For serious primary voters, the parade of Democratic candidates is no joke

OPINION — CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The number of Democratic hopefuls declaring, thinking about declaring or being pushed to declare their interest in the 2020 race is increasing so rapidly, it has already become a reliable punchline. But for voters looking to discover the person who offers sensible policies on the issues they care about while exuding the intangible “it” quality that could beat Donald Trump, it is serious business.

Forget about what magic the letter “B” might hold — think Bernie, Biden, Beto, Booker, Buttigieg and I know I’m forgetting someone, oh yes, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet — these voters are digging deeper on the candidates who will crowd a debate stage in Miami two nights in a row in June.

If Trump is looking for a national emergency, he should try these ones instead

OPINION — Dueling teleprompter speeches and a high-drama walkout: This is what it looks like when our country’s leaders debate the best way to meet the challenges at the border and whether shutting down the government is the best way to settle it.

If no one budges this week — and the way talks have been going so far, optimism is not particularly warranted — the next step could be a national emergency, declared by the president. But first Donald Trump seems intent on diluting the word “emergency” to mean whatever he wants it to mean on a particular day or hour.

After This Election, the NRA Is No Longer Calling All the Shots

OPINION — The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. It’s the mantra of the National Rifle Association, and a certainty for those who would brook no incursion into Second Amendment rights and definitely no gun control measures, no matter how small or “sensible,” as they are often described by those who propose them.

When children were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, and federal legislation that would strengthen background checkswent nowhere, gun control advocates despaired. If the murder of children failed to crack the gun lobby, what would?

But real-life events and political surprises indicate that the landscape might be changing. And the work of groups such as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun ViolenceMoms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and other large and small organizations has made a difference.

Where once politicians were loath to cross the NRA because of the organization’s hefty purse and powerful get-out-the-vote success, candidates in unlikely places are showing that a nuanced position is not a deal breaker. Earlier this month, Democrat Lucy McBath, a onetime spokesperson for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, won a House seat in Georgia that Newt Gingrich once held, no doubt surprising some leaders in her own party. Though the district has been trending away from its once deep-red hue for a while, a well-financed race by Democrat Jon Ossoff last year that engendered enthusiasm could not achieve what McBath did with far less attention.

Opinion: When the World of Politics Collides With the Real One

It is months away from November 2018, but that doesn’t stop predictions not only for the midterms but also for President Donald Trump’s re-election chances in 2020. But while the world of politics is preoccupied with whether a blue wave is inevitable or a figment of hopeful Democrats’ imagination, events outside the bubble might shift the electorate in unpredictable ways.

Opinion: Showing Your Gun — A New Campaign Strategy?

A U.S. House race in South Carolina may depend on how you define the word “brandish,” as in, what exactly do you call it when Republican Congressman Ralph Norman pulls out his gunin a Rock Hill diner meet-and-greet with constituents?

Though the state’s law enforcement division and attorney general have concluded “this is not a prosecutable offense,” Republicans and Democrats are weighing the political plusses and minuses of the recent event in light of a midterm race that gets more interesting by the day.

National School Walkouts in Charlotte: What’s Next?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Thousands of students across the country, and right here in Charlotte, are expected to walk out of their classrooms today to demonstrate against gun violence.

Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis talks about the planned protests, and steps students and families can take moving forward.

Charlotte Talks Friday News Roundup: NC Legislature Update; Cam Newton Makes Sexist Comment; More

On this edition of the local news roundup…

State lawmakers reconvened in Raleigh this week for another special legislative session. Overriding gubernatorial vetoesand a push to redraw judicial districts were topics that were tackled. We’ll talk about what, if anything, was accomplished.

The North Carolina Supreme Court dismissed a last-chance appeal to halt the I-77 toll lane project, ending the legal fight for the group Widen I-77. We’ll hear about the reaction from stakeholders.

Cam Newton’s comments about a female reporter went viral, causing widespread backlash and even talk that he’ll lose some of his sponsors. We’ll talk about what he said and the aftermath.

The homicide count in Charlotte for 2017 continues to rise, and this week officials changed the number from 2016 as well. We’ll discuss the change.

President Trump arrives in North Carolina this weekend for the first time since his election as president.

And we’ll bring you local politicians’ reactions to the mass shooting in Las Vegas and talk about the NRA and gun control with host Mike Collins and the roundup reporters on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

Tom BullockWFAE Reporter.

Sarah DeliaWFAE Reporter.

Mary C.Curtis, columnist at Roll Call and a contributor to other publications including WCCB News Rising and NBCBLK.

Ann Doss Helms, Reporter for The Charlotte Observer

Opinion: When Silence Says Everything

The parable of the frog being boiled alive — with the poor creature jumping out immediately if the water is red hot, but, if the heat is cranked up slowly, not realizing its plight until it’s too late — may not be based on science (so don’t try this on little Croaky). But in politics, sweating officials are still doing the backstroke.

Americans are becoming used to abhorrent events, shocked, and wondering if anything can be done to make things better. After every man-made or natural disaster, or every statement from a leader that crosses the line, we wonder if the water will ever be hot enough to get a rise out of those in charge. So we do the best we can.

My White Husband Loves Guns, Our Black Son Does Not

My husband likes guns – a lot. He collects a variety of pistols, rifles and shotguns and likes to shoot targets at the range and, occasionally, skeet.

When a clever squirrel figures out how to raid his fenced-in garden, he has been known to pick up the air rifle to scare it off. He once bought a pistol for me to carry in my car when I would return home very late from my copy editing job in Tucson, Ariz., where getting a gun was as easy as going to a shop and telling the clerk you weren’t a dangerous criminal. But once we moved back East, I was fine with keeping my distance.

Though guns are not an interest I share, his hobby never did more than amuse me—because you know how it is with married couples: compromise. He doesn’t join me on every theater outing, either. But the first time he took our young son to the range to enjoy the gun experience, I stopped smiling.

Weighing In on How the Orlando Shootings Are Shaping Campaign 2016


CHARLOTTE, NC — Presidential hopefuls are starting to weigh in following the deadliest mass killing on U.S. soil since 9/11. Mary C. Curtis weighs in on how the Orlando shooting is shaping the current political landscape and impacting the race for the White House.