Mic Check — Welcome to the United States of Gun Violence

Mic Check — Welcome to the United States of Gun Violence

THE AGENDA 

Republicans just suffered one of the biggest primary upsets in history: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia was defeated on Tuesday in the Republican primary to David Brat, an economics professor at Randolph-Macon College and a political novice who flew under the radar of virtually every political observer in the Acela corridor. Brat, a Tea Party favorite, spent $122,000 to Cantor's $5 million and was so unknown that his Wikipedia entry was only two sentences before Tuesday night.

+ What does this mean for the political landscape? Read more analysis at memeorandum.

One student, gunman dead after Oregon high school shooting:  A gunman walked into an Oregon high school and fatally shot a student on Tuesday before authorities found him dead a short time later. This is the fifth major shooting in the past seven days alone, as well as the 74th school shooting since the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre 18 months ago. You can see a full list at Everytown for Gun Safety.

+ The Washington Post has an interactive map of every school shooting since Sandy Hook.


Image Credit: Google/Washington Post

+ Can we ever learn to prevent mass shootings? New York magazine’s Jesse Singal examines the psychology behind why kids shoot up their schools.

New York State is inches away from legalizing medical marijuana: The Compassionate Care Act (CCA), a comprehensive medical marijuana bill, recently received approval from the State Senate Health Committee and could potentially become law with a passing vote in the New York State Senate. "As the most populous state on the East Coast, and home to America's largest and most influential city, medical marijuana's passing in New York could accelerate legislative action on the growing public support for further legalization in other states," PolicyMic’s Abdullah Saeed explains.

Insurgents seize Iraqi city of Mosul: Insurgents seized control of most of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, including the provincial government headquarters, and offered a powerful demonstration of the mounting threat posed by extremists to Iraq's teetering stability. Why you should care? ThinkProgress' Hayes Brown explains that the terrorist group now in control of the city has been deemed "too radical and unpredictable," even by al-Qaida. So much for a peaceful end to America's wars abroad.

Boko Haram just kidnapped another group of women — and nobody cares: Boko Haram's cycle of kidnapping continues in Nigeria with the abduction of 20 more women, adding to the 276 schoolgirls still held in captivity since April. Unfortunately, international and domestic attention, including the much-debated #BringBackOurGirls campaign, have all but disappeared, emboldening the terrorist group to continue its practice of kidnapping with relative impunity.

MATTERS OF DEBATE

How much does right-wing rhetoric contribute to right-wing terrorism? The Washington Post's Paul Waldman ponders the source of the anti-government rage that was the impetus for this weekend's police Las Vegas shooting: "It may be going too far to say that conservative politicians and media figures whose rhetoric has fed the deranged fantasies of terrorists and killers have blood on their hands. But they shouldn't have a clear conscience, either."

It's really hard to be a good guy with a gun: In the wake of the Las Vegas and Oregon shootings, Gawker's Adam Weinstein considers the complicated logic of a common refrain. "As the years go on and the country gets crazier — stirred up by paranoiacs, political hardliners, lobbyists and simple gun-fetishists — I come nearer to my wife's side. The universe of scenarios in which carrying a gun seems prudent or useful just keeps shrinking and shrinking, even as the legal freedom to wield personal firepower keeps expanding. The NRA has recalibrated its message for the 21st century: 'The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.' But in many ways, the 21st century has already overtaken us good guys."

The vanished grandeur of accounting: In the Boston Globe, Jacob Soll pens an ode to bean-counters: "Accounting in the modern sense was still a new idea in the 1500s, one with a weight that carried beyond the business world. A proper accounting invoked the idea of debts paid, the obligation of nightly personal reckonings and even calling to account the wealthy and powerful through audits. It was an idea powerful enough to occupy the attention of thinkers in religion, art and philosophy. A look back at the tradition of accounting in art shows just how much is at stake in 'good accounting,' and how much society can gain from seeing it, like the Dutch, not just as a tool but as a cultural principle and a moral position."

Shonda Rhimes' real talk for Dartmouth grads: Dreams are for losers: The writer, director and showrunner has a strong message for recent college graduates: Get your shit together and actually do something. "Find a cause you love. It's okay to just pick one. You are going to need to spend a lot of time out in the real world trying to figure out how to stop being a lost loser, so one cause is good. But find one. And devote some time every week to it. And while we are discussing this, let me say a thing. A hashtag is not helping. #yesallwomen #takebackthenight #notallmen #bringbackourgirls #StopPretendingHashtagsAreTheSameAsDoingSomething. Hashtags are very pretty on Twitter. I love them. I will hashtag myself into next week. But a hashtag is not a movement. A hashtag does not make you Dr. King. A hashtag does not change anything. It's a hashtag. It's you, sitting on your butt, typing into your computer and then going back to binge-watching your favorite show. For me, it's Game of Thrones."

MARVELS

"Calls to 1-900-MIX-A-LOT on Tuesday could not be completed as dialed." [New York Times]

Make your daily commute a little bit less stressful with these 11 excellent podcasts. [PolicyMic]

The strange story of how a cult poisoned hundreds of residents of an Oregon town in 1984 — in an attempt to steal an election. [The Atlantic]

Forget Strunk and White: Here's the real trick to crafting amazing prose in the 21st century. [Edge]

How will sexbots change the nature of human relationships? [Aeon]

Breast milk is the new Muscle Milk. [PolicyMic]

What happens when corporate Twitter accounts stop being polite and start getting weird? [The New Inquiry]

People who say "like" all the time are surprisingly thoughtful. [New York magazine]

The human face evolved to take a punch. [The Week]

Someone really needs to stop James Franco from writing. Or breathing. Or both. [Vice]       

Mic Check is 4.5 cl bourbon whiskey, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, a sugar cube and some links served over ice by Jared Keller. Did we miss something you wanted to read about? Want to see us focus on an under-covered issue? Have a tip for the next edition? Email jared@policymic.com


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