The skies turned dark in West Texas on Aug. 31 as a gunman killed seven people and wounded 25 others in Odessa and Midland. Seth Ator had lost his job as a truck driver at an oil field earlier that day. He called 911 and ranted on an FBI hotline. When police tried to pull his vehicle over for a traffic stop, he fled. Along the way he opened fire, stole a U.S. Postal Service truck after killing its driver, then shot more people before crashing. Police eventually killed him. The attacker had previously failed a background check while trying to buy a weapon. He bought the AR-15-style gun he used in the shooting from a private seller.
The shooting caused some political rumbling (but no lightning yet) after Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke released a profane T-shirt and campaign video decrying gun violence. He also declared that if he’s elected president, owners of AR-15s and AK-47s would have to sell them to the federal government. O’Rourke was one of 10 candidates who qualified for a Sept. 12 debate. Candidates who won’t move on include hyper-feminist New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, relatively moderate former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, and Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton. Billionaire businessman and independent Howard Schultz has also called off a potential run.
The political storm surge is sure to wash more candidates away in the next few weeks, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders may be one. He faced backlash after saying in a CNN town hall on Sept. 4 that more women in the developing world need access to abortion to curb overpopulation—a myth busted long ago. That same day, Planned Parenthood said it wants to make its mobile app, Planned Parenthood Direct, available in all 50 states. It’s currently available in 27, offering users birth control pills shipped to their front door. Planned Parenthood says it does not “yet” offer so-called emergency contraceptives via the app, but given the organization’s promotion of “telemedicine” abortions in 14 states, could abortifacient-by-app be far behind?
Pete Buttigieg blew hot air on Sept. 6 when he defended abortion all the way up to a baby’s first breath. The Democratic presidential candidate told The Breakfast Club radio show the Bible says life begins at first breath. Democrats defending abortion—even to the point of birth—isn’t breaking news, but Buttigieg’s Scripture-twisting is Category 5. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees found himself in a tropical storm of media criticism after he recorded a video for Oct. 3’s Bring Your Bible to School Day, sponsored by Focus on the Family, which—gasp!—supports Biblical marriage.
Dark clouds may be lifting for pop music phenom Justin Bieber, 25. He posted a long statement on Instagram acknowledging that his adolescence and early adulthood storms included drug use, broken relationships, and depression—but he’s “navigating the best season my life” after getting married last year. The attention stardom heaped on him at an early age was too much, Bieber said. He encouraged his fans: “Be bold today and love people today not by your own standards but by Gods [sic] perfect unfailing love.”