Consequences of ‘Guns Everywhere’.
Just days after turning 18 this month, the gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas purchased two “AR platform rifles” and 375 rounds of ammunition.
One of the assault rifles was left in a truck that was found crashed near the elementary school, while the other rifle was found in the school with the gunman, along with at least seven 30-round magazines.
In recent months, Texas has made it easier to purchase guns despite a series of mass shootings in recent memory that killed a combined 30 people in El Paso and Odessa in 2019.
A new state law that came into effect on September 1 allowed anyone over the age of 21 to carry a handgun in most places without a permit or training. The bill was put forward by Texas Republicans.
Before the change, Texans had to pass a background check, take a safety course, and take a competency test to get a license.
Gun safety advocates are blasting Texas Governor Greg Abbott and other Texas politicians for weakening laws that have been proven to reduce gun violence and save lives.
“In Texas, you can buy semiautomatic rifles at age 18 and carry them around in public without a background check or training, but you’re not old enough to buy beer or cigarettes,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, the grassroots arm of the Mike Bloomberg-founded Everytown for Gun Safety advocacy group.
Rena Estala, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Students Demand Action, a grassroots arm of Everytown, said: “School is the last place where kids should have to worry about gun violence. We need leaders at every level to prioritize gun safety now.”
Texas Democratic candidate for governor Beto O’Rourke confronted the Texas governor during a press conference update on the shooting, telling the governor: “The time to stop the next shooting is right now and you are doing nothing.”
While gun safety legislation remains blocked in the US Senate by Republican and some Democratic lawmakers, progress for gun safety is happening on the state and local levels, often powered by grassroots efforts.
Dr. Joshua Sharfstein of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health pointed out numerous advances in gun safety, particularly after the most high profile mass shootings.
After the Parkland, Florida shooting, students mobilized and multiple states (including Florida) passed extreme risk orders, which have saved lives, Sharfstein wrote on Twitter.
After the shooting in Sandy Hook in 2012, Connecticut passed a permit law and other states took action to advance gun safety including Maryland, New York, Colorado and more.
And just recently in South Carolina, Moms Demand Action volunteers successfully defeated dangerous ‘permitless carry’ legislation that would have allowed people to carry hidden guns in public without a background check, permit or safety training.
In response to this week’s school shooting, students across the country plan a nationwide walkout at noon to grieve with the Uvalde community and demand action from lawmakers.
Good News for London.
The new high-tech Elizabeth Line is now open, slashing journey times, providing substantial extra transit capacity and making the city more accessible.
The new train line is a big deal: An additional 1.5 million people will now be within a 45 minute commute from London’s major commercial and business centers – including the City, the West End and Canary Wharf.
The Elizabeth Line is also delivering a big dose of excitement to London ahead of the Queen’s Jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.
By streamlining travel across the city, the line will “turbo charge our recovery from the pandemic,” Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said.
London’s other trains and tube lines are expected to become notably less congested. And Elizabeth Line trains will have a capacity of 1,500 passengers per train – far higher than trains on other lines.
What I’m Reading.
Climate Change Fuels Warmer Waters: Atlantic Could Unleash Up to 21 Storms This Hurricane Season
Tesla Becomes Partisan: Democrats Aren’t ‘Musk Fans’ But They Sure Do Like His Cars
Teslas are a symbol of the transition to green energy, but driving one is an increasingly loaded decision as the automaker’s CEO plunges into partisan politics.
Stepping out of one in the Capitol Hill parking lot in Washington can be a signal of support for renewable energy — but with Musk’s dive into partisanship, it also can be a political symbol.
Data Trend to Watch: Why the Era of Open Borders for Data Could be Ending
France, Austria, South Africa and more than 50 other countries are accelerating efforts to control the digital information produced by their citizens, government agencies and corporations.
The movement of data has become part of geopolitical negotiations, including a new pact for sharing information across the Atlantic that was agreed to in principle in March.
How Old Are You Really? Scientists Say ‘Credit Score For Your Body’ Might Help Prolong Life
The activities that influence biological age — such as sleep, exercise and diet — are essentially the good habits we already know about. But since everybody’s genes are different, tracking your biological age could help determine which habits are most helpful and how to customize them. For one person, 10,000 steps a day could be optimal, while it is 6,000 for someone else
Best of Late Night.
On new monkeypox cases in the US:
“Thankfully the American public knows what to do in case of a viral outbreak: Make up a bunch of crazy new conspiracy theories.”
— Stephen Colbert
”The CEO of Nokia said that 6G will be here by 2030. That was the news of the future, brought to you by a company of the past.”
— Jimmy Fallon
“Firefighters in New Jersey recently removed a four-foot Monitor lizard from a tree in a residential neighborhood. Isn’t that wild?! There’s a tree in New Jersey!”
— Seth Meyers
“‘Top Gun: Maverick’ was released in theaters across the country, after a three year delay. When they heard about the delay, even Spirit Airlines was like, ‘Wow, respect!’”
— Jimmy Fallon
About the Sheekey Daily Read
I’m always searching for the stories that shine a light on – and offer solutions to – some of the most pressing issues of our time. I started my daily email to capture and share the stories I think are important. Thanks for reading!
– Kevin Sheekey