On Gun Control, Two Big Steps In Opposite Directions

Congress and the Supreme Court took big steps in opposite directions last week, in the country’s long standing debate on whether and how to regulate guns.

Congress passed the first major federal gun legislation in decades, with bipartisan support. President Biden signed it into law on Saturday.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a 6-3 opinion striking down a major gun control law in New York. The sweeping ruling puts many other gun regulations in states across the country, on shaky ground.

Daniel Webster, whose research focuses on policies intended to reduce gun violence, explains the real world impact he anticipates after these changes. Webster is Co-Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

This episode features reporting from NPR’s Nina Totenberg.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Does HBO’s ‘The Wire’ still hold up after 20 years?

Omar Little, Jimmy McNulty, Stringer Bell, Snot Boogie. If you recognize these names, you are probably a fan of the HBO series The Wire.

This month marks 20 years since the series premiere. It ran for five seasons, following the lives of the cops, criminals, political players, and everyday folks caught up in Baltimore’s often futile war on drugs.

Many argue that The Wire is the best television show ever created and has earned praise for its realistic, humanizing, multi-dimensional portrayal of Black characters. But 20 years on, the conversation about policing in Black communities has changed. The deaths of Freddie Gray, George Floyd, and many others after encounters with police and the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement have brought about more public scrutiny, debate, and criticism of the police.

As social commentary, is The Wire still relevant? We speak with NPR TV critic Eric Deggans and Ronda Racha Penrice, editor of the essay collection, Cracking The Wire During Black Lives Matter.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Roe v. Wade Is Overturned

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade, declaring that the constitutional right to abortion no longer exists. For nearly 50 years, Americans have had a constitutional right to an abortion. We’re about to find out what the country looks like without one. The court’s ruling doesn’t mean a nationwide ban– it allows states to do what they want.

NPR’s Nina Totenberg walks us through the ruling, and NPR’s Sarah McCammon discusses the states where “trigger bans,” or laws passed in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s action, are already in place.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

The Rental Market Is Wild Right Now

Listed rents are up 15% nationwide, and as much as 30% in some cities. At the same time, inflation and rising interest rates are pricing many buyers out of the housing market β€” increasing the pressure to rent. NPR’s Jennifer Ludden reports that competition is so intense, some people find themselves in bidding wars.

The red-hot rental market could mean that more people face the threat of eviction at a time when most pandemic-era protections have disappeared. Carl Gershenson, Project Director of the Eviction Lab at Princeton University, explains how being evicted makes it all the more harder to find a new place to live.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

The Foreign Fighters Who’ve Gone To Ukraine

Two American citizens who’d traveled to Ukraine to join the fight against Russia have reportedly been captured by pro-Russian forces. The State Department says it’s “closely monitoring” the situation and has urged Americans not to travel to the country, noting the risk and danger. But still, thousands of foreign fighters have journeyed there.

NPR’s Ryan Lucas met some of them β€” a group of Americans and Brits who have formed a unit that is fighting in the east.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Meet The Man Who Helped Build The Court That May Overturn Roe

As soon as Thursday, the Supreme Court could rule on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. A leaked draft opinion in that case showed a majority of justices agreeing to overturn Roe v. Wade, which would end the constitutional right to an abortion.

However the court rules, this moment is the culmination of a decades-long effort by conservative activists around the country. One man in particular has played an outsized role in that effort: Leonard Leo, Co-Chairman of the Federalist Society. He’s devoted his career to getting conservatives appointed to the country’s most powerful courts.

We look at how he came to have so much sway.

In this episode, you’ll hear excerpts from the interview NPR’s Deirdre Walsh conducted with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Teachers Reflect on a Tough School Year: ‘It’s Been Very Stressful’

After two years of pandemic disruptions, this school year was supposed to be better. But for many teachers, it was harder than ever.

Teachers say they are stressed and burned out. Many are considering leaving their jobs sooner than planned.

We speak to three teachers about the past school year and their concerns about the future.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Warning Vulnerable Populations About Monkeypox Without Stigmatizing Them

Many of the people affected by the current global monkeypox outbreak are reported to be men who identify as gay or bisexual, or men who have sex with men.

The virus can affect anyone, but in response to where the majority of cases are, public health officials are gearing their information toward communities of gay and bisexual men. And that has some saying that the messaging echoes back to the HIV/AIDS crisis and has the potential to stigmatize the gay community while missing others who are susceptible to the disease.

We speak with Dr. Boghuma K. Titanji, physician and clinical researcher in infectious diseases at Emory University, about the lessons public health officials can learn from the HIV/AIDS crisis of the 80s and 90s.

And Northwestern University journalism professor Steven Thrasher talks about his recent article for Scientific American, “Blaming Gay Men for Monkeypox Will Harm Everyone.”

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Q&A: If Abortion Is Illegal, What Happens Next?

There are few issues as highly debated and emotionally charged as abortion.

And in the coming days, the Supreme Court will issue a ruling that could fundamentally change the landscape for abortion in the U.S.

The possibility that the court could strike down Roe v. Wade has raised all kinds of legal questions, as people consider what a post-Roe America might look like.

We asked members of the NPR audience what questions they had about abortion access and reproductive rights.

Khiara Bridges, a law professor at UC Berkeley who studies reproductive rights, and NPR’s Sarah McCammon, who covers abortion policy, answer some of their questions.

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

China and Taiwan: What’s Ukraine Got To Do With It?

The war between Russia and Ukraine is reverberating in Taiwan, a self-governed island that China claims as its own and has threatened to invade if Taiwan declares independence.

Residents of the island are watching intently as Ukraine defends itself against a much larger and more powerful adversary. And they are thinking about what it takes to galvanize international support.

The U.S. has a longstanding policy of ambiguity when it comes to talking about Taiwan and independence, not wanting to risk a conflict with China. So it was surprising last month when President Biden said the that U.S. will defend Taiwan in the event of an invasion by China.

We speak to journalist Chris Horton, who is based in Taiwan. His recent piece in The Atlantic is headlined, “The Lessons Taiwan is Learning from Ukraine.”

In participating regions, you’ll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what’s going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.