By: Opinion Editor Alice Cheng
Local: New California gun control bill passed
In late August, the California Senate passed a bill that confiscates firearms from individuals who have the potential to commit acts of violence. Titled Assembly Bill 1014 (AB 1014), the legislation also includes a Gun Violence Restraining Order that prohibits individuals from purchasing firearms if sufficient evidence, including but not limited to substance abuse, is established. Assembly members, spurred by the recent Isla Vista shooting, hope that AB 1014 will help close the gap between California’s mental health and gun control laws.
National: Shooting in Ferguson escalates tensions in the community
The Justice Department issued an investigation into the practices of the Ferguson police department on September 4 as a result of the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager. Brown, a recent graduate from Normandy High School, was spending the summer with his grandmother. The events surrounding Michael Brown’s shooting are still unclear as police and witnesses offer contradicting reports of what happened. Several witnesses claim that Brown did nothing to instigate the violent actions of the police officer, while the officer states that Brown physically assaulted him. The investigation will look into any civil rights violations caused by the police department.
International: U.N. Security Council approves resolution to deter violence in Libya
In late August, after the Pentagon announced that Egypt and the United Arab Emirates may have been conducting clandestine airstrikes in Libya, the Security Council has decided to place sanctions on the parties involved in the violence. Egyptian leaders and the UAE minister have denied these allegations. The US, UK, French, and German governments have called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya in hopes that the country can smoothly undergo its current democratic transition.
Quirky: Disappearing gnomes cause chaos in Austria
After 400 gnomes holding campaign signs for the left-wing Social Democratic Party disappeared this past weekend, police forces of the state of Vorarlberg have launched an investigation. Called “coolmen,” the vanished 20-centimeter-tall gnomes wore sunglasses and were used in lieu of TV advertisements for the Social Democratic Party. Local party leader Michael Ritsch believes that the Austrian People’s Party, the primary rival of the Social Democratic Party, caused this conspicuous disappearance.