Los Angeles Times

Trump's school safety commission limits debate about gun-control measures

WASHINGTON - The day before she was to testify before President Donald Trump's school safety commission, Jennifer Johnston, an expert on media coverage of mass shootings, received a phone call from an Education Department adviser who asked her to "refrain" from any gun-control remarks.

The official, Kent Talbert, cited a section of her pre-submitted testimony that called for federal officials to "greatly restrict the sale of semiautomatic and automatic weapons across states," Johnston recalled.

The assistant psychology professor at Western New Mexico University was stunned that a commission set up after the deadly Parkland, Fla., shooting would ask her to omit something she considered so relevant. She says she stayed up half the night worrying: If she insisted on making the statement, would the commission discount the rest of her research?

The next morning, June 21, shortly before the session began, Talbert pulled her aside, concerned that she was "still thinking of doing this," Johnston said. She decided to remove the section, but hastily added a sentence near the

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