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Responding to calls for gun control after Friday's mass shooting in Virginia Beach, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney cautioned against getting into politics "too soon" after tragedy, and told NBC's Chuck Todd: "You're never going to make everything perfectly safe, but we are doing a lot better on enforcement."

MULVANEY: "What's been lost in the last couple of years is the fact that this administration banned bump stocks. We signed a piece of legislation that fixed the background checks."
TODD: "What about the silencer situation? That seems like a legitimate concern."
MULVANEY: "I'm more familiar with the situation in Charleston several years ago, where a guy walks into a church and shot my desk mate in South Carolina Senate. That's where the background check system let us all down. And we fixed that last year with this administration on a bipartisan basis. So there are things the government can do, and there's things this government is doing, but we're never going to protect everybody against everybody who is deranged, insane. I don't know what the shooter's motivation was. ... You're never going to make everything perfectly safe, but we are doing a lot better on enforcement."

Why it matters: The U.S. has more mass shootings than any other country in the world. Federal resources are steered toward shootings motivated by “terrorist ideology,” but most are simply treated as “a local crime, a state crime," according to former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Napolitano told "Axios on HBO" that mass gun violence is one of the top threats to safety and security in the U.S.

The bottom line: Friday's shooting at Virginia Beach Municipal Center was the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S. since November 2018, when 12 people were killed at Borderline Bar & Grill in California.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Health

U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines

A health care worker administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in Ruleville, Mississippi. Photo: Rory Doyle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is now vaccinating an average of 2 million people a day, up from 1.3 million in early February.

Why it matters: That puts us on track to hit President Biden's goal of 100 million doses a month ahead of schedule.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill

Photo: Oliver Contreras/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-50 — with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — to proceed to debate on President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package, likely setting up a final vote this weekend.

The state of play: Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) is forcing the Senate clerk to read the entire 628-page bill on the floor, a procedural move that will likely add 10 hours to the 20 hours already allotted for debate.

4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu campaigns against Biden's plan to save Iran deal

Netanyahu campaigns at a gym last month. Photo: Pool/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indirectly criticized the Biden administration for its intention to return to the Iran nuclear deal and told his supporters he was prepared to "stand against the entire world" to stop it.

Why it matters: This is a major change of tune for Netanyahu, who had been careful in his statements on the Iran deal and avoided publicly criticizing President Biden. The statement was part of Netanyahu's attempt to rally his base ahead of Israel's election on March 23.

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