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Mitch Perry Report for 6.19.15 — American terrorism, continued

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The Charleston shootings on Wednesday night was clearly an act of domestic terrorism. The racial element was also first and foremost in the young killer’s motivation.

Now what?

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries,” President Obama said from the White House Briefing Room yesterday. “It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”

But again, what is that? Or is there anything that can be done, or do we shrug our shoulders and say, hey, in a land of 315 million people, you’re not going to stop some nut?

“I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now,” Obama continued at his presser. “But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it. And at some point, it’s going to be important for the American people to come to grips with it, and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.”

Later in the day, Hillary Clinton also weighed in.

“We have to face hard truths about race, violence, guns and division,” the Democratic presidential candidate said in Las Vegas at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, or NALEO. “How many innocent people in our country from little children, church members to movie theater attendees, how many people do we need to see cut down before we act?”

How many, indeed?

Although we’re only a day into absorbing this tragedy, this act of violence could catapult parts of our nation to try to accomplish something in terms of guns. The last time that happened was after the December 14, 2012, slaying of 26 people in Newtown, Conn., at Sandy Hook Elementary. As everyone knows, the various proposals to try to address that tragedy ultimately whittled down to one  specific issue before Congress — universal background checks. That legislation did get support from a majority of U.S. senators in April of 2013, but not the 60 votes required for passage. And then nothing happened after that.

It’s sad to believe that as a society we’ve given up on trying to stop these senseless acts of violence, which all share the common set of facts of a disturbed person having access to firearms.

In other news…

Democratic Senate candidate Pam Keith has a large, uphill battle to try to wrest the nomination from Patrick Murphy next year. She’d appreciate it if the Florida Democratic Party would be neutral in the contest.

The special session in Tallahassee ends today, and once again, a tax incentive package to lure Hollywood productions isn’t in the final mix.

Trade promotion authority for President Obama was passed (narrowly) in the House yesterday. Pasco County Republican Gus Bilirakis tells his constituents that he really isn’t giving too much power to President Obama.

Meanwhile, Orlando Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson calls the vote an “unpardonable offense” to American workers.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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