2019年3月21日 星期四

How So Many Violent Felons Are Allowed to Keep Their Illegal Guns 槍擊事件不斷 美國重刑犯為何仍能擁槍?

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2019/03/22 第256期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 How So Many Violent Felons Are Allowed to Keep Their Illegal Guns 槍擊事件不斷 美國重刑犯為何仍能擁槍?
Joining Forces to Give Europe Its Own Army 德荷聯手 打造歐洲自己的部隊
How So Many Violent Felons Are Allowed to Keep Their Illegal Guns 槍擊事件不斷 美國重刑犯為何仍能擁槍?
文/Richard A. Oppel Jr.

The workplace shooting in a Chicago suburb last month that left five people dead exposed the failings of the system designed to keep guns away from felons and others deemed too dangerous to handle firearms.


Federal law bars gun ownership by felons, fugitives, drug abusers, people adjudicated to be mentally ill, those dishonorably discharged from the military or living in the country illegally, and by convicted domestic abusers or others subject to domestic violence restraining orders. But experts say the number of people who are barred from owning guns but have them anyway may reach into the millions.


Only eight states have laws that provide an explicit mechanism so people suspected of having guns in violation of those prohibitions are actually required to give them up. And some of those states merely allow — but do not require — police to seek a court order to confiscate such guns.


That was the case in Illinois, where authorities knew for more than four years that Gary Martin was a violent felon but apparently did nothing to ensure he surrendered the laser-sighted Smith & Wesson handgun that he used to kill five co-workers on February 15th.Only a single state — California — has a database dedicated to tracking firearm owners who have lost their right to possess a gun.



Aside from California, only Connecticut and Nevada expressly require felons to provide proof to courts or to law enforcement they have turned over guns after conviction, according to the Giffords Law Center. Illinois and four other states — Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania — also provide statutory mechanisms for felons to turn over illegally possessed weapons, though the procedures are not as stringent.


But when Illinois lawmakers sought to tighten state law so police would be mandated to confiscate guns owned by people barred from possessing them, or at least verify the guns had been transferred to legal owners, concerns about manpower helped doom the proposal.


Martin was issued a state firearm owner's card in January 2014 — and five weeks later he passed a background check to buy his handgun — even though he had been convicted of aggravated assault for stabbing a former girlfriend with a knife and hitting her with a baseball bat in Mississippi in 1995.


Illinois State Police said Martin lied on his firearm owner's card application about whether he had any felony convictions.


Joining Forces to Give Europe Its Own Army 德荷聯手 打造歐洲自己的部隊
文/Katrin Bennhold

On a former Cold War base, German and Dutch soldiers, serving together in one tank battalion, stood to attention one recent morning and shouted their battle cry in both languages.


"We fight —," their commander bellowed.


"— for Germany!" the battalion replied in unison.


"We fight —," the commander shouted.


"— for the Netherlands!" his soldiers yelled back.


They are not shouting "for Europe." Not yet.


But the battalion — Europe's first made up of soldiers from two countries — is an important baby step toward deeper European military cooperation. First floated after World War II, the idea of a European army is as old as the European Union itself, but has yet to become a reality.


Now, though, the idea has taken on new urgency because of the Trump administration's threat to withdraw the Continent's security guarantee if it does not spend more on its defense.


At a high-level security conference last month, the breach between the United States and Europe burst into the open, leaving many European officials feeling increasingly on their own.


"Everyone is talking about a European army," Lt. Col. Marco Niemeyer, the German commander of the battalion, said. "We are pioneers."


Yet if some powerful European leaders are talking more loudly about a European military, the political moment is fraught. Populist parties are surging across the Continent, amid a rising nationalism that threatens European cohesion and has made the prospect of surrendering sovereignty on a sensitive issue like national security even harder.


Moreover, the practical challenges to more credible European defense cooperation are immense.


For any progress, analysts agree that Germany, Europe's biggest and richest country, must do more, including overcome its post-World War II reluctance to lead in strategic matters.


The German military already has too few soldiers, too little equipment and faces shortages of just about everything, even thermal underwear, which in some cases is being reclassified as "functional" so that it can be reused by others.


Given this backdrop, Tank Battalion 414 has become an informal test case for what needs to be done to achieve greater efficiencies and broader cooperation.


The military base in Lohheide is the continent's difficult history writ small. Built by the Nazis in the 1930s, and used by Allied forces during the Cold War when West Germany was still NATO's eastern border state, it is now home to an experiment in post-national defense.


The battalion is German, but 1 in 4 of its soldiers are Dutch. The tanks are German, the radio system is Dutch and the language of command increasingly English. Often Germans and Dutch ride in the same tank.



本文討論建立歐洲軍(European army,精確用語是EU army)的前景(prospect)。開頭的描述十分生動,其中有三個與喊叫有關的動詞。

Shout是大聲說話。Yell也是大喊,特別是因為憤怒、激動或痛苦。用法上,shout比yell更正式些。Bellow比較像咆哮,聲音大且低沉,尤其是希望很多人聽到,例如部隊值星官下口令:He was bellowing orders at the soldiers.另外Bellow也是姓氏,最有名的大概是1976年諾貝爾文學獎得主、美國小說家索爾.貝婁(Saul Bellow)。

早在二戰後,歐洲軍的概念就首度被拋出。Float指提出某個構想(floated the idea)看外界反應如何,就是試水溫、測風向。

歐洲軍是「後國族時代防禦」(post-national defense)的概念。Post-(後)指的是「不再重要或不再相關的」,如post-national(後國族的,指的是國家認同不再重要的)和post-racial(後種族的,指的是不再有種族偏見或種族歧視的)。麻煩的是國族(民族)主義(nationalism)在歐陸正夯,讓歐洲軍前途多艱。


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