wants to force Richard Bonin, a longtime producer for “60 Minutes,” to testify next month at a terrorism trial over bombings by Al Qaeda in 1998. One of the two defendants, Khaled al-Fawwaz, is accused of running Al Qaeda’s media office in London. Prosecutors want Mr. Bonin to discuss his dealings with the group’s media office in an unsuccessful effort to interview Osama bin Laden in 1998, officials and others briefed on the case said.
No subpoena has been issued, but the recommendation comes at a difficult time for Mr. Holder, who has faced criticism from free-press groups for repeatedly issuing subpoenas to journalists. He said recently that his biggest regret was his handling of a subpoena for James Rosen, a reporter for Fox News whom the Justice Department described as a criminal co-conspirator for talking to a government official about classified information. Criticism over that case and others prompted the Justice Department to rewrite its rules for issuing subpoenas to journalists.
Mr. Holder faces a court-imposed deadline of Tuesday to decide whether to force James Risen, a reporter for The Times, to testify in the leak trial of a former C.I.A. officer. Mr. Risen has said he will not testify, exposing himself to potential jail time for obstruction. Mr. Holder has said he will not send a reporter to jail, but abandoning the subpoena would undermine his prosecutors, who say they need Mr. Risen’s testimony to win their case.
The CBS matter does not involve a leak investigation or confidential sources. Prosecutors want Mr. Bonin to testify about logistical conversations he had with Mr. Fawwaz to set up an interview with Bin Laden. The Justice Department declined to comment on the matter.
Coordinated bombings at two United States Embassies in Africa in 1998 pushed Al Qaeda into the headlines. Bin Laden issued a declaration of war against the United States as early as 1996, and several journalists tried to interview him for reports on the growing terrorist threat. Mr. Bonin’s interview, however, never materialized. Read More
AUSTIN, Tex. — Hours after his younger brother Lee Harvey Oswald, the presidential assassin, was gunned down in the basement of the Dallas police station, Robert Oswald wrote a $710 cashier’s check to a Fort Worth funeral home as he made arrangements for his brother’s burial.
The purchase included a No. 31 Pine Bluff coffin and vault, a dark suit and flowers. More than five decades later, the simple pine coffin — now badly deteriorating — is at the heart of an unlikely epilogue to the drama that gripped the nation on Nov. 22, 1963.
Three days after he assassinated President Kennedy from a sixth-floor window of the Texas School Book Depository, and a day after he himself was shot and killed by the nightclub owner Jack Ruby, Mr. Oswald was laid to rest in a Fort Worth cemetery in a service so poorly attended that reporters were used as pallbearers.
His body was exhumed in 1981 to dispel conspiracy theories, including assertions that the occupant of the coffin may have been a Soviet impostor. Mr. Oswald, his identity confirmed by medical tests, was reburied in a new coffin, and the original was stored for years in Baumgardner Funeral Home in Fort Worth.
Now, a little more than a year since the nation observed the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, the latest chapter in the tale of Mr. Oswald’s original coffin is playing out in a Fort Worth court.
After learning that Baumgardner Funeral Home sold the coffin through a Los Angeles auction house for $87,468, Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother filed suit to block the sale, contending that marketing the crumbling coffin was “ghoulish” and had no historical value. Read More
WELLFLEET, Mass. — For as long as anyone knows, young sea turtles have ventured up the East Coast, leaving warm seas to feed on crabs and other prey. And some of them have lingered too long in northern waters and been stunned when the season turns cold.
Around this time of year, volunteers regularly patrol the beaches of Cape Cod Bay to rescue turtles that wash up at high tide — all six species of sea turtles are endangered — so they can be rehabilitated and relocated to warmer shores in the South.
But this year the usual trickle of stranded turtles has turned into a flood, and nobody seems to know why.
Since mid-November, volunteers on turtle patrol have found nearly 1,200, almost all young Kemp’s ridley turtles, the most endangered of the six species. That is almost three times as many as in the previous record year, and many more times the number in an average year. More turtles are being found every day.
Most of them have survived, but hundreds have not.
The stranded turtles, typically 2 to 3 years old and each of them between the size of a dinner plate and a serving platter, have stretched the abilities of the veterinarians and volunteers who rescued them, and the capacities of aquariums as far away as Texas to care for the survivors until they can be released. Read More
More than 3.5 billion years ago, a meteor slammed into Mars near its equator, carving a 96-mile depression now known as Gale Crater. That was unremarkable. Back then, Mars, Earth and other bodies in the inner solar system were regularly pummeled by space rocks, leaving crater scars large and small. What was remarkable was what happened after the impact. Even though planetary scientists disagree on exactly what that was, they can clearly see the result: a mountain rising more than three miles from the floor of Gale. More remarkable still, the mountain is layer upon layer of sedimentary rock. READ MORE