Jun 4, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon. Today's PM is 590 words, a 2 minute read.

Situational awareness: Former resource officer Scot Peterson has been arrested on 11 charges related to his lack of response to the Parkland mass shooting. Go deeper.

D.C. readers: Join Axios' Bob Herman tomorrow at 8am for an Axios event on health care affordability.

  • Guests: Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb; Association for Accessible Medicines CEO Chester 'Chip' Davis Jr.
  • RSVP here.
1 big thing: "Votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers"

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP/Getty Images

12 years after the Virginia Tech massacre, another mass shooting has pushed the Old Dominion in the direction of gun control.

  • "We must give Virginians the action they deserve," Gov. Ralph Northam said at a press conference today calling a special legislative session this summer.
  • "I will be asking for votes and laws, not thoughts and prayers."
  • Northam was flanked by Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Attorney General Mark Herring, their first time together in public since political scandals this spring.

Why it matters: Gun control legislation failed by a slim margin earlier this year in the Virginia legislature. Now Democrats are advancing specific legislation that would have made it harder to carry out attacks like the Virginia Beach shooting.

  • Northam wants bans on high-capacity magazines and gun silencers — both used by the Virginia Beach shooter — along with universal background checks and restrictions on the timing of buying guns.
  • "Northam did not indicate when the session will take place ... Northam does not need authorization from the GOP-controlled General Assembly to call lawmakers to Richmond." [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

Flashback: "After the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, in which a student with a history of mental problems shot 32 people to death, the state passed a law prohibiting people adjudicated as seriously mentally ill from buying a gun." [AP]

  • "But a push at the time for universal background checks failed."

Be smart: "Either a handful of Republicans in both houses eat their earlier opposition to gun control measures and help pass some appropriate post-VA Beach legislation OR Democrats will use their recalcitrance to batter the GOP at the polls in November," UVA's Larry Sabato emails.

  • "Democrats only have to pick up two seats in each house and they’ll rule the roost in Richmond."
Bonus: Pic du jour
Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

People hold candles during a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

  • "Estimates of the number of participants varied widely, with police putting the figure at 37,000 and organizers at 180,000," the AP reports.
2. What you missed
  1. The White House has instructed Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to turn over documents related to their time in the administration. Go deeper.
  2. Vladimir Putin's spokesman says he has no idea where Trump's claim that Russia had "removed most of their people from Venezuela" came from. Details.
  3. The U.S. vs. Kik: A new SEC suit alleges Kik's $100 million token sale in 2017 should have been registered as a securities sale. Go deeper.
  4. Rep. Adam Schiff thinks Attorney General Bill Barr is "the second most dangerous man in the country." Video.
  5. Low-income and fixed-income Americans may bear the brunt of Trump's newly announced tariffs on Mexican goods. Details.
3. 1 cat thing
Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP Images

Both houses of New York's legislature are set to vote on a bill today that could make the state the first to ban the declawing of cats, per the AP.

  • Supporters say "the practice is cruel and barbaric since it involves the amputation of a cat’s toes back to the first knuckle."
  • The state's "Veterinary Medical Society has opposed the bill. It says the procedure should be allowed as a last resort for felines that won’t stop scratching ... or when the cat’s owner has a weakened immune system."

The big picture: "Declawing a cat is already illegal in much of Europe as well as in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver."