Aug 13, 2019

Axios PM

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 489 words, a 2 minute read.

1 big thing: The shootings that fade from view

If there's anything we've learned from two decades of mass shootings, it's that people forget, or at least move on, after the initial rush of coverage.

  • What's new: Google searches about the El Paso shooting surged more than any other recent mass shooting, Axios' Sara Fischer and Stef Kight report.

Why it matters: Even the most horrific attacks tend to fade from public interest over time, relieving pressure on lawmakers to address the underlying issues.

Expand chart
Data: Google; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The big picture: Online, mass shootings increasingly blend together.

  • The shooters post their sick manifestos, the weapons of death are often the same, lawmakers offer their condolences that feel carbon copied and activists vow to make something change (it rarely does) — and soon enough, it happens again.
  • We've even reached the point of forgetting: The WashPost notes that the 2007 mass shooting that killed 8 at Westroads Mall in Omaha has increasingly been forgotten.
  • "Back then, it was huge news,” 24-year-old Samantha Flynn — whose mom was killed in the shooting — told the Post. “I’ve had a lot of people tell me they don’t remember it. I’m like, ‘You live in Omaha, and you don’t know?’"

What to watch: Searches for "mass shooting" have been steadily growing beyond the spikes that immediately follow attacks, Stef and Sara report.

  • And 40% of Americans surveyed by Gallup this year said that they were "very dissatisfied" with the nation's gun laws — up from 21% in 2008.
Bonus: Pic du jour

Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images

Members of the medical profession gather to protest against Hong Kong police brutality at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

  • Hong Kong International Airport cancelled flights for a second day, as thousands of protesters packed the departure area and blocked security gates.
  • President Trump tweets: "Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!"
2. What you missed
  1. Trade war delay: The impending 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports targeted by President Trump in the trade war will be delayed from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15 for certain products. Go deeper.
  2. Epstein fallout: The Bureau of Prisons will temporarily reassign the warden and place 2 staffers on leave after Jeffrey Epstein's apparent suicide. Go deeper.
  3. CBS and Viacom are merging into ViacomCBS Inc., more than a decade after splitting apart in 2006. Go deeper.
  4. Stacey Abrams plans to launch a new voting rights program called Fair Fight 2020. Go deeper.
  5. The Los Angeles Opera will investigate allegations against opera singer Placido Domingo of multiple women accusing him sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. (AP)
3. 1 ⛵️thing

Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Greta Thunberg’s 2-week voyage to the United States won't exactly be pleasure yacht material, lacking a toilet or fixed shower and with a diet of freeze dried food, the AP reports:

  • Inside, the yacht resembles the interior of a tin can. It is dark and gray, with no windows below deck.
  • Thunberg said she was seasick for “five minutes” when the boat stood still during a trial run.
  • “Of course, I will be a little bit seasick,” she told the AP. “But I don’t think I will be very seasick.”