October 2, 2017 Last Updated 8:15 am

Spain uses violence to repress Catalan vote, fails, so now what?; Hearst talks up print magazines

Morning Brief: Another mass shooting in America, this time in Las Vegas, as Republicans in the Congress look to loosen gun laws further, including making gun silencers legal

The nation awakes this morning with the news that another mass shooting has taken place, this time in Las Vegas, and this time the death toll has reached 50. The shooting was captured live on video, and the shooter was identified as a 64 white man, Stephen Paddock, but we know that the shooting will not lead to new gun control legislation as the Congress is currently working on bills to do the opposite.

Try to remember, it’s all just part of the show.

The Washington Post, Philip Bump:

America’s deadliest shooting incidents are getting much more deadly

The mass shooting that killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas on Sunday night was the worst in modern American history. Police suspect that Stephen Paddock fired on the crowd at a country-music concert indiscriminately from his hotel room window, killing dozens and injuring hundreds more.

If it seems as though we only just experienced another deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, it’s because we did. About 16 months ago, Omar Mateen killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando after pledging allegiance to the Islamic State. Before that, the record was held by the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007, in which 32 people were killed.

San Francisco Chronicle, Carolyn Lochhead:

Pair of pro-gun bills on move in House

The House could pass legislation as early as this week that would roll back decades-old restrictions on gun silencers, opening up the market for a device that critics say would make it difficult in a mass shooting to detect where gunfire is coming from.

…But Republicans say the provision, called the Hearing Protection Act, doesn’t really silence the sound of gunfire, only diminishes it enough to shield hunters and recreational shooters from hearing damage.

“It isn’t a silencer because it still makes sound, but what it does is cuts the percentage of the noise down to make shooting sports a little nicer for people’s hearing,” said Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale (Butte County). “There’s a lot of false narrative being driven by this,” he said. “Anything to do with making guns more available or more convenient for people is going to find opposition by the left.”

This afternoon Catalan students marched silently, protesting Spanish police violence yesterday as Catalans attempted to vote in an independence referendum. A general strike has been called for Tuesday, and the Catalan government is expected to declare its independence some time this week.

The referendum continues to be called illegal by supporters of the far-right Spanish government. But it should be remembered that most attempts to achieve independence are considered illegal. The American effort at independence led to war, the South’s effort to create the Confederacy, as well. The question is not whether the effort is illegal, but whether it is just. Were the Americans justified in creating the United States in order to have self-rule, and were Southerners justified in forming the Confederacy in order to preserve slavery? Do majorities have a right to veto efforts by a minority to form their own government?

I believe that both the question and answer is complicated, complicated by the motives of each side.

But no matter. Yesterday’s violent repression of the voting in Catalonia ended any legitimacy the Spanish government had in the matter. And now the question really isn’t whether the Catalans will continue to want independence, but how long the rest of Spain will want to be ruled by so violent and extreme a government as that of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy?


Catalan referendum: Catalonia has ‘won right to statehood’

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont says the Spanish region has won the right to statehood following a contentious referendum that was marred by violence. He said the door was open to a unilateral declaration of independence after Catalan officials said voters had backed secession with a 42.3% turnout.

Spain’s government has warned it could suspend Catalan autonomy.

ARA, Esther Vera:

Shame and dignity

Despite trying to control information in Spain, hundreds of international journalists had their eyes on the 1-O (Oct. 1 referendum) and the world saw the Rajoy style. They have seen how thousands of people stayed in polling stations despite intimidation and how they faced it with civility and dignity, as they continued voting patiently…

…Dear Spanish friends: do you really want to live in a state like this? Where is your anger? If you do not react, you are also degrading yourself.

Hearst looks to be on the verge of acquiring Rodale, beating out Meredith in the bid process (though, to be honest, it doesn’t look like Meredith had their heart in it).

Not surprisingly, Hearst last week went on the offensive in defense of print magazines. It is fall planning season, after all, and they are about to expand their print portfolio. But it is a good thing for Hearst that it is a private company and would not have to explain their decision to double down on print to investors on an earnings conference all later this month. Meredith, on the other hand, is public, and would have had to explain why they chose to expand their print portfolio at a time when every one else is looking to trim their (or get out of the print business completely).

I can’t blame print folks for wanting to continue to talk up their businesses, but I wish they would do so in a more believable way. We have had over a decade of print declines, and still we hear from some corners that all is well. There is fake news, and there is outright lies. How you want to label the print-is-forever talk is up to you.

Hearst, Michael Clinton:

​Fact vs. Fiction: A Few Thoughts on Magazine Media

Here’s a headline for you: Print is alive and well with consumers everywhere. I know it’s different than the headlines you’ve been seeing lately, but it happens to be a fact. True, the magazine media industry is in a transitional moment, but a few select stats can easily paint a picture that doesn’t reflect the state of our industry.

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