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Putting health in context

first_imgOn his office wall, Dwayne Proctor has a map of the Metro system in his hometown of Washington, D.C. His version of the map shows life expectancy around each subway stop — where you get off as a measure of how long you’ll live.“If you live in the inner loop of the Beltway, then chances are your life expectancy is lower than if you live in one of the outer loops going out toward Maryland or Virginia,” said Proctor, a panelist at a March 3 forum at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.Proctor directs a portfolio of initiatives at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation aimed at eliminating disparities in health care. “It’s very, very clear that nonmedical social and economic disparities drive health outcomes,” he said.“If a child is growing up in an environment that has high stress [or] high trauma, she is more likely to have illnesses in her adult life,” Proctor said. If her neighborhood lacks access to quality health care, or supportive schools, or healthy food, or quality housing, or a clean environment, he said, she is more likely to face health complications later on.“When I look at that map on my wall I don’t see just the subway stops,” he said. “I see this little girl.”Proctor and fellow panelists at the “What Shapes Health” forum examined some of the factors — from childhood experiences and housing conditions to poor diet and access to health care — that make certain people likelier to end up sick than others.Presented in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and National Public Radio as part of the Policy Controversies series at the Harvard Chan School, the forum coincided with the release of a poll that found more than six in 10 people in the United States concerned about their future health.Nearly four in 10 of those surveyed reported having had one or more negative childhood experiences that they believed had a harmful impact on their adult health.“When the public thinks about the causes of ill health, it’s not just about germs,” said Robert Blendon, the Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard Chan School. “They also see access to medical care, personal behavior, stress, and pollution as affecting health.”Poll respondents saw the top five potential contributing factors to ill health as lack of access to high-quality care (42 percent); personal behavior (40 percent); viruses or bacteria (40 percent); high stress (37 percent); and exposure to air, water, or chemical pollution (35 percent).The rankings diverged among ethnic groups. African-Americans (56 percent) were more likely than whites (41 percent) to perceive lack of access to high-quality medical care as an extremely important cause of individual health problems. African-Americans also were likelier than whites to cite income (45 percent to 23 percent) and insufficient education (41 percent to 26 percent) as potential factors in ill health. Hispanics were more likely than non-Hispanic whites (46 percent to 31 percent) to say bad working conditions were extremely important.Low-income respondents (with annual household incomes of less than $25,000) were likelier than high-income people ($75,000 a year or more) to regard poor neighborhoods and housing conditions (40 percent to 27 percent) and bad working conditions (40 percent to 26 percent) as extremely important.Each panelist was asked by moderator Joe Neel, senior health editor at NPR News, to share a policy takeaway from the poll.“My sense is families do everything they can to take care of their children and each other and we constantly make that really hard,” said Lisa Berkman, professor of public policy and epidemiology at the Harvard Chan School. “The way that we could make that easier is to think about labor policies: living wages, sick days, family leave flexibility.”Rebecca Onie, co-founder and CEO of Health Leads, which connects low-income patients with nonmedical resources such as food and heating assistance, said: “For far too long we’ve allowed the health care system to operate in kind of a ‘data-free zone’ with respect to patient social needs.”Too often physicians “have no idea” whether “a patient is running out of food at the end of the month [or] can’t pay their heating bill or is living doubled or tripled up with another family,” Onie said. She recommended health care institutions be required to collect information about patients’ social needs, the better to engage and address them.Proctor said the findings made clear that people connect experiences in childhood with health in adulthood. “We really need to make certain we can find ways to improve the social and emotional well-being of children in this country.”The challenge is “getting people who don’t confront these issues every day to focus on them,” said Blendon. He suggested a national shift to themes that resonate universally, namely work and the welfare of children. “You have to have things people relate to,” he said.He cited efforts in Tennessee to address so-called “food deserts” — low-income neighborhoods in Nashville without grocery stores or ready access to healthy food — through such innovations as “mobile markets.” These efforts have taken hold because the wider public outside the food deserts agrees that access to healthy food is “incredibly important,” Blendon said.Workplace issues strike a similar chord. “The issue of work structure affects every family in America today,” he said. “The minute I take that as an issue, I can have people in suburban Topeka, Kansas, shaking their heads about how we have to do this.“To reach people we have to structure the issue in a way that people who don’t live with these problems every day can get in the middle of them,” Blendon said. “To me, kids and work cross a lot of boundaries. The poll could look a lot different if we focused on some of these issues in the future.”The panel discussion was streamed to the Web and is available for viewing here.last_img read more

Miserable night at wrong time for Manning

first_imgDenver Broncos’ Peyton Manning looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – The talk, at least before the Denver Broncos took a team vote and decided not to show up for the game, was that Peyton Manning might call it a career and ride off into the sunset after winning his second Super Bowl ring.After as miserable a performance as you will ever see on a big stage by a future Hall of Famer, the Broncos might be excused if they just don’t invite him back.They will, of course, because Manning can still put up big numbers and win more games than the average quarterback. He actually set a Super Bowl record Sunday night by completing 34 passes, though the vast majority were meaningless short throws that the Seattle Seahawks were more than happy to give him in a 43-8 blowout.But after a second Super Bowl flop where the 37-year-old seemed to be aging by the minute, it may be that Manning is destined to forever be among a large group of quarterbacks who win the big one only once.Yes, he had plenty of help from teammates who couldn’t hold onto the ball and others who seemed to forget how to tackle. Yes, the Seahawks have a suffocating defense filled with players who like to hit and strut and then do it all over again.But it was Manning and center Manny Ramirez who set the tone with a miscommunication for the ages on the opening play from scrimmage. And it was Manning who threw two first half interceptions that gave the opportunistic Seahawks a lead they weren’t about to give up.One of the greatest quarterbacks ever? Not this night, when Manning seemed jittery and unprepared against a Seahawks defense eager to stake a claim to greatness of their own.He wasn’t even the greatest in the Broncos locker room afterward, where John Elway stood against a wall and tried to give an explanation about something he couldn’t explain.“You gotta play well in this game,” Elway said. “Gotta play well to win.”That Manning didn’t even come close was a shocker, after a season where he set NFL records with 55 touchdown passes and 5,447 yards while leading the league’s top-ranked offense. He failed to become the first quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams, and is 11-12 in playoff games.Tom Brady has lost a few of these, but he never completely gave them away. Joe Montana wouldn’t have even dreamed of it.Heck, it’s hard to even imagine the other Manning sibling – who owns two rings of his own – losing like this.“To finish this way is very disappointing,” Manning said. “It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”That Manning was even playing at the end of the game is testament to his stubbornness, if nothing else. His night should have ended on the previous Denver possession, when he was hit while throwing and fumbled the ball away for his third turnover of the game.Maybe he just wanted to end with one good pass, and he did. After hitting reserve back C.J. Anderson on a throw across the middle for 14 yards, he settled for handing the ball off as the final seconds ticked off.Afterward, he dressed slowly in front of his locker, putting a knot in his tie and slipping on his suit coat. Then he trudged off, head down and hands in pocket, to the interview tent where he knew the questions ahead.The play that sent the game into a tailspin was blamed on crowd noise, though Manning has played in far noisier places than a MetLife stadium that was filled with 82,529 people with divided loyalties. Manning said he was moving forward to change the cadence when Ramirez snapped the football past him and running back Knowshon Moreno fell on it for a safety that was the fastest score in Super Bowl history.“It’s not the way you want to start a game,” he said. “For whatever reason we couldn’t get anything going after that.”Someone then asked Manning if the Broncos were embarrassed by a blowout in a game they had entered as slight favorites.“It’s not embarrassing at all, I would never use that word,” he said. “The word embarrassing is an insulting word, to tell you the truth.”With that, Manning was gone, with as nifty of an escape as he had made all night. He had said he had a lot to think about during the offseason, and it was time for the thinking to begin.He will be back, unless doctors who treat his neck say otherwise.But it’s hard to imagine how next season will end any better than this one did.____Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at [email protected] or http://twitter.com/timdahlberglast_img read more

Plans Withdrawn for Lifestyle and Bowling Centers At Fort

first_imgBy Laura D.C. Kolnoski |FORT MONMOUTH – Retail volatility played a role in a developer withdrawing from a “centerpiece” project of Fort Monmouth’s redevelopment. But the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) is striving to keep the plan in play.At a January 2017 press conference in Oceanport, Parcel B Redevelopment, LLC, owned by Paramount Realty Services, Inc. of Lakewood, unveiled renderings of Freedom Pointe Town Center, an 89-acre, $130 million “mixed-use lifestyle destination” projected for 2019 completion. Residential, office, entertainment, food and 350,000 square feet of retail were envisioned inside the brick Johnson Gates, the former main entrance to the fort, on Route 35 in Eatontown, with fountains and a playground. Renderings depicted storefronts bearing the names LL Bean, Patagonia, Tommy Bahama, Shake Shack, and an iPic dine-in movie theater.“We were unable to come to terms with Paramount so they pulled out,” said Dave Nuse, FMERA’s director of real estate development, at the agency’s Feb. 21 monthly meeting. “FMERA is now in negotiations with the second-ranked bidder.” Renderings and a virtual reality video of the Freedom Pointe were still on the website of MMA Architects a week later.“Paramount had its own problems and withdrew willingly,” said interim FMERA Chairman Robert Lucky. “We are committed to making this a livable town center for Eatontown.” Eatontown Mayor Dennis Connelly thanked the board for “giving it a good shot. It got watered down over time, partly because of the way retail is in this economy. We just want to see the best project for Eatontown.” Eatontown’s Monmouth Mall nearby is also proposed for a redevelopment expansion project with 700 residential units, currently stalled in litigation.The town center use was designated in FMERA’s master redevelopment plan for the 1,128-acre former Army base spanning portions of Eatontown, Oceanport and Tinton Falls. The project promises thousands of construction and permanent jobs. To attract and retain occupancy and foot traffic, amenities like ice skating rinks, holiday and special events, and high-tech shopping options were promised by Paramount Vice President Lee Zekaria, who visited “next generation” malls nationwide, incorporating the most successful features in his firm’s plan. During last year’s press conference, he deemed Freedom Pointe the “crown jewel” of the fort’s redevelopment. Zekaria did not respond to a request for comment by press time.“The town center is a gateway,” said FMERA Executive Director Bruce Steadman. “All the bids we received were based on that. We have the same plan in mind.” Procedures prohibit officials from revealing the identity of bidders during the evaluation/negotiation process.Bowling Center Back on the BlockThe Fort Monmouth Bowling Center along the Avenue of Memories in Eatontown has returned to the real estate market after its redeveloper, a family firm that owns two bowling alleys in North Jersey, notified FMERA it “was not prepared to close on the property within the timeframes specified,” officials said. The company, known as FMBEC (the sole original bidder for the center), withdrew its proposal for the 17,600-square-foot brick structure on 2.3 acres Feb. 14.“Our preference is that it remains a bowling center, but if someone offers a higher and better use that’s justifiable, we must look at it,” Steadman said. The board approved proceeding with an offer to purchase rather than sealed bids because “potential purchasers have expressed interest in acquiring and renovating the property for recreation, entertainment, and related uses,” wrote FMERA staff, adding they are seeking “greater flexibility for selecting the right scenario that would maximize the development potential and economic value of the Bowling Center.” Staff also recommended giving bidders the option of ground leasing the land, making the lessee potentially eligible to obtain a special state concessionaire permit to sell alcohol on the premises.This article first appeared in the Mar. 1-8, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

HOME RUN KITTEN TEPID 5-2 CHOICE IN WIDE OPEN GRADE III, $100,000 SAN SIMEON STAKES ON SUNDAY; COMPETITIVE FIELD OF EIGHT SET TO GO 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN CAMINO REAL TURF

first_img–30– ARCADIA, Calif. (April 17, 2015)–Tarabilla Farms’ Home Run Kitten cuts back in distance and heads a deep and competitive field of eight older horses in Sunday’s Grade III, $100,000 San Simeon Stakes at Santa Anita. To be contested at 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s Camino Real hillside turf course, the San Simeon will serve as the 2014-15 Winter Meet closing attraction, as Santa Anita will reopen for its Spring Meeting on Friday, April 24.Third, beaten 3 ¼ lengths in the Grade I Frank E. Kilroe Mile (turf) March 7, the David Hofmans-conditioned Home Run Kitten has two wins from three tries down the hill and will be ridden for the second time in-a-row by Gary Stevens. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Kitten’s Joy, Home Run Kitten closed much ground to be beaten four lengths in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Nov. 1, and it appears he’ll have a fast pace to run at on Sunday.Installed as the tepid 5-2 morning line favorite, Home Run Kitten is 13-4-2-4 overall with earnings of $329,800.John Sadler will saddle course specialist Sweet Swap, who drew the outside post with Joe Talamo. Owned by Hronis Racing, LLC, the 6-year-old Candy Ride horse comes off a front-running allowance score down the hill on March 13 and is 12-5-2-3 lifetime over the unique layout. With $390,529 in the bank, Sweet Swap is 17-7-3-3 overall.Trainer Jim Cassidy’s Holy Lute could prove problematic to anyone with front-running aspirations, as he finished first in a pair of hillside starts two and three starts back, on Feb. 12 and Jan. 17 (disqualified and placed second). Like the favorite, Holy Lute shortens up out of the Kilroe Mile, in which he showed good early speed and tired late to finish seventh, beaten 4 ¾ lengths.Owned by Class Racing Stable, Holy Lute will be ridden by Mike Smith, who won with him two starts back. A 5-year-old horse by Midnight Lute, Holy Lute is 13-3-2-3 overall with earnings of $243,922.With two wins from five lifetime starts down the hill, Doug O’Neill’s Pure Tactics comes off a close third in the one mile turf Thunder Road Stakes April 4 and the 6-year-old horse by Pure Prize merits considerable respect with Kent Desormeaux set ride him back. Owned by Nita Winner, Pure Tactics broke awkwardly and made a good run from off the pace to finish fourth, beaten 2 ¼ lengths by Home Run Kitten five starts back in the 6 ½ furlong turf Grade III Eddie D. Stakes on Sept. 26. Pure Tactics is 22-9-2-3 overall with earnings of $370,496.Idle since Aug. 16 at Arapahoe Park, Colorado-bred Get Happy Mister will try turf for the first time in his Southern California debut Sunday and will seek his sixth consecutive victory with red hot Tyler Baze aloft. Stabled at Los Alamitos for new trainer Mark Tsagalakis, Get Happy Mister worked a leisurely six furlongs over the Santa Anita turf in 1:19.40 on April 16. A winner of four consecutive stakes, the       5-year-old gelding by First Samurai’s most recent tally came in the 1 1/8 miles Arapahoe Park Classic.Owned by Annette Bishop, Get Happy Mister has 10 wins from 13 starts and has amassed earnings of $324,928.The complete field for the Grade III San Simeon Stakes, to be run as the seventh race on a nine-race card Sunday, with jockeys, weights and morning line in post position order: Get Happy Mister, Tyler Baze, 118, 8-1; Home Run Kitten, Gary Stevens, 120, 5-2; Joes Blazing Aaron, Edwin Maldonado, 118, 20-1; Outside Nashville, Drayden Van Dyke, 118, 15-1; Holy Lute, Mike Smith, 118, 3-1; Pure Tactics, Kent Desormeaux, 118, 7-2; U S Citizen, Victor Espinoza, 118, 6-1, and Sweet Swap, Joe Talamo, 118, 3-1.                First post time on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. COLORADO-BRED LONGSHOT GET HAPPY MISTER SEEKS SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN IN SO. CAL DEBUTlast_img read more

‘I don’t feel it is right for me’ – Man United’s Matic explains poppy omission

first_img Matic has previously worn a poppy around Armistice Day 2 It is the first time Matic has not worn a poppy since moving to English football, with the 30-year-old displaying one around November 11 in his previous seasons in the Premier League.Matic has since come out to explain his decision, releasing a statement on Instagram to confirm he no longer ‘feels it is right’ to wear a poppy.He wrote: “I recognise fully why people wear poppies, I totally respect everyone’s right to do so and I have total sympathy for anyone who has lost loved ones due to conflict.“However, for me it is only a reminder of an attack that I felt personally as a young, frightened 12-year old boy living in Vrelo, as my country was devastated by the bombing of Serbia in 1999. Whilst I have done so previously, on reflection I now don’t feel it is right for me to wear the poppy on my shirt. 2 Matic did not have a poppy on his shirt against Bournemouth Manchester United’s Nemanja Matic has explained why he took to the field on Saturday afternoon without a poppy on his shirt.Matic, the Serbia midfielder, was seen playing against Bournemouth with no poppy on display in the buildup to Armistice Day. “I do not want to undermine the poppy as a symbol of pride within Britain or offend anyone, however, we are all a product of our own upbringing and this is a personal choice for the reasons outlined.“I hope everyone understands my reasons now that I have explained them and I can concentrate on helping the team in the games that lie ahead.”Matic was not the only player to not wear a poppy over the weekend’s fixtures, with James McClean, the Stoke winger, suffering abuse from both Middlesbrough fans and some of his club’s own support for continuing to refuse to display one.Comments made by McClean on Instagram are to be investigated by the Football Association and Stoke, with the player branding his critics ‘uneducated cavemen’ in a foul-mouthed tirade.last_img read more

MEN HAD TO JUMP OFF ROAD TO AVOID DRUNK DRIVER

first_imgA young man struck a parked motorbike and only missed striking a number of people after going on a drinking spree.Michael Bonner was arrested after the incident at Glenree, Carrigart in August 2012.Letterkenny District Court was told that a number of men had ben hating at the side of a road in Carrigart when the incident happened. One of the men had to pull two other men off the road to prevent them being struck.However a motorbike belonging to one of the men was struck by Bonner, of Lagg Road, Milford.Bonner, 29, was later arrested and showed a reading of 203 micrograms of blood per 100 millilitres of blood.The court was told that Bonner wa sin the company of an elderly man while driving the car.Solicitor Cormac Hartnett said his client had a completely clean record but this was a major blemish on that record.He added that Bonner had planned to get a taxi but had decided against that and was now paying the price for that decision.The cost of the damage to the motorbike was €200.Bonner is employed with the Arranmore Ferry in Burtonport and drives form his home in Milford each day to his place of employment.Mr Hartnett said this employment was now in jeopardy and asked for a postponement of the driving disqualification to allow Bonner time to get his affairs in order.Judge Paul Kelly fined Bonner €300 for dangerous driving and also disqualified him from driving for there years from November next.MEN HAD TO JUMP OFF ROAD TO AVOID DRUNK DRIVER was last modified: June 16th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegaldrunk drivingMichael BonnerMilfordlast_img read more

ISL club Delhi Dynamos cross 150,000 fans on Facebook

first_imgDelhi Dynamos lead the ISL brigade on social media with the most fans on Facebook and over 5,000 followers on TwitterThe Indian Super League might not have started yet, but the Delhi Dynamos Football Club have already scored their first goal online by crossing the 150,000 fans mark on Facebook.Launched less than a month ago, the Delhi Dynamos lead the ISL brigade on social media with the most fans on Facebook and over 5,000 followers on Twitter. The club has the traditionally cricket-dominated sporting scene in India is experiencing a massive kick-up in fan following for football, and it`s no longer limited to just television.The recently concluded FIFA World Cup in Brazil garnered record television viewership despite the odd timings, but the real surprise was the huge social media buzz it generated.With over three million tweets sent out by Indians, India was the global Number two in terms of social media buzz, behind only the hosts – Brazil. India also saw its highest online audience during the World Cup with 6.5 million people watching football related content online.The Dynamos are also the only team to have launched an anthem and tagline. The Indian Super League has eight franchises and the tournament will run from October to December this year.last_img

4 days agoTrippier: What Diego Costa calls me at Atletico Madrid

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Trippier: What Diego Costa calls me at Atletico Madridby Paul Vegas4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveKieran Trippier has revealed a nickname Atletico Madrid teammate Diego Costa has given him.The England full-back completed his move from Tottenham to the Spanish club in the summer, where Costa is also currently plying his trade.And the ex-Chelsea striker has wasted no time in giving Trippier plenty of banter, naming him after Man Utd and England legend Wayne Rooney.Costa has a reputation for being hot-headed with a fiery temper, but Trippier explained his other persona as the joker of the dressing room is more accurate.“He calls me Rooney ten times a day!” Trippier told Marca. “He’s like that all the time and it makes me laugh. But it’s Diego. I don’t mind. We all find it fun.“I like him to make jokes every day. I knew him from the Premier League and he’s the funniest player I’ve ever played with.“There’s a great atmosphere on the team, joking with each other, but Costa is the funniest. He also says I look like a boxer – but I don’t think so!“It’s been easy to adapt here. The weather is nice. The food is incredible, better than in England. People welcome me and make my family smile. It makes it easier for me.” last_img read more

Mary Lambert Performs At UN On Human Rights Day

first_imgMary Lambert performed this week at the United Nations HQ for Human Rights Day.Mary Lambert and Thomas RobertsCredit/Copyright: Arran SkinnerThe theme of the event was “Love Is A Family Value” highlighting the fact that LOVE, regardless of whether or not it is between someone of the same sex or someone of the opposite sex, should be embraced and encouraged (and IS a family value)!Mary Lambert Performs at the UNCredit/Copyright: Arran SkinnerLGBT people play a variety of family roles, whether as sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents, cousins or other family members. While for many, family ties provide a vital source of strength and stability, too many LGBT people experience rejection, even violence, at the hands of members of their own families. Research suggests that family rejection is a primary driver of LGBT youth homelessness in many cities, and can lead to young LGBT people feeling isolated, depressed, even suicidal.This event – the first ever held at UNHQ on this theme – explored the role that family plays in the lives of LGBT people, the consequences of societal homophobia and transphobia on family life, and the transcending impact of parental acceptance. It also examined family diversity and the experience of large numbers of same sex parents raising children in a world where discriminatory attitudes persist.last_img read more

States and cities are taking the lead on bump stock bans

first_imgIn the immediate aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, there was a fevered pitch to ban bump stocks, the device that allowed the shooter’s semi-automatic rifles to mimic the rapid fire of machine-guns.With that push stalled at the federal level, a handful of states and some cities are moving ahead with bans of their own.Massachusetts and New Jersey — two states at the time led by Republican governors — as well as the cities of Denver and Columbia, South Carolina, have enacted laws prohibiting the sale and possession of the devices, which were attached to a half-dozen of the long guns found in the hotel room of the Las Vegas shooter who in October killed 58 people and injured hundreds more attending a nearby outdoor concert. A little over a dozen other states are also considering bans on bump stocks.Gun-control advocates say the push fits a pattern in gun politics: inaction in Washington that forces states to take the lead. Gun-rights advocates call it a knee-jerk reaction that will do little to stop bad guys from killing, and vow a legal challenge.For Zach Elmore, the issue is deeply personal. His sister among those wounded in the Las Vegas attack. He finds hope in the statewide and local efforts to ban bump stocks.“Hopefully it’s the start of a big movement versus just a flash in the pan,” Elmore said. “Obviously you cannot legislate (against) evil, but you can legislate the things with which bad people will use to perpetrate evil.”The devices were originally intended to help people with disabilities and were little known and little sold until the Las Vegas shooting. They fit over the stock and pistol grip of a semi-automatic rifle and allow the weapon to fire rapidly, some 400 to 800 rounds per minute, mimicking a fully automatic firearm.The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reviewed the devices and approved them in 2010, ruling they did not amount to machine-guns that are regulated under the National Firearms Act that dates to the 1930s.Richard Vasquez was assistant chief of the ATF’s technology bureau and led the review of bump stocks. He stands by the agency’s 2010 ruling, which relied on a key difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms: While semi-automatic firearms require a separate and independent pull of the trigger to fire a bullet, fully automatic firearms can fire multiple rounds with a single trigger pull. ATF determined bump stocks didn’t convert a semi-automatic firearm into one that is fully auto.“It’s a proper determination. Everybody wants to jump the gun and say that ATF made a mistake,” said Vasquez, who left the agency in 2014. “ATF didn’t make a mistake.”The federal agency is reviewing its ruling, something Vasquez and others caution is a dangerous move without Congress first changing the law to specifically make such devices illegal.“If ATF is allowed to write a regulation to change the definition of this device, instead of a law, it’s going to give all government agencies authority to change their regulations, which could affect us in a wide variety of ways,” Vasquez warned.Legislation in Congress has remained in limbo despite early signs from a bipartisan mix of lawmakers and advocates who voiced alarm that such a device was deemed legal and on the market. Even the National Rifle Association sounded open to great regulation of bump stocks.Joyce Malcolm, a professor at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law, said the bans likely would withstand a legal challenge, but she wonders about more practical matters: How might they be enforced?“I don’t see a real constitutional issue. I just wonder about actually getting these devices out of circulation for people who already have them,” she said.It’s not known how many of the devices are in circulation. At the time of the Las Vegas shooting, gun dealers said they rarely had customers wanting to buy one — but then couldn’t keep up with the demand in the days and months afterward. The leading manufacturer of bump stocks, Texas-based Slide Fire Solutions, briefly stopped selling them, posting a notice on its website that it had suspended sales to keep up with demand. It has since resumed sales.Massachusetts, which has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, enacted its ban a month after the Las Vegas shooting, pushed through a Democratic-controlled Legislature and signed into law by a Republican lieutenant governor. New Jersey followed suit last month with a measure signed into law by outgoing Republican Gov. Chris Christie. About a dozen other states are considering similar bills.“This is a very familiar story. The Congress cowers in the face of the NRA, and the states act,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates for tougher gun laws.Connecticut, home to some of the world’s most legendary gun makers, is among the other states considering bans.Rep. William Tong, a Democrat and House chairman of the Connecticut Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, called it a commonsense measure that puts public safety first.“The federal government has demonstrated that, given the composition of the Congress right now, it’s not possible to pass commonsense gun laws,” he said. “Connecticut can’t wait.”Gun-rights advocates say the efforts undermine the Second Amendment and will do little to stop criminals.“Anti-gun Democrats love to ban things. That is their answer,” said Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, who added bump stocks have rarely, if ever, been used in a crime before the Las Vegas shooting. “This is their chance to say, ‘Hey, we’re doing something. Look at us. We’re doing something.’ It’s not going to do anything.”___Follow Lisa Marie Pane at http://twitter.com/lisamariepanelast_img read more

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