The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.
Children handling guns
Kimberley McGee & Fernanda Santos, New York Times
A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally shot and killed her instructor with an Uzi submachine gun while he stood to her left side, trying to guide her. A video of the shooting, which her parents recorded on a cellphone, suggests that the girl, in pink shorts and with a braided ponytail, was unable to control the gun’s recoil; the instructor, Charles Vacca, 39, was rushed to a hospital in Las Vegas, where he died Monday night.
Some ranges in the area do prohibit young children from handling such heavy weapons, but Last Stop allows children as young as 8 to participate.
But Uzis are considered particularly tricky because they are light — unloaded, they weigh just under eight pounds — and powerful, making recoil tricky to handle even for adults, gun experts said.
Burger King goes Canadian
Burger King’s announcement that it will purchase a Canadian company, and in doing so transfer its headquarters to Canada, has given President Obama an opportunity, increasingly rare these days, to score political points on a domestic issue.
He wants Congress to pass a law penalizing corporate inversions, by which companies leave the U.S. to avoid paying high tax rates on income earned in other countries.
Congress is unlikely to pass any legislation.
Congress should adopt new rules requiring members to hold their equity investments in diversified mutual funds, as a majority of American families do. There is also an option available under current House rules that could be retained — the qualified blind trust, whose owner is kept deliberately unaware of his own holdings so as to prevent conflicts of interest. Such holdings would not be public, either.
If Obama wants to stop corporations from inverting, he should start by asking why they’re so eager to get out of the United States in the first place. He and Congress can fix that problem by slashing corporate tax rates, ending taxation of foreign earnings and removing distortions from the tax code that encourage the irrational business practices, such as “stripping,” related to inversions.
ISIS: America’s biggest threat
Wesley Clark, CNN
America was rightly shocked by the brutal, videotaped murder of American journalist James Foley.
But we should not have been surprised. The Islamic State, as the jihadist group calls itself, has murdered, raped and savaged its way across borders in the Mideast and into the headlines as the latest terrorist foe from the region.
Foley’s murder not only gives terrorist stature to ISIS but also, if it draws U.S. ground troops into the fight, will have given ISIS a recruiting bonanza. So the U.S. response requires, not just a set of airstrikes in revenge, but serious strategic calculation.
The U.S. must build a coordinated regional response — diplomatic, economic and military — with ground troops from our regional allies and friends, and with possible U.S. support with intelligence, logistics and airstrikes. But we cannot fight this war for our Islamic friends in the region.