If it sounds familiar

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

March 21, 2013 1:40:07 PM PDT
What's the old saw about the more things change the more they stay the same.

I'm looking at the BIG issues out there that we're covering, and guess what? They're the same BIG issues that have been around for a long, long time. Guns and gun violence. Gay rights. Israel and Palestinian peace talks. The more things change?

I'll start with guns, but I do so these days at my own peril. Sheesh - can we get some lives people? Or maybe save some? Even writing the words "gun control" now land one on the list of every gun fanatic who thinks the government or otherwise law-abiding citizens are trying to take their precious firearms away. Those who argue "how many more kids have to die at the hands of someone armed with a gun..." are often met by critics who question their sanity and patriotism and belief in the Constitution.

But there has to be a better way of regulating these weapons that are already too prevalent in this country - 300 million by one count. Today in New York, Vice President Biden, fresh from getting the administration's assault weapons ban shot down, met with Mayor Bloomberg to push for more "sensible" gun control laws. We'll have reaction, tonight at 11.

We're also covering the "big announcement" from the National Rifle Assn., touted all week, and made public today: They're suing to stop Gov. Cuomo's and the legislature's "SAFE" gun control act. They're taking the tact that the Governor got the measure passed without public input. Mr. Cuomo has defended the fast-track passage, saying swiftness was needed because the urgency to prevent people from usurping and bypassing the law.

Same sex marriage is also top of mind because the U.S. Supreme Court next week hears arguments on whether California's Prop. 8 is Constitutional. The measure, passed in 2008, prohibits same-sex marriage in California. But the trend is moving towards accepting same-sex marriage, with a majority of Americans supporting it, and more states approving it. This case will be big. The high court will also hear arguments challenging DOMA - the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the government from recognizing same-sex unions.

And we're also covering Pres. Obama in Israel and the Palestinian territories, where he's promoting the notion that both sides should start the long-elusive peace talk process again. We'll see. We do know the President was awarded Israel's highest civilian award - this after a rather shaky relationship with that country's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

Also at 11, this is the first night of freedom for 58-year-old David Ranta, who spent 23 years behind bars for murdering a Rabbi in Brooklyn - a crime, it turns out, he didn't commit. Jim Dolan is on the story for us.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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