“Tonight may be the night he kills me, Ruthie Bolton remembers thinking as her husband called to her from their living room.

“Get in here,” he said. “I’m not going to ask you again.”

From the kitchen, she could see him sitting with a gun in one hand and a beer in the other.

For nearly a decade, “Mighty Ruthie” Bolton, an Olympic Gold medalist and star player for the WNBA’s Sacramento Monarchs, had felt trapped in an abusive marriage. Now, on a night in 2002 in the couple’s home in Gainesville, Fla., Bolton feared Mark Holifield might do something more than hit her.

She decided to make a run for it. Barefooted, she slipped out a side door and into the darkness. She phoned her friend and mentor Carol Ross, who picked her up on a nearby roadside. Bolton later would file for divorce, ending her relationship with Holifield for good.

Until recently, Bolton kept the painful details mostly to herself. But the recent release of an ESPN documentary that details that chapter of her life has given her a new platform, one that she hopes will empower and uplift girls and women with a message that transcends athletics. Bolton is speaking out across the country about living with, and escaping, domestic violence.

Holifield denies her allegations of abuse.

“I don’t want this to be a pity party,” Bolton, 50, told an audience of about 500 people at a recent screening of the film, “Mighty Ruthie,” at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento.

“Please don’t feel sorry for me,” she said. “Because my story has a happy ending.”

JumpLede_JV_060617_RUTHIE 155

Lisa Lax, director of the ESPN documentary “Mighty Ruthie” sits with Ruthie Bolton, the former pro basketball player and Olympian, at the Golden 1 Center on June 6, 2017. Bolton recently has been speaking out about the domestic violence she said she suffered during her first marriage.

Jose Luis Villegas

Her life with Holifield, a former law enforcement officer, began happily enough after she met him when she was a student and basketball star at Auburn University in Alabama. Holifield was charming and funny and gentle at first, she said. He hit her for the first time in 1991, she said, a few months after they married.

It happened in Virginia, where she was training to be an officer in the Army Reserves. She had made the mistake of telling him that another man had made a pass at her.

He slapped her, hard, across the face, she recalled. Bolton was stunned. Holifield, a tall sheriff’s deputy with hazel eyes, had never seemed violent, she said.

“I was so in love with him, I felt it must be my fault,” Bolton said in a recent interview. “Like I deserved it.” She was sure it would never happen again.

Bolton was on the precipice of greatness in her sport, despite her relatively diminutive size. She was 5 foot 8, but made made up for her lack of height with an abundance of quickness, agility and a determination she learned from her parents, pastor Linwood Bolton and his wife Leola.

Ruthie and her sister MaeOla, two of 20 siblings, grew up in the tiny town of McClain in southern Mississippi. Both became stars at Auburn, one of the nation’s most storied women’s basketball programs.

Ruthie would go on to play professionally overseas, and twice win gold medals for Team USA during the Olympic games in Atlanta and Sydney. She was selected to join the Sacramento Monarchs during the WNBA’s inaugural season in 1997. She became a Hall of Famer. Her name will soon be added to the Sacramento Walk of Stars, which honors the accomplishments of celebrities and others who have called the region home.

But for a decade, unbeknownst to her friends, teammates and fans, Bolton’s personal life was a disaster.

The abuse, she said, was subtle at first. Holifield “wanted to know who I was with, and what I was doing, at all times,” she said. “He was very jealous.”

Jealousy escalated into cruelty, she said, and physical violence. She said she told no one that her husband degraded her accomplishments, yanked her hair and called her hateful names. She stayed silent, she said, about his ugly blowups when she was few minutes late for a movie or brought home the wrong brand of juice from the store.

Holifield, in a telephone interview with The Bee, denied ever hurting Bolton. “It’s totally false,” he said. “Me and Ruthie never had any physical contact. It never happened.”

He said he plans to hire a lawyer to challenge the allegations she has talked about publicly. “I’ll sing like the Temptations,” he said, “and unlike Ruthie’s allegations, I can prove mine.”

Bolton stands firmly behind her story.

Ross, a former assistant coach at Auburn who had become a good friend of Bolton’s while both were later living in Gainesville, long suspected something was amiss. “She had to check in with Mark repeatedly, and she would become unnerved if she couldn’t do it,” Ross said. “She constantly worried about how he was feeling, what his mood would be like. To me, this was not normal.”

But Bolton guarded her privacy, even after Holifield began threatening her with guns, she said.

Bolton said she reported her husband’s abuse only once, in 1996. Holifield was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, records show, but the charges were dropped. Bolton never pursued the case, she said, in part because Holifield was in law enforcement and she questioned whether anyone would believe her.

Basketball was Bolton’s escape. On the court, she had the love and support of teammates and coaches, and she thrived. In 1996, Bolton and her Olympic team won the gold medal in Atlanta. Bolton was a darling of the 1996 squad, leading the team with 23 steals. The following year she joined the Monarchs, and became a cornerstone of the franchise. In her first season, she scored more than 19 points and grabbed nearly six rebounds per game.

Playing professional basketball in America was a dream come true. But her joy would dissipate, she said, when she would look into the stands at Arco Arena and see her husband, whom she said was a heavy drinker. “Every day that he didn’t hit me felt like a good day,” she said.

Bolton resided most of the year in Gainesville, where she and Holifield had a house and where her sister MaeOla and Ross lived. She also maintained an apartment in Sacramento.“I lived in fear,” she said. “It felt like I was trying to live two lives. I felt like a failure. I believed the devil wanted my marriage to fail, and I did not want him to win.

“I was used to fixing things,” she said. “I wanted to fix this.”

JV_060617_RUTHIE 083

Ruthie Bolton, the former pro basketball player and Olympian, spoke out about surviving domestic violence at the Golden 1 Center on June 6, 2017.

Jose Luis Villegas

Filled with guilt and shame for being “a bad wife,” she said, she tried to please her husband by weighing her every word and “not messing up.” But no matter how hard she tried to appease him, she said, nothing worked. Finally, she persuaded Holifield to attend counseling with her, and their relationship improved a bit. But the effect was temporary.

“He started hitting me again,” she said. At the urging of the counselor, she quietly packed an emergency “escape bag” filled with a change of clothes and other essentials and gave it to Ross.

In 1997, six years after they married, Bolton and Holifield decided to renew their wedding vows. Perhaps the ceremony, Bolton thought, would bring new life to their marriage and demonstrate her commitment to Holifield.

On the way to the church in Mississippi, Bolton said, Holifield cracked her across the face. Her eye swelled, and for the first time, her family pushed for answers.

At first, she told them she had bumped into a door. Then she confessed that Holifield had hit her. But he was sorry, she said, and she remained determined to save her marriage. “I wasn’t hearing God telling me to leave yet,” Bolton said. “I thought maybe my punishment was over, and I could be happy now.”

Her father listened, and gave her some advice. “If he ever threatens your life,” he pleaded, “please take it seriously.”

Later that day, Bolton renewed her vows to Holifield. MaeOla stood beside her as her maid of honor.

“I felt like I was the biggest hypocrite in the world,” MaeOla Bolton said in a phone interview. “I told my family, ‘We have let her down. We should have done something more to stop this.’ 

Ruthie Bolton’s friends and family members said something within her changed on the night she left Holifield for good in 2002.

“She called me, very upset and scared, and asked if I could come and get her,” Ross recalled. “That was her real cry for help. It brought everything out into the open. I was involved. I wanted answers. I wanted to talk about it.”

Ross sheltered Bolton at her home for “a long time,” she said. “She had to break the cycle.”

‘Recovery and forgiveness’

At a private gym in Orangevale on a recent afternoon, beneath a framed replica of her Sacramento Monarchs jersey, Ruthie Bolton stood in her comfort zone. Young girls streaked across the hardwood, their sneakers squeaking, their dribbles echoing across the court.

“Understand why you are missing your shots, OK?” she instructed the adolescent girls. They stopped and listened intently. They were lucky, they said, to be learning the game from a pro, one of the most accomplished women’s basketball players of her time.

But Bolton’s life, she said, is about so much more than basketball now.

“At the end of the day, maybe these girls won’t play in the WNBA,” she said. “But I want them to remember that Ruthie taught them about believing in themselves, about overcoming challenges and having the confidence to never allow someone to abuse them. I want them to feel like they are powerful.”

1BSecondary_RP_RUTHIE_BOLTON_selfie

Former Sacramento Monarchs star Ruthie Bolton shoots a selfie with several of her young basketball players who she coaches following a practice session on June 12 in Orangevale.

Randy Pench rpench@sacbee.com

Bolton has come a long way, she said, but she is still processing her story. Why did she choose an abusive partner? Why did she stay with him? Why did she never pursue charges against him? Her path is not an uncommon one, according to advocates for people living in violent relationships. Victims often feel it is more dangerous for them to flee an abusive partner than to stay in the relationship and try to repair it.

“I am on the road to recovery and forgiveness,” Bolton said earlier this month. “I’m not completely there yet, but every time I talk about it I get a little closer. I have a voice now.”

The ESPN documentary, which premiered in Auburn more than a year ago, has been shown at various venues around the country since then. Bolton has attended the gatherings, answered questions and spoken on panels about domestic violence. She has heard from women whose experiences “were far worse than mine,” she said. A few have told her that her story inspired them to get help, or leave abusive relationships.

“If this can help save one person’s life, it will be worth it,” Bolton said.

As she ended her training session with the girls in Orangevale, she gathered them for a pep talk. It’s OK to be imperfect, she said. It’s OK to make mistakes.

“You’re going to fall flat on your face before you develop into who you really are,” she said.

Bolton is remarried now. She and her husband, Cesar Lara, have two children, Hope, 8, and Christofer, 5. Their home, on a quiet street not far from the arena where she played with the Monarchs, is filled with stuffed animals and family photos. Bolton’s many awards and honors decorate the walls.

“Ruthie has moved on,” said Ross, the former coach. “She has accomplished a lot, and she has more to do. Most importantly, she is still here with us. Because given what she went through, we could easily have lost her.”

Bolton agreed.

The ESPN film, she said, at the Sacramento screening “is an avenue toward healing.”

“I’m thankful that I lived to tell about what happened to me.”

Upcoming Ruthie Bolton events

Ruthie Bolton’s name will be added to the Sacramento Walk of Stars at an event in September. She will be coaching at Bobby Jackson’s Kings Legends Basketball Camp on July 8, and is scheduled to be at the author’s booth at the California State Fair, signing her books “The Ride of a Lifetime,” and “From Pain to Power” on July 16. “Mighty Ruthie,” the ESPN documentary based on her life, is available on iTunes.

So I finally read Michael Chabon’s novel The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, and in spite of its serious flaws, I was still left with that wonderful feeling, Where have you been all my life? Why didn’t I read this thing sooner?

The novel’s delights lie in its setting, its genre, and its prose. The setting is an alternate history in which the state of Israel was never founded, but the United States agreed to resettle Holocaust survivors and other European Jews in the Alaskan territory. So now Sitka, Alaska is the heart of a Jewish land of “polar bears” who speak Yiddish, talk on cell phones called Shoyfers, wave guns called sholems–and displace the Tlingit people, with whom they’ve made an uneasy border peace. Jewish control of the territory has a time limit–sixty years starting in the 1940s–and that limit has been reached. In two months almost all the Jews of Sitka will be pushed out, again, into a world where nobody will take them. The uncertainty pulses on the page, the knowledge that the characters don’t even know yet how much they’ll lose but they can guess it’ll be a lot. All the hard-won things are about to be hard-lost.

The genre is noir, and also romance. Our hero is a battered homicide detective, Meyer Landsman, who has fallen into alcoholic disrepair since his divorce. Guy clearly still loves his ex-wife, and what do you know, she’s back in town, assigned to run his department, which is great for him because like all the best noir men he loves a woman who will tell him what to do. It’s not that he obeys her orders; they never do, you need the orders to structure your life and determine the reasons for your inevitable punishment. He’s supposed to be closing cases before Reversion (to the USA), but instead he keeps one case obstinately open: the murder of a junkie in a flophouse, who might have been the Messiah.

Good grief, I loved so much about this book. I loved the way Chabon feels the need for home and the way home is constantly slipping out from under you–it’s an apocalyptic longing. There are these great cynical, desperately-longing lines about the world where all men are brothers, where there is no more hunger, where everybody can have Permanent Status. This is a novel about the doomed, necessary project of making a home in this world: A home is a scam, a home is a trick you play on the world and then it turns out the world has always held the better cards. “Given enough string and enough poles, and with a little creative use of existing walls, fences, cliffs, and rivers, you could tie a circle around pretty much any place and call it an eruv.”

I love the use of waiting and the acknowledgment that none of us are ready for the part we will play in any story God wants to tell with us. (There’s one just breathtaking bit of double-edged dialogue about whether you’re ready to leave behind your addiction, which: obviously no, but also whether you’re willing to take your place in salvation history, which: also obviously no.)

Landsman asks his partner, “But do you–I’m curious–do you really feel like you’re waiting for Messiah?”

And his partner’ replies, “It’s Messiah… what else can you do but wait?”

I thought the Jews vs. Indians conflict turned out to be handled with a lot more complexity than it at first seemed it might hold. I loved the chop-licking noir dialogue, delighting in its own resignation: “‘Please, Berko,’ don’t start having respect for my judgment now,’ Landsman saya. ‘Not after all this work I’ve put into undermining it.’” I loved too the descriptions, often both beautiful and menacing: “The wind jerks the snowflakes back and forth on its hundred hooks.” I loved the way both Judaism and Yiddishkeit sing in the prose and shape its imagery and rhythms: the Sabbath coming like a bride.

So what I did not love, and it’s important but if you want to read this book you should so you can skip this spoilery last thing I’m about to say, what I did not love was the ending. At the novel’s climax a huge, world-shaking event happens. I mean Chabon really goes there! But then he pulls back, and we get zero exploration of the consequences of that event, because he wants to tell us that the important thing is personal life, the romance. Which, why on earth do you write this passage about the dream of brotherhood in a world where we’re all thwarted enemies, if you are then going to say that brotherhood and enemyship are trivial in comparison to the heft of a familiar breast in your hand? You were telling me a story about two Jewish people that was also a story about the Jewish people, but then you swerve away and tell me the second thing is not what you’re really interested in. But I still am! (Also the way this book’s gay character is handled is… not always to my best liking, and this your-personal-life-is-key ending seems to either sideline his story completely or suggest that his life had a “right answer,” which is not a thing I wanted.) Anyway, maybe I am overreading or reading this ending wrong, but I felt like the story narrowed suddenly and in a way that felt like bad philosophy (no Jew is an island!) and kind of a cop-out.

Still, again, I loved so much of this, and I’m glad I read it.

White Collar promotional poster

White Collar promotional poster

The pilot episode of White Collar was most definitely slick and smart, as well as charming, as Matt Bormer will charm the pants off anyone he meets as his suave alter ego Neal Caffrey.

This show most definitely fits in the USA Network’s slew of shows, which include Burn Notice and Royal Pains. It has good pacing and interesting chemistry between Matt Bormer and Tim DeKay, something that isn’t easy to fake. They work well on the screen, there is no denying this.

Basically, Dekay’s Burke is a white collar specialist who put Bormer’s Caffrey away a few years ago. In order to reduce his sentence a bit further, after having escaped a super max jail, Caffrey offers to help Burke to catch the illusive Dutchman, a criminal that Burke has also been chasing for a few years. This setup kind of reminds me of Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can as well as The Sting with Redford and Newman.

What’s also interesting, is that the guys don’t just keep this professional. They also involve their personal lives. Burke needs help to make his hot wife Elizabeth, played by Tiffani Thiessen, happy while Caffrey is searching for his wife that just vanished. All in all, a great show with good actors. I recommend it.

Warning: spoilers ahead

* * * * *

Sara comes to see Neal and Peter. She wants to talk to Neal first. She looks pretty hot. Her dress looks pretty hot as well. Diana immediately spots the sexual tension between Sara and Neal. They are after Vincent Adler. Adler is looking for a sunken U-boat, sunken off the coast of NYC. They want to trace Adler through the rentals of boats and submersibles.

Diana and Jones have to look at Alex Hunter. They have to find her. That won’t be easy.

In order to find the U-boat with the fractal antenna, they need to be right on top of it. Neal phones Alex and Adler answers. He threatens Neal and tells him to back off.

A fence named Eames met her two weeks ago in NYC before she disappeared. They approach him with the faulexes that they seized. They trap him and Neal lifts the faulex. He hands it off to Eames when he gets searched. Eames says that Alex was heading to the garden of the conservatory. They head there to retrace her steps. Burke loses Neal and gets a call from Adler. He wants to talk with him. Neal is already in the car. He makes Peter remove Neal’s anklet. He wants them to drink a doctored drink that will make them pass out. It’s either that or the gun.

Neal wakes up and finds Alex peering at him. They are in some kind of a warehouse. The U-boat has been salvaged. The interior is rigged with explosives. Adler’s dad was a surviving crewman. He wants Neal to open it up. Peter helps him.

Sara arrives at Neal’s place and finds Mozzie trying to boost the signal of the antenna. She was late. Neal usually isn’t. It makes them suspicious. They call Diana and she gets worried. They take Mozzie and Sara with them to the garden. They noticed that the anklet was released.

They open a hatch and find an Enigma machine. That’s not good, even though the cipher used by the Germans was broken in 1932 by Polish Intelligence. The Enigma is wired to some TNT. They cut some wires and release a counter. Alex says that the password is Midas. Her grandfather told her to always remember this story. It works. They open the hatch. They find crates filled with art. It’s Nazi plunder from all over Europe. It’s worth billions. Neal switches off the camera and they look around for something. Peter finds the radio emitter. It’s got the fractal inscribed on it. Neal takes it. He might be able to jury-rig it to work. Adler makes them get back into the limo. Alex takes a Swiss Army knife from a guard.

Neal, Peter, and Alex wake up in a dry dock. The bad guys start opening the water. They use the knife to get free, but the bad guys are waiting for them with guns. Diana and Jones arrive in time to save them. Sara sees Neal kissing Alex passionately.

Alex says that Adler is planning on shipping the art out at the end of this week. She’s talking with Sara. Alex has known about the U-boat since she was a little girl through her grandfather. He is the one who encoded the antenna design into the music box. She leaves. Peter invites them over for dinner. Neal and Sara patch things up.

The next day, they’ve narrowed it down to 15 warehouses. Neal is left by himself and finds the right warehouse. Adler is around with some goons. Adler wants to bargain half of it for Neal’s help. He wants to know why Kate had to die. He blew up the plane because Kate called him to say that Burke arrived. There is an explosion followed by more. They scramble to go back inside and find an inferno. The art has burned up. Adler pulls a gun and tells Neal goodbye. At that moment, Peter shoots him. Peter finds that the paintings are the ones that Neal has been painting in his spare time. When Neal comes home, he finds a key with an address. It’s from Alex. Neal goes there and finds all of the art. It was saved. It’s the heist of the century.

* * * * *

Relevant Posts and Links

CHICAGO — Shootings kill or injure at least 19 U.S. children each day, with boys, teenagers and blacks most at risk, according to a study published Monday that paints a bleak portrait of persistent violence.

The analysis of 2002-14 U.S. data is billed as the most comprehensive study on the topic. While it mostly confirms previously released information, it underscores why researchers view gun violence as a public health crisis.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involves children and teens through age 17. It was compiled by analyzing death certificates and emergency room reports. Among the findings published in the journal Pediatrics:

•The yearly toll is nearly 1,300 deaths and almost 6,000 nonfatal gunshot wounds — most of them intentional.

•The annual death rate is nearly 2 out of 100,000 children — the rate is double for blacks — while nonfatal gunshot wounds injure almost 8 out of 100,000 children each year.

•Suicides increased from 2007-14, from 325 to 532. The suicide rate increased 60 percent over those years to 1.6 per 100,000. One-third of these children were depressed, and most had experienced a recent crisis, including relationship breakups and problems at school.

•Homicides fell from 2007-14, from 1,038 to 699, the rate dropping by 36 percent to less than 1 per 100,000.

•Most unintentional deaths resulted from playing with guns and unintentionally pulling the trigger. Most victims were bystanders although among children up to age 10 in this group, more than 40 percent accidentally shot themselves.

The report notes that unintentional shooting deaths may be significantly underreported, which was highlighted in a report by the Associated Press and USA TODAY Network. The news organizations found during the first six months of 2016, minors died from accidental shootings — at their own hands, or at the hands of other children or adults — at a pace of one every other day, far more than limited federal statistics indicate.

Congress has prohibited the CDC from using federal money to advocate or promote gun control. CDC spokeswoman Courtney Lenard said the congressional directive “does not prohibit CDC from conducting public health research into gun violence” and the agency continues to do so.

Lindsey Tanner is an Associated Press writer.

Shootings kill or injure at least 19 U.S. children each day, with boys, teenagers and blacks most at risk, according to a government study that paints a bleak portrait of persistent violence.

The analysis of 2002-14 U.S. data is billed as the most comprehensive study on the topic. While it mostly confirms previously released information, it underscores why researchers view gun violence as a public health crisis.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involves children and teens through age 17. It was compiled by analyzing death certificates and emergency room reports. Among the findings published Monday in the journal Pediatrics:

—The yearly toll is nearly 1,300 deaths and almost 6,000 nonfatal gunshot wounds — most of them intentional.

Free Gun Locks Offered in Child’s Memory

[NATL-PHI] Free Gun Locks Offered in Child's Memory

—Most deaths result from homicides and suicides, while assaults caused most of the nonfatal injuries.

—The annual death rate is nearly 2 out of 100,000 children — the rate is double for blacks — while nonfatal gunshot wounds injure almost 8 out of 100,000 kids each year.

—Suicides increased from 2007-14, from 325 to 532. The suicide rate increased 60 percent over those years to 1.6 per 100,000. One-third of these kids were depressed and most had experienced a recent crisis, including relationship breakups and problems at school.

—Homicides fell from 2007-14, from 1,038 to 699, the rate dropping by 36 percent to less than 1 per 100,000.

—Most unintentional deaths resulted from playing with guns and unintentionally pulling the trigger. Most victims were bystanders although among kids up to age 10 in this group, more than 40 percent accidentally shot themselves.

The report notes that unintentional shooting deaths may be significantly underreported, which was highlighted in a report by The Associated Press and USA TODAY Network. The news organizations found during the first six months of 2016, minors died from accidental shootings — at their own hands, or at the hands of other children or adults — at a pace of one every other day, far more than limited federal statistics indicate.

Battleground Bros.: Common Ground on Gun Control

[NATL-PHI] Battleground Bros.: Common Ground on Gun Control

Congress has prohibited the CDC from using federal money to advocate or promote gun control. CDC spokeswoman Courtney Lenard said the congressional directive “does not prohibit CDC from conducting public health research into gun violence” and the agency continues to do so.

“Public health research is fundamental for understanding the problem and developing scientifically sound solutions,” said the study’s lead author, Katherine Fowler of the CDC.

An accompanying editorial in the journal said it’s “both reasonable and wise” for doctors to talk about firearms safety with parents, particularly those who keep guns at home.

“It may help to remind ourselves and our parents that our message on safe gun storage in homes with children is similar to that of gun rights and sport shooting groups,” wrote Dr. Eliot Nelson of University of Vermont Children’s Hospital.

AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson in Chicago contributed to this report.

CHICAGO – Shootings kill or injure at least 19 U.S. children each day, with boys, teenagers and blacks most at risk, according to a government study that paints a bleak portrait of persistent violence.

The analysis of 2002-14 U.S. data is billed as the most comprehensive study on the topic. While it mostly confirms previously released information, it underscores why researchers view gun violence as a public health crisis.

WATCH: 1 child is killed every day from an accidental shooting in the U.S.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention involves children and teens through age 17. It was compiled by analyzing death certificates and emergency room reports. Among the findings published Monday in the journal Pediatrics:

  • The yearly toll is nearly 1,300 deaths and almost 6,000 nonfatal gunshot wounds – most of them intentional.
  • Most deaths result from homicides and suicides, while assaults caused most of the nonfatal injuries.
  • The annual death rate is nearly 2 out of 100,000 children – the rate is double for blacks – while nonfatal gunshot wounds injure almost 8 out of 100,000 kids each year.
  • Suicides increased from 2007-14, from 325 to 532. The suicide rate increased 60 per cent over those years to 1.6 per 100,000. One-third of these kids were depressed and most had experienced a recent crisis, including relationship breakups and problems at school.
  • Homicides fell from 2007-14, from 1,038 to 699, the rate dropping by 36 per cent to less than 1 per 100,000.
  • Most unintentional deaths resulted from playing with guns and unintentionally pulling the trigger. Most victims were bystanders although among kids up to age 10 in this group, more than 40 per cent accidentally shot themselves.
  • Story continues below

The report notes that unintentional shooting deaths may be significantly underreported, which was highlighted in a report by The Associated Press and USA TODAY Network. The news organizations found during the first six months of 2016, minors died from accidental shootings – at their own hands, or at the hands of other children or adults – at a pace of one every other day, far more than limited federal statistics indicate.

READ MORE: How a Chicago teen faces life after a bullet in a city with more than 3,000 shootings in 2016

Congress has prohibited the CDC from using federal money to advocate or promote gun control. CDC spokeswoman Courtney Lenard said the congressional directive “does not prohibit CDC from conducting public health research into gun violence” and the agency continues to do so.

“Public health research is fundamental for understanding the problem and developing scientifically sound solutions,” said the study’s lead author, Katherine Fowler of the CDC.

An accompanying editorial in the journal said it’s “both reasonable and wise” for doctors to talk about firearms safety with parents, particularly those who keep guns at home.

“It may help to remind ourselves and our parents that our message on safe gun storage in homes with children is similar to that of gun rights and sport shooting groups,” wrote Dr. Eliot Nelson of University of Vermont Children’s Hospital.

By Michael Reagan

It’s impossible to argue with Rush Limbaugh.

When Rush said the nut job who shot House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others at a D.C. baseball field on Wednesday was radicalized by the left-wing establishment media, he’s absolutely correct.

Everyone in Washington has been urging us not get into a political blame-game like the ones that followed the shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Gifford in 2011 or the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

Pardon my French, but “BS” on that.

The shooter was obviously radicalized by the constant drumbeat of fake news and blind Trump hate in the media.

He was a nasty loser, a Republican hater and a Bernie Sanders worshipper who dreamed of President Rachel Maddow.

We’re lucky he’s dead and that — thanks only to the presence of the heroic Capitol Police security detail that guards Scalise around the clock — no one else is.

I wasn’t surprised that some lunatic lefty would try to murder a bunch of Republicans or Trump supporters.

With all that hate in the media, I was surprised it took so long.

Since last November we haven’t been able to turn on the news – radio, TV or print – without being bombarded by the liberal establishment’s vitriolic hatred of Trump.

We’ve had riots and window smashing on the Berkeley campus to protest the booking of a conservative speaker.

We’ve had Madonna talking about burning down the White House and comedienne Kathy Griffin holding up a fake severed head that looked like Donald Trump.

We’ve had Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” adapted to show a bloody symbolic assassination of a Trump-like figure on stage in New York City’s Central Park.

And of course liberals defended it as a clever work of art, a brave act of resistance by the artistic community, not a cheap, creepy political stunt.

Meanwhile, in an era of nonstop liberal Trump Hate and “Fake News,” you can’t have a civil conversation about politics with anyone in a workplace or on a golf course.

Teachers and Hollywood actors who support Trump, or who are conservative Republicans, meet behind closed doors and are afraid to speak their minds for fear of losing their jobs.

There are Republicans in Washington and even some in the conservative media who want us to play the “Kumbaya” card and not use this week’s attack on Republican congressmen for political purposes.

But not me.

I remember what happened after Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and killed 168 people in 1995, when I had a national talk show.

Bryant Gumbel, then the host of NBC’s “Today” show, no doubt speaking on behalf of his liberal brethren in the MSM, blamed McVeigh’s act of terrorism on conservative talk radio.

He didn’t use the term “radicalized,” but Gumbel named Rush, me and Ollie North, who’d been in radio for only two weeks, for driving Tim McVeigh to the point of committing mass murder.

I tried to get on the “Today” show to do a rebuttal to Gumbel’s creep shot, but they wouldn’t let me on.

Eleven years later, when Democratic Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot and six people were killed by a madman in an Arizona shopping center, the liberals blamed guns and Sarah Palin – and still do today.

Liberals are in shock that the ball field shooter was a Bernie supporter, but I’m not.

Liberals are the ones who’ve been spewing all the hate talk, accusing Trump of crimes for which there is no evidence and calling for his impeachment.

They are the ones who need to cool their rhetoric and come to grips with the reality that Bernie was screwed by Hillary but Hillary lost to President Trump fair and square.

More than that, liberals need to start holding themselves accountable for the hate, trouble and violence their deranged or dangerous constituents are causing all across the USA.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. 

Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado rifles a bullet across the diamond to retire St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jedd Gyorko for the third out.

It’s been a frustrating year at the plate for third baseman Manny Machado, as well as his ball club in the Baltimore Orioles. Machado might be only hitting .215 on the year and Baltimore is hovering around .500 in a loaded AL East, but they had a great day on Saturday against the struggling St. Louis Cardinals.

Already up 14-7 in the top of the eighth inning, Cardinals third baseman Jedd Gyorko would hit a sharp grounder down the third base line with a runner on base. Machado cared for none of that as he went well into foul territory to grab the batted ball on one bounce.

Across his body, he would rifle out Gyorko for a ridiculous third out of the inning to retire the side. Machado’s arm strength was so ridiculous on that play that he was able to gun out Gyorko by several steps. In most instances, Gyorko should have been out by maybe half a step. Unbelievable.

It was one of those plays we’ve grown accustomed to seeing out of Machado at the Baltimore hot corner. He absolutely channeled his inner Brooks Robinson to be the 21st Century’s Human Vacuum Cleaner in the Charm City. It was an impress play all the way around for Machado.

Baltimore would crush reeling St. Louis 15-7 on Saturday to improve within a game of .500 at 33-34. St. Louis would fall to 31-36 on the year, as ace Adam Wainwright would get bounced after only 1.2 innings.

Machado had a solid day at the plate himself. He would go 2-5 with a two-run homer off Wainwright in the second inning, his 13th of the season. However, it was Machado’s glove that will be the most memorable moment from that Saturday at Camden Yards.




Other Sports

American Rickie Fowler tamed Erin Hills to claim the first-round lead at the US Open on Thursday, making the so-called toughest test in golf look easy with a record-equalling display while the big guns failed to fire.

Fowler returned a seven-under 65 for a one-shot lead over compatriot Xander Schauffele and Englishman Paul Casey.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson opened defence of his crown with a shaky three-over 75, while No. 2 Rory McIlroy, sidelined for much of the year with rib and back injuries, opened with an eagle but could not shake the rust, fading to six-over 78 after being punished by the brutal fescue rough several times.

Important results (first round): 65: Rickie Fowler (USA); 66: Paul Casey (Eng), Xander Schauffele (USA); 67: Brian Harman (USA), Tommy Fleetwood (Eng), Brooks Koepka (USA); 68: Patrick Reed (USA), Kevin Na (USA), Marc Leishman (Aus), Adam Hadwin (Can); 69: Jamie Lovemark (USA), J.B. Holmes (USA), Lee Westwood (Eng), Andrew Johnston (Eng), Kim Si-Woo (Kor), Scottie Scheffler (USA), Jim Furyk (USA), Bernd Wiesberger (Aut).