Background Briefing: June 6, 2022


As More and More Americans Are Killed in Mass Shootings, What Will the Senate Do?

We begin with the rash of gun violence in the country with 35 mass shootings since the May 14 massacre in Buffalo and assess what kind of gun safety reform might emerge from Senate negotiations underway. Joining us is Joshua Horwitz, the Co-Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence. He has spent more than two decades working on gun violence prevention issues and is the author of Guns, Democracy and the Insurrectionist Idea and we discuss how through June 1 this year according to the Washington Post Gun Violence Archive data, there has been more than 8,000 people killed in gun violence putting 2022 on track to be among the deadliest years for shootings since the turn of the century.


Will This Week’s Summit of the Americas Be a Bust?

Then we will examine whether this week’s Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles will be a bust since Mexico’s president has decided not to show up in protest against the Biden administration’s decision not to invite the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua. Joining us is Javier Corrales, a professor of Political Science at Amherst College who serves on the editorial board of Latin American Politics and Society and Americas Quarterly and has also been a consultant for the United Nations, the Center for Global Development, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 


Will Another Billionaire Real-Estate Developer’s $33 Million Buy a Political Office?

Then finally we assess the chances of another billionaire real-estate developer running for political office, this time not the presidency but for Mayor of Los Angeles and speak with Michael Hiltzik, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and columnist at Los Angeles Times. He received the Pulitzer Prize for articles exposing corruption in the entertainment industry and currently writes the twice-weekly column “Golden State,” covering business and economic issues relevant to life in California. His books include The New Deal: A Modern History and Iron Empires: Robber Barons, Railroadsand the Making of Modern America. We discuss his latest article at the LA Times, “The business of Rick Caruso: How a mayoral candidate amassed his fortune” and whether a rich anti-abortion Republican who had donated to GOP campaigns and only recently became a Democrat, can buy the votes of liberal Angelinos concerned about homelessness and crime.