Apr 11, 2023 - Podcasts

146 mass shootings in 100 days

At least five people are dead and nine others are injured following a shooting at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky on Monday. The suspect was shot on the scene by police. This marks America's 146th mass shooting in 100 days.

  • Plus, Americans are not ready for retirement.
  • And, charging your electric car may get a lot easier.

Guests: Axios' Alex Fitzpatrick, Erica Pandey and The Trace's Jennifer Mascia.

Credits: Axios Today is produced by Margaret Talev, Robin Linn, Lydia McMullen-Laird, Fonda Mwangi and Alex Sugiura. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at [email protected]. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go Deeper:


MARGARET: Good morning! Welcome to Axios Today!

It’s Tuesday April 11th.

I’m Margaret Talev, in for Niala Boodhoo.

Here’s what you need to know today: Americans are not ready for retirement. Plus, charging your electric car may get a lot easier. But first, a shooting in Louisville is the 146th mass shooting in 100 days. That’s today’s One Big Thing.

Louisville is the 146th mass shooting in 100 days

MARGARET: At least four people are dead and nine are injured following a shooting at a bank in Louisville, Kentucky yesterday. The suspect was shot on the scene by police. Here to give us some context on this shooting is Jennifer Mascia from The Trace, a nonprofit newsroom that reports on gun violence.

So Jennifer, what have you learned about this story?

JENNIFER MASCIA: The gunman appears to be a current or former employee at this bank. The colleagues saw the gunman come in on a video and some of them locked themselves in an office that was accessible only by key code and then listened as their coworkers were gunned down. Police responded in three minutes, but it wasn't enough to stop all casualties. The gunman had an AR-style rifle, so this is very difficult if you are trying to intercept a gunman or prevent somebody from entering a workplace. It's very easy to ambush security measures and shoot right through doors, which is also what we saw in Nashville, when you have firepower like that.

MARGARET: Take us back to 2019 because that is the year when Kentucky moved to permitless carry, and I remember that Louisville's Metro Police opposed it at the time.

JENNIFER: What happened was uh, the GOP-dominated legislature made the argument, which has been furthered by the gun lobby, that more guns carried by civilians will make us safer. When they removed the requirement for a concealed carry permit, they ended up missing a lot of concealed carriers, so those people are no longer being vetted on a monthly basis. Kentucky does not require background checks on sales that don't go through licensed dealers, so you can buy a gun from a stranger and there's no record of it. There's no vetting. There's no gun owner licensing where you have to get a license to buy a gun. That's missing in Kentucky.

MARGARET: Jennifer, Kentucky's governor has indicated that he was actually close friends with two of the victims and one of the survivors. Kentucky is also home to the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell. Is there any reason to think that these personal ties could have any impact in terms of legislation or the political approach?

JENNIFER: Well, we saw this with the Nashville shooting too, where the governor's wife knew one of the victims and was very close with her. The argument among GOP leaders and pro-gun advocates is “this proves why we need more guns in every aspect of public life.” That is something that is just reinforced after shootings like this. People are arguing that because the bank didn't allow civilian guns, this happened. Unfortunately, we are at a stalemate and now we have two Americas where we have half the states with very permissive gun laws and high rates of gun death and the other half that regulate access and have lower rates of gun death.

MARGARET: Jennifer Mascia is a news writer and founding staffer at the Trace. Thank you so much Jennifer.

JENNIFER: Thank you for having me.

MARGARET: In a moment...are Americans ready for retirement? Stay tuned.


Americans are not ready for retirement

MARGARET: Welcome back to Axios Today. I'm Margaret Talev in for Niala Boodhoo.

America is not ready for retirement. That's according to Fidelity, which is the country's largest provider for 401(k) plans, and they're reporting that half of the country is not on track for a comfortable retirement. Axios’ Erica Pandey is covering this story. Hello, Erica.

ERICA PANDEY: Hi, Margaret.

MARGARET: Erica, Fidelity says that 401(k)s lost 23% of their value last year. That's compared with 2021. I know the past year felt brutal, but why was it this bad?

ERICA: So there was just all this volatility in the markets and we know that 401(k)s are a long term thing, right? But for boomers who are in retirement, or nearing retirement, to lose 23% in one year is very scary. And I think for the other generations – I'm talking millennials and Gen X – seeing all that volatility has pushed a lot of them to just think maybe this isn't worth it right now and put their plans on hold. I mean, Fidelity is reporting that 55% of 18 to 35 year olds have just put all retirement planning and saving on hold.

MARGARET: What do we know about this phenomenon? I mean, this is kind of like, is it a Covid hangover?

ERICA: If you think about millennials, they have lived through, and, and their lives have been shaped by some of the biggest and most volatile financial events. So 9/11, a lot of them were young around then, they saw that. A lot of them graduated, entered the workforce around the 2008 recession. Now they've seen Covid, they've seen inflation, and their confidence in the markets is just very, very low.

MARGARET: So millennials are in trouble when it comes to retirement savings. Let's go generation by generation. Gen X is my generation. How are my people doing?

ERICA: Gen X is doing a little better, but they don't have as much time. And so, you know, that is a generation to be worried about. Millennials we should be worried about as well, but they have much more time. And boomers are a little bit more okay than the other two generations because, you know, they're in the thick of it already. And they're also much more likely to have a traditional pension, for example, that can really cushion the blow during retirement.

The interesting thing is if you look at Gen Z, they're actually doing better than the other generations were when they were Gen Z's age.The creation of IRA savings accounts among Gen Z was up 30% in 2022 compared to 2021, according to Fidelity's calculations.

And I'll add one more thing that I think is worth noting. Another thing that puts millennials and, and even Gen X, some of the younger workers in a bit of a bind, is that they're also more likely than boomers to maybe work for a small business or do gig work. All these, you know, forms of employment that mean that their employer is not providing them with a retirement plan. We think about retirement as such a bread and butter thing, but roughly half of the workforce, and that's about 50 million people, work for an employer who don't offer any kind of retirement plan.

MARGARET: Erica Pandey is an Axios business reporter. Thanks, Erica.

ERICA: Thanks.

MARGARET: And we wanna hear from you. Do you feel ready for retirement? Why or why not? Send us a voice memo or a text to 202-914-4893 or email podcasts Axios dot com.

Charging your electric car may get a lot easier

MARGARET: This week, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to propose new tailpipe emissions rules that could accelerate America's shift to electric vehicles.

That comes as Walmart, the largest retailer, says it will install new fast chargers for electric vehicles at thousands of Walmart and Sam's Club locations across the country by 2030. Axios’ Alex Fitzpatrick is here with what all of this means for EV charging access.

Alex, Walmart already has more than 1000 EV chargers available at 200 plus locations, so why are they pushing for more?

ALEX FITZPATRICK: Mostly it's competitive advantage. A lot of retail and fast food companies have been installing or announcing they're gonna be installing. It is creating a captive audience where you've got people who are gonna be sitting around for 20 to 30 minutes, and I guarantee you people are gonna wanna spend that time doing something other than just sitting in their car. So they'll be wandering into the store, they'll be buying chips and snacks and sodas and other stuff. Whether it's Walmart or 7-Eleven or any of these other companies that have announced EVcharging plants.

MARGARET: Is the charging gonna be free?

ALEX: It will not be free. What Walmart has told me is that it'll be a pretty good price, which is sort of in line with their whole brand and ethos. Probably less than what gasoline costs, but it'll cost something.

MARGARET: So when we talk about accessibility, that really is a big concern for a lot of consumers. How convenient is getting to a Walmart parking lot for most Americans?

ALEX: The company says 90% of Americans live within 10 miles of a Walmart, which is a pretty staggering stat, and I think speaks to one of the big advantages that Walmart has here, which is they have this enormous retail footprint across the country. And a big goal of the Biden administration right now is to expand EV charging. And working with or incentivizing companies like Walmart to do this sort of thing is part of the reason that retailers and other companies are getting into EV charging is because these tax incentives are on the table, and most of them will be eligible for at least some slice of that pie.

MARGARET: You mentioned other companies, what other large retailers are you hearing about?

ALEX: One of the most interesting plans that have been announced recently is Subway, the sandwich fast food chain, announced what they call the Subway Oasis, imagine a gas station for electric cars, but also has pet relief areas, a playground for kids, retail obviously. Uh, and the idea here is that because you'll need a place to spend time, on a long road trip while your car charges up, it has what people want and need during those stops. It's becoming increasingly clear that when you install chargers that leads to better EV adoption.

MARGARET: Alex Fitzpatrick edits Axios’ What's Next Newsletter. Thanks Alex.

ALEX: Sure. Thanks for having me.

MARGARET: That’s it for us today. I’m Margaret Talev, in for Niala Boodhoo. Thanks for listening - stay safe and we’ll see you back here tomorrow morning.

Go deeper