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Need to Know, January 14, 2011: Gun control, Haiti, high-speed rail

In the wake of the shooting in Arizona this week, we revisit our story about gun rights activists and examine the current state of gun laws in the U.S. In an essay, co-host Jon Meacham, a gun owner, takes legislators  of both parties to task for their reluctance to ban assault weapons.

To mark the first anniversary of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, we present a report from The New York Times about two badly injured children who were brought to the U.S. for treatment and recovery. We also present a Blueprint America report that examines the prospects for high-speed rail in the midwest in light of starkly opposing political views.

And CNN political analyst Peter Bergen talks about the war on terror and the continued viability of al Qaeda.

Watch the individual segments:

Guns after Tucson

In the wake of the Arizona shooting tragedy last week, Need to Know updates its story about gun rights activists and examines the current state of gun control laws in the U.S. For more on the shootings, see Need to Know’s coverage of the charges, the gunman’s mental state and the possible use of the insanity defense.

Helping children in Haiti

Need to Know presents a report from The New York Times on two severely injured children who were brought from Haiti to Boston for surgery, physical therapy and recovery. For more on Haiti, read about the slow pace of the recovery and watch an audio slide show featuring an interview with Dominican Republic President Leonel Fernandez.

Missteps in America’s ‘longest war’

Alison Stewart talks with author Peter Bergen about his latest book, which charts America’s prosecution of the “war on terror” and al Qaeda’s continued strength as a movement.

High speed rail: A tale of two governors

President Obama’s vision for high speed rail has been rejected by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, and embraced by Illinois governor Patrick Quinn, a Democrat. For more reports from our partners at Blueprint America, check out Need to Know’s Transportation Desk.

Essay: Balancing liberty and life

In light of the shootings in Arizona, Need to Know’s Jon Meacham — a gun owner — takes both parties to task for their reluctance to ban assault weapons. Then, Jon talks with Rep. Michael Quigley, an advocate of gun control, about the chances of passing new gun limits in Congress. Read Jon’s past essays as part of our In Perspective series.

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