The Short Version: Orlando & The No Fly List

The Short Version: Orlando & The No Fly List

The point of it all is to break down the headlines, determine why an issue is important, and reveal the best arguments on each side of the story. Last week, the debate was about a sexual assault case at Stanford, also wealth and privilege, gender and race – plus the possible impeachment of a judge. This week, Cleo Abram’s The Short Version looks at gun deaths like those in Orlando: many political leaders are pushing for legislation to prevent people on “no fly” lists from buying guns. 

“I dreaded writing this piece. After the Orlando tragedy, I just didn’t want to present a pro-gun side of any debate. But despite our collective anger and grief, this particular debate is worth having,” explains Cleo.

Note: If you have missed any of Cleo’s blogs, just go to our Home Page, type “The Short Version” into Search (magnifying glass icon) and poof, like magic, all her blogs will appear.

What’s happening?

America continues to struggle through the aftermath of the Orlando shooting. Omar Mateen gunned down 49 innocent people in a gay nightclub—the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, as commonly defined.

The death rate from gun homicides in the U.S. is approximately the same as that of car accidents: 31 per million people. That’s 27 people shot dead per day.

In an attempt to address these gun deaths, many political leaders are pushing for legislation that would prevent people on “no fly” terrorist watch lists from buying firearms.


States with higher gun ownership rates have higher gun homicide rates (from Mother Jones)

States with higher gun ownership rates have higher gun homicide rates (from Mother Jones)

How does it affect you?

Most literally, you could end up on a terrorist watch list. In recent years, the National Counterterrorism Center has accepted around 99% of all names submitted—and grown by more than 1.5 million names over the last five years. Many people on the list are never given explanations or offered meaningful ways to make sure their names are removed.

However, politicians from both parties are interested in the idea as a way to prevent further gun deaths. Donald Trump tweeted that he will meet with the NRA about the proposal. Hillary Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement of the plan, saying “if you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.”

Debate it!

Should we allow Americans on terrorist watch lists to buy guns?


Why “The Short Version” on TIO:

Eight+ years ago, Telluride Inside…and Out began as a lifestyle webzine. Today, in the full knowledge that Telluride is a window on the world, we continue to bring the “zazz” (short for “pizzazz) of the region to a local, national, and global audience by covering everything from Telluride’s robust cultural economy – major events and festivals – to health and fitness and outdoor adventure. When Telluride travels, we write about places to go, people to meet too. (That’s part of the “Out” part of our handle, the other, obviously, Outdoors.)

And now, this new weekly column, “The Short Version,” which offers simple summaries of issues of national and global importance. (Though we won’t go political, or rather we won’t show bias in the upcoming election.)

“The Short Version” is written by Cleo Constantine Abram, the daughter of Telluride locals Eleni Constantine and Jonathan Abram (and therefore an honorary local and regular visitor) and a digital strategist at Precision Strategies, a political consulting firm.

Why “The Short Version”? Because, though we live in Shangri-La, our bubble is not impermeable and the rest of the world is only a click away. Because there is no inconsequential action; only consequential inaction. And because information is power in a moment so many of us are feeling powerless.

More about Cleo Constantine Abram:

Cleo Abram 2

Cleo grew up in Washington D.C., lives in New York City, and loves to visit her parents in Telluride. She authors “The Short Version,” a newsletter that explains each week’s most important issue and both sides of the debate around it.

Cleo is a digital strategist at Precision Strategies, a political consulting firm born of the Obama 2012 presidential campaign.

Cleo’s work focuses on ways to share, educate, and inform using online platforms. While in college at Columbia University, she guided the school’s entrance into online education through her role as the youngest elected representative to the Columbia Senate, which makes university-wide policy.

She continued her work on online education at TED-Ed, the educational branch of the nonprofit, building new programs and online tools to support high school teachers worldwide.

Continuing her work with TED, Cleo founded and led an early TEDx conference, the organization’s community-specific series.

Most importantly, Cleo loves to ski!

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