The 21st Show

How Illinois Is Enforcing Its ‘Red Flag’ Gun Law; The Working Conditions Of Amazon Drivers; MLS Team Coming To St. Louis


Illinois has had a 'red flag' gun law on the books since the beginning of this year, but we're only just learning how implementation of the law is going. Plus, how Amazon's vast, decentralized network of drivers enables quick delivery—but also puts drivers at risk. And, we learn about the Major League Soccer team coming to St. Louis in 2022.

How Illinois Is Enforcing Its 'Red Flag' Gun Law

A large majority of Americans support what are known as “red flag” gun laws. They allow family members or police to ask that someone’s guns be temporarily taken away, if that person is considered dangerous to themselves or others.

17 states and D.C. have some form of these laws. And Illinois passed its own red flag law last year. But we still don’t know very much about how this law—which is only nine months old—has actually been implemented throughout the state.

The Working Conditions Of Amazon Drivers

There are more than 3 billion products to choose from on Amazon worldwide. But there’s a price for all that convenience, a price which has been paid by Amazon drivers and bystanders alike. 

In order to make delivery as fast as possible, Amazon has created a massive, decentralized network of third-party drivers. They’re the reason you can order today and have your package at your doorstep tomorrow. 

But this network has also allowed the company to avoid blame, after overworked and under supported drivers have encountered crashes, injuries and even death along on their routes, including here in Illinois.

Caroline O’Donovan has written about this for Buzzfeed News where she’s a senior technology reporter. She joins us on the line from San Francisco. We also speak with Bob Bruno, professor and director of the University of Illinois Chicago's Labor Education Program. And Greg Muredian is a current driver for Amazon Flex in Chicago.

We reached out to Amazon for comment. They responded with the following statement:

Amazon is proud of our strong safety and labor compliance record across our transportation network of employees and contractors, and we continue to drive improvements that benefit our transportation providers, our customers and the public.  We have strict requirements for safety and labor wages and working conditions that meet or exceed the law.  We also require comprehensive insurance, competitive wages, working hours and numerous other safeguards for our delivery service providers and regularly audit to ensure compliance. Safety is and will remain Amazon’s top priority as evidenced by the vast percentage of deliveries that arrive on time and without incident.”

Major League Soccer Team Coming To St. Louis

St. Louis will become home to the next MLS team. There are lots of St. Louis sports fans in Illinois, especially in the central and southern parts of our state. So we wanted to talk about this to end today’s show.

Benjamin Hochman is the sports columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 

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