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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 200 mayors signed onto a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday urging them to cancel the Senate's August recess to address gun control following last weekend's mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.

"Already in 2019, there have been over 250 mass shootings. The tragic events in El Paso and Dayton this weekend are just the latest reminders that our nation can no longer wait for our federal government to take the actions necessary to prevent people who should not have access to firearms from being able to purchase them."

The big picture: The mayors of Dayton, El Paso, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Parkland, Fla., Annapolis, Md. and other cities that have been the site of mass shootings in recent years are among the 214 calling for the Senate to vote on two background check bills that have already passed the House.

  • H.R. 8 would require background checks for all firearm sales, including those sold at gun shows and online.
  • H.R. 1112, spearheaded by Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who represents Charleston, would "extend the background check review period deadline from three to 10 business days."

Go deeper: Schumer, Pelosi demand McConnell cancel Senate recess to pass gun control

Go deeper

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

The U.S. coronavirus vaccines aren't all the same

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. now has three COVID-19 vaccines, and public health officials are quick — and careful — to say there’s no bad option. But their effectiveness, manufacturing and distribution vary.

Why it matters: Any of the authorized vaccines are much better than no vaccine, especially for people at high risk of severe coronavirus infections. But their differences may fuel perceptions of inequity, and raise legitimate questions about the best way to use each one.