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Data: Gun Violence Archive; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A deadly epidemic overshadowing President Biden's first 100 days has been mass shootings from day to day, coast to coast, affecting both urban and rural communities.

Why it matters: The United States continues to grapple with whether and how to change its gun laws. Biden is expected to urge Congress to pass anti-gun violence legislation in tonight's address. He's already ordered flags to be flown at half-staff three times in response to shootings in Boulder, Colorado, and Indianapolis as well as in and near Atlanta.

  • The president also has issued executive actions, directing his administration to implement new rules addressing access to guns.

By the numbers: Last year, there were more than 600 mass shootings, according to Gun Violence Archive — the most since at least 2014.

  • Since Biden took office on Jan. 20, more than 700 people have been injured or killed in 139 mass shootings.

What to watch: Gun purchases continue to spike, driven in part by first-time gun owners. Last month set a new record for firearm background checks at nearly 4.7 million, according to FBI statistics.

  • Gun background checks had already surged 40% in 2020, compared to 2019.

Of note: Axios Sneak Peek is counting down to Biden’s 100th day in office on Friday with data-driven analyses of the administration's accomplishments and challenges each day this week.

Go deeper

Aug 5, 2021 - Podcasts

Left behind in Afghanistan

The Biden administration is close to meeting its accelerated deadline for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. But it's leaving behind thousands of translators and interpreters who are waiting for special immigrant visas designated for people who worked with US troops. Najib is one of those translators in limbo.

  • Plus, the Mexican government sues U.S. gunmakers.
  • And, vaccine passports come to New York City.

Guests: Afghan translator, Najib; Telemundo and Axios' Marina Franco; Axios' Tina Reed and Ina Fried.

Credits: Axios Today is produced in partnership with Pushkin Industries. The team includes Niala Boodhoo, Sara Kehaulani Goo, Dan Bobkoff, Alexandra Botti, Nuria Marquez Martinez, Sabeena Singhani, and Alex Sugiura. Music is composed by Evan Viola. You can reach us at podcasts@axios.com. You can text questions, comments and story ideas to Niala as a text or voice memo to 202-918-4893.

Go deeper:

Students vandalize and steal from schools for viral TikTok challenge

TikTok logo displayed on a phone screen in Krakow, Poland on July 18, 2021. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A viral TikTok challenge is leading students nationwide to shatter mirrors, steal fire alarms and intentionally clog toilets, The Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: Dubbed the the “Devious Licks challenge, students are showing off their "devious licks" on TikTok — with a sped-up version of "Ski Ski BasedGod" by rapper Lil’ B playing in the background.

Axios-Ipsos poll: People of color face more environmental threats

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±2.5% margin of error; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Americans of color are much less likely than white Americans to experience good air quality or tap water or enough trees or green space in their communities, and they're more likely to face noise pollution and litter, a new Axios-Ipsos poll finds.

The big picture: Our national survey shows Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to live near major highways or industrial or manufacturing plants — and to have dealt in the past year with water-boil notices or power outages lasting more than 24 hours.