Axios’ email thingie:
Data provided exclusively to Axios by NewsWhip shows social-media attention to the Uvalde massacre briefly peaked above even the 2018 shooting in Parkland, Fla. — but fell off much quicker, Axios’ Sara Fischer and Neal Rothschild report.
- Public interest about Parkland — measured in social media interactions (likes, shares, comments) with news stories — was sustained for much longer, as students became vocal gun-control activists.
💭 N.Y. Times Quote of the Day … Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who’s leading Democratic negotiations to get at least modest gun legislation:
When people give up on us dealing with the most important and most existential issues, it means they’re giving up on democracy itself.
[We should note that Axios has an interactive chart that shows the public’s interest drop-off rate for a set of mass killings.]
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie:
PROSPECTS ON THE HILL — In a legislative branch that can accomplish little these days, Senate Majority Leader CHUCK SCHUMER’s decision to try for bipartisan gun legislation “may prove to be a high-stakes bet on representative democracy itself,” NYT’s Jonathan Weisman writes in a step-back analysis. The group of 10 senators involved is Zooming today to try to nail down a framework, he writes, though CBS’ Scott MacFarlane and Kathryn Watson report more uncertainty over whether the call will be just Sens. JOHN CORNYN (R-Texas) and CHRIS MURPHY (D-Conn.) or a larger group.
Murphy says he’d be willing to accept less than he wants to prove to Republicans and the country that this can still work. The intense spotlight, Weisman notes, comes as some liberals call for structural changes to democratic institutions and some conservatives seek to undo elections themselves.
— Rep. SHEILA JACKSON LEE (D-Texas) told WaPo’s Ellen Nakashima and Paulina Villegas that the House Judiciary crime subcommittee she chairs will hold hearings about Uvalde and gun violence.
POLITICAL FALLOUT — In Texas, Democrat BETO O’ROURKE is “betting that the tragedy can reset the governor’s race in America’s largest red state,” AP’s Will Weissert reports. Prospects: not great for O’Rourke, though Weissert did find one McAllen mom who didn’t vote for him in 2018 but is now getting on board.
THE VIOLENCE WE DON’T HEAR ABOUT — Memorial Day weekend saw at least 11 mass shootings across the country, plus another three since Uvalde, per WaPo’s Annabelle Timsit. That includes at least 10 deaths and 61 injuries — the kind of gun violence toll embedded into the daily fabric of the U.S.
Tiger Beat’s OTHER morning email thingie starts off with:
GUN TALKS CONTINUE — A small bipartisan group of Senators are once again seeking a “framework” to scaffold eventual legislation, this time with policies aimed at reducing deadly mass shootings like those in Buffalo and Uvalde.
Even while back in their home states for the Memorial Day recess, they are carving out time to get on the phone and on video calls to talk through potential policies. The group, led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on the Democratic side and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) for Republicans, meets today over Zoom to try to move forward on the basics of a potential compromise.
“In between parades, I’ve been on the phone today w Republican and Democratic Senators trying to find the common denominator on a gun violence bill,” Murphy tweeted on Memorial Day.
Cornyn told reporters in Texas yesterday that he wants to do “more than we’ve done in the past,” on gun legislation.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said, following a Memorial Day event in Utah, that there is energy behind the efforts and a balance to strike: “I do believe there’s a recognition that we’ve got to do something. We’ve got to find some answers, make sure that we, of course, protect people’s constitutional rights, but at the same time make sure that we’re protecting our children,” Romney said, according to KSL News in Salt Lake City. He said he’d be open to an expansion of the background check system and changes to make background checks more effective.
Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) told local reporters that a so-called red flag bill focused on grant programs for states who implement risk protection orders, sponsored by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.) Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and King “is in the mix for discussion,” with the larger group, but “whether it will make it into the final package is unclear at this time.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he’d give the talks some breathing room until after the recess, but has also pledged a vote on gun safety regardless of if there’s a bipartisan compromise or not. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on gun violence and kids on June 15th.
“This time, failure cannot be an option,” Murphy wrote over the weekend.
And thus Lucy sets up the football again.
H/T Scissorhead Jimmy-T. And I’m gutted again!