05-24-2018  4:05 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Attorney General Forms Hate Crime Task Force

The task force will study hate-motivated crimes and review existing legal protections for victims ...

Portland Art Museum Celebrates Art Museum Day with Free Admission on May 25

Portland Art Museum joins art museums across North America, with great works of art and public programs ...

June Key Delta Community Center Hosts May Week ’18 Health Fair May 26

Event includes vision, glucose screenings, medication disposal and car seat installation ...

Mississippi Avenue Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 22, 10 percent of proceeds from participating Mississippi Ave. businesses will go to SEI ...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — An "unlikely" string of events prompted Amazon's Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an...

Portland streetcar derails in crash; 1 injury

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Portland streetcar derailed during an accident involving several vehicles.No major injuries have been reported, but police say one person was taken to a hospital.The crash happened early Thursday afternoon in the Central Eastside Industrial District.The streetcar's "B...

Suspect in 1986 Washington murder case pleads not guilty

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A man arrested in the killing of a 13-year-old Tacoma, Washington girl over three decades ago has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.The News Tribune reports 60-year-old Robert Washburn pleaded not guilty Thursday in Tacoma, Washington, to murder with aggravated...

Amazon: Echo device sent conversation to family's contact

SEATTLE (AP) — An "unlikely" string of events prompted Amazon's Echo personal assistant device to record a Portland, Oregon, family's private conversation and then send the recording to an acquaintance in Seattle, the company said Thursday.The woman told KIRO-TV that two weeks ago an...

OPINION

Racism After Graduation May Just Be What's on the Menu

Dr. Julianne Malveaux says that for our young millennials, racism is inevitable ...

Prime Minister Netanyahu Shows Limits of Israel’s Democracy

Bill Fletcher, Jr. on racial politics in Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s uneven treatment of African immigrants ...

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Staley settles lawsuit against Missouri athletic director

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has reached a ,000 settlement in her lawsuit against Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk.Missouri is paying the ,000. One half of the settlement will go to INNERSOLE, a nonprofit foundation co-founded by Staley. The other half will...

San Francisco police not charged in black man's 2015 killing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco prosecutors said Thursday that they will not charge officers in two shooting deaths, including the killing of a black man that led to citywide protests three years ago and federally recommended police reforms.District Attorney George Gascon declined to...

Body camera video is latest setback for Milwaukee police

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Body camera video showing police using a stun gun on an NBA player over a parking violation is just the latest setback for efforts to improve relations between Milwaukee officers and the city's black population.The confrontation involving Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee...

ENTERTAINMENT

Scenes cut from 'Show Dogs' over resemblance to sexual abuse

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two scenes are being cut from the family movie "Show Dogs" after complaints that they resemble real-life sexual abuse, the movie's distributor has announced.In the movie, a police dog goes undercover at a dog show to catch animal smugglers.In one scene, the dog is told to...

Tommy Chong reflects on pot's evolution as he turns 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana legalization would be sweeping America.He knew when he and partner Cheech Marin pioneered stoner comedy 50 years ago, a time when taunting the establishment with constant reminders that they...

Paltrow: Brad Pitt threatened Harvey Weinstein

NEW YORK (AP) — Gwyneth Paltrow says ex-boyfriend Brad Pitt threatened producer Harvey Weinstein after an alleged incident of sexual misconduct.The 45-year-old actress told "The Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday she was "blindsided." Paltrow claimed she was 22 when Weinstein placed his hands...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

MLB panel says baseballs getting extra lift, cause unknown

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseballs really have been getting extra lift since 2015, and it's not from the exaggerated...

Tommy Chong reflects on pot's evolution as he turns 80

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Yeah man, Tommy Chong says he always knew he'd live to see the day marijuana...

Bus driver charged in crash that killed student, teacher

A school bus driver with a history of driver's license suspensions caused a fatal crash on a New Jersey highway...

Israel defense chief plans 2,500 new West Bank settler homes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's defense minister said Thursday he will seek approval next week to fast-track...

Cyclone Mekunu pounds Yemen island on its path to Oman

SALALAH, Oman (AP) — Cyclone Mekunu roared over the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on its way...

Saudi Arabia releases 3 women as other activists still held

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi authorities have released three prominent women's rights...

Thom Patterson CNN

(CNN) -- Two couples rooted in the American mainstream. Two spouses who were nearly killed by mentally ill gunmen.

The comparisons are striking.

Jim and Sarah Brady were loyal Republicans entrenched in Washington politics: she, the daughter of an FBI agent, and he, a Midwestern Eagle Scout. As Ronald Reagan's press secretary, Jim Brady took a bullet from a would-be presidential assassin, leaving him with a debilitating head wound.

Mark Kelly and Gabrielle Giffords could be considered the ultimate Washington power couple of the 21st century. She's a former red-state Democratic congresswoman, a gun owner and a defender of the Second Amendment. Her ex-astronaut husband is a combat war veteran and the son of retired police officers.

It's been two years since a gunman shot Giffords in the head and killed six others outside an Arizona grocery store in what police called an attempted assassination.

The Bradys have spent almost three decades battling America's powerful gun lobby, eventually winning passage of laws requiring background checks for some firearms and bans on some military-style weapons.

Now, Giffords and Kelly are joining that fight, spurred by the December 14 school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

Virtually unknown on a national level until the Tucson shooting, Giffords became a household name after her remarkable recovery from a gunshot wound to the head. That fame provides a bright spotlight for her new crusade.

Accusing political leaders of being afraid and of doing nothing, they've formed a political action committee against what they call an "ideological fringe" that uses "big money" to "cow Congress into submission."

Just as the Bradys blazed a trail for the nation's gun control movement, Giffords and her husband are poised to be the next wave.

Outrage and sorrow from Newtown have made this the most opportune time in more than a decade for the passage of new gun control laws, activists say. "We certainly can't allow ourselves to continue down this road when this happens almost now as a regular occurrence," Kelly told CNN's Piers Morgan on Thursday.

"On issues like assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and universal background checks, we differ with the (National Rifle Association) leadership," Kelly said. "But in fact, I think a lot of our positions on this subject are much in line with the NRA membership."

There's no doubt that when Giffords and Kelly hit Capitol Hill, they'll be stirring up a hornet's nest of gun owners who believe that background checks and bans on military-style weapons violate their constitutional rights.

But Sarah Brady says Giffords and Kelly are the right people for the task.

"You kind of need a public face -- and public faces certainly help," said Brady, longtime leader of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "But the most important thing is a really committed, wonderful team, and that's what we had during those battles."

'No-nonsense people'

Pam Simon remembers the day Giffords first became a victim of gun violence. She remembers it well because she herself was among the victims, suffering wounds to her chest and hand. Simon was also there the day her longtime friend decided to take a stand on the issue.

Simon stopped by Giffords' Tucson home the day of the Newtown massacre, greeting her and then asking delicately, "Have you heard the news?"

" 'Awful,' " she recalled Giffords responding, overcome by the weight of the tragedy.

Just a few months earlier, Simon had said to Giffords, "Your job is to inspire people, on a whole variety of issues." Now, she thought, the task at hand couldn't be clearer.

Giffords' toughness and tenacity, said Simon, would be effective tools to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.

"Mark and Gabby are both no-nonsense people," Simon said. "If there's a problem, they get it done. Gabby has always had a true moral compass. And Mark, I mean, he's an astronaut. Astronauts see a problem, and they get it fixed."

No doubt about it, Kelly has a unique résumé, spanning an eye-popping assortment of jobs from ambulance driver to Merchant Marine cadet to combat naval aviator and, finally, to shuttle and space station astronaut.

He's one of twin brothers (his brother, Scott, is also an astronaut) born to police officers in Orange, New Jersey.

"I think going to the public school kind of made me what I am today," Kelly said during a NASA interview. He filled the time between classes with baseball, swimming, track and football.

Winning a spot at the Merchant Marine Academy, Kelly, now 48, worked on a grain carrier ship as it inched its way across the Pacific. "I thought, 'Boy, this is way too slow,' " he said. "That's when I started thinking about flying airplanes in the Navy."

Years later, after flying the final mission of the space shuttle Endeavour, Kelly said, he realized that his Navy and NASA training had prepared him to help his wife after she was shot.

"I did see, you know, some parallels between what I had to deal with in flying airplanes and flying the space shuttle and what I had to deal with in handling this situation," Kelly told Morgan in 2011. "I would think about these things in the context of, you know, what information do I have ... what kind of decision do I need to make, and do I need to make the decision right now, or can this wait?"

Giffords, 42, grew up in the same city where her life nearly ended on January 8, 2011. The daughter of a Tucson school board member, she attended Scripps College in California and later at Cornell, where she studied regional planning. She entered politics in 2000, winning a seat in Arizona's legislature and later in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Kelly and Giffords met during a 2003 work trip to China. They reconnected again a year later after Kelly -- who had been married with two girls -- divorced his first wife. They started a long-distance relationship between Houston and Tucson, and by 2006, Giffords and Kelly were married.

The Tucson shooting didn't change Giffords' personality; it amplified it, Simon said. Giffords has relied on her resilience, Simon said, to recover from wounds that have left her with a brain injury, partial blindness and a paralyzed right arm. She resigned from Congress a year ago to focus on her recovery.

"Her speaking is really coming along," Simon said.

Kelly has spoken about some of the most personal ways that the Tucson attack has changed him. Until the shooting, he said, he hadn't been a "big believer in faith."

"I thought the world just spins, and the clock just ticks, and things happen for no particular reason," Kelly said.

'Willing to put herself out there'

The couple's visit last week to Newtown may have revealed their lobbying strategy: more personal. Less public.

The media were not invited as Kelly and Giffords met privately with parents whose children had been shot to death by a 20-year-old armed a military-style weapon, as well as two handguns.

The "first couple that we spoke to, the dad took out his cell phone and showed us a picture of his daughter, and I just about lost it, just by looking at the picture," Kelly told ABC News. "It was just very tough, and it brought back a lot of memories about what that was like for us some two years ago."

"I have a lot of regard for her," said Pat Llodra, a Newtown community leader who also met with Kelly and Giffords. "She was harmed, and she was still willing to put herself out there to make a change."

Simon expects to see and hear a lot more from Giffords in the coming months. "She and Mark intend to work together as a team," she said.

What Giffords and Kelly share with the Bradys is their movement toward activism through the power of their own personal tragedies.

Brady has held off reaching out to Giffords and Kelly out of respect for their privacy. "I would love to speak to them now and just thank them for stepping up to the plate and wanting to help on this issue."

They're both heroes, she said.

"None of us were activists until the shootings happened."

Sarah Brady didn't enter the gun control fray until four years after her husband had been wounded. That's when Jim Brady's injuries and the horror of seeing her 6-year-old son, Scott, accidentally handling a handgun crystallized her mission one night in 1985. "It just hit me like a ton of bricks," she said. "So I asked Jim if he felt comfortable with me speaking out, and he said, 'of course.' "

After that, the Bradys made it their business to be gun control activists.

Despite budgets that were just a fraction of the gun lobby's, the Bradys and their colleagues helped pass federal and state laws, including Maryland's 1988 ban on cheap handguns known as Saturday night specials, 1993's Brady Law requiring background checks on certain kinds of gun purchases and a ban on manufacturing and future sales of some military-style firearms, which lasted from 1994 to 2004.

Three decades after John Hinckley Jr. shot Reagan, Jim Brady and two others outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, Brady, now 72, has had a tough year, his wife said. "He no longer can stand. He has lost his sight, and he is in some pain. But his mind and everything else is perfect."

Lessons learned

The Bradys' victories may offer winning strategy ideas for Giffords and Kelly.

"Far be it for me to give them advice," said Sarah Brady, now 70. But she's found it helpful to "let members of Congress who are straddling the fence know that public opinion is with you. Make it an embarrassment if they don't do the right thing."

The Brady Law has kept deadly firearms out of the hands of more than 2 million people who failed background checks, according to Brady's group.

Giffords and Kelly say they want Congress to expand the law to require background checks for all gun buyers. Brady agrees.

"We can pass something very, very quickly in the area of background checks," Brady said. "But there are a lot of things that could derail it. With so much of the media everywhere and so many things going on all the time, none of us have the attention span we used to have to stay on one subject. If something new happens, then the discussion will move somewhere else. We've got to stay focused and stay on task and do it quickly."

Brady is optimistic that Congress will vote to expand background checks on firearms purchases. "I think it can be done," she said. "Do I think it's going to be done? I'm not sure. It's going to depend on people like Jim and me and Gabby and Mark."

 ™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

 

Oregon Lottery
Calendar

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

The Skanner Report

repulsing the monkey