Jun 1, 2019

Gun violence as a national security threat

A memorial for victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Mass gun violence is one of the top threats to safety and security in America, Janet Napolitano, former Homeland Security secretary, tells "Axios on HBO."

What's happening: The U.S. has more mass shootings than any other country in the world. Napolitano notes that federal resources are steered toward shootings motivated by “terrorist ideology,” but most are simply treated as “a local crime, a state crime.”

Even in cases where suspects have been radicalized, they're difficult to identify in part because there's often no broader conspiracy to uncover.

  • "They're just radicalized in their mind to the point where they go out and buy weapons with immense firepower and take them to a nightclub [or] shoot from a hotel room," she says.
  • The government needs to “identify individuals who are susceptible to such self-radicalization and almost treat it like a public health issue,” while adding “reasonable gun safety measures,” Napolitano adds.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Stef Kight: There is a generation of young people with little memory of foreign terrorist attacks such as 9/11, but who have grown up witnessing their peers killed by domestic terrorists. These young people will soon be voters.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Amid racial unrest, a test at the polls

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Eight states plus D.C. are holding primary elections today following a week of intense protests across the country over the brutal police killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: It's the first major test for voting since the national outcry. Concerns over civil unrest and the police — as well as the coronavirus and expanded absentee voting — could reduce the number of voters showing up in person but heighten tensions for those who do.

Axios-Ipsos poll: America’s big racial divide on police, virus

Data: Ipsos/Axios survey; Note: ±3.2% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A new Axios-Ipsos poll finds that America has a massive racial gulf on each of our twin calamities — trust in police, and fear of the coronavirus.

  • 77% of whites say they trust local police, compared with just 36% of African Americans — one of many measures of a throbbing racial divide in Week 11 of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, taken the week George Floyd was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
Updated 51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.