Background Briefing: March 23, 2021


The Seventh Mass Shooting in Seven Days in Gun-soaked America

We begin with the seventh mass shooting in the U.S. in just this last seven days with 10 killed in a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado on Monday by a 21 year old with an assault rifle Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. A resident of Boulder who shops at the supermarket which was the scene of yesterday’s massacre, Aya Gruber, Professor of Law at the University of Colorado School of Law who writes in the areas of criminal law and procedure, comparative and international law, critical theory and feminism and is the author of The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration, joins us. We discuss the shock and unease in Boulder which is in a state that has already experienced the Columbine school massacre, the shooting at Planned Parenthood of Colorado Springs, the Aurora Theater massacre and the STEM school shooting in Highlands Ranch.


The NRA “Victory” in Striking Down a Boulder City Ordinance to Ban Assault Rifles

Then we speak with Saul Cornell, Chair in American History at Fordham University and the author of A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America, Whose Rights to Bear Arms Did the Second Amendment Protect? and his latest, The Second Amendment Goes to Court. We discuss how the NRA just celebrated a “victory” in having a Colorado state court strike down a Boulder city ordinance that banned assault rifles like the one used in the latest massacre.


Biden’s Opening Salvo in Diplomacy Between Superpowers

Then finally we look into the Biden administration’s opening salvos in diplomacy between superpowers with Biden calling Putin a killer and Blinken getting into a shouting match with China’s Foreign Minister as well as threatening sanctions against a key NATO ally Germany. Graham Fuller, a former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA who is currently a professor of history at Simon Fraser University, joins us to discuss his article at Responsible Statecraft, “Hell hath no fury like a superpower in decline.”