“This is becoming the norm,” he said about school shootings during a Tumblr Q&A. “We should be ashamed.”
The President addressed lawmakers who blame mass shootings on mental health, not access to guns.
“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people,” he said. “And yet, we kill each other in these mass shootings.”
* Nick Wing and Sam Stein note just how common school shootings are:
Including Tuesday’s incident at a high school in Troutdale, Oregon, 74 school shootings have taken place in the approximately 18 months since the Dec. 14, 2012, Newtown shooting. The average school year typically lasts about 180 days, which means there have been roughly 270 school days, or 54 weeks, of class since the shooting at Newtown. With 74 total incidents over that period, the nation is averaging well over a shooting per school week.
Everybody knows that the only thing that stops a bad 9-year-old with a gun is a good 9-year-old with a gun.
* A little blast from the past, in which a hippie gun-grabber by the name of Ronald Reagan made the case for the Brady Bill, which mandated waiting periods and background checks.
* Officials from the military and Department of Defense briefed senators on the prisoner exchange that freed Bowe Bergdahl. Here’s one reaction:
“Was it a good deal or a bad deal?” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia. “In my mind it’s still a bad deal. I still can’t explain it back home to my fellow West Virginians why these five who they’ve tried repeatedly to get some exchange for over the last 10 years, why these five all of the sudden all were released.”
Really? You “still can’t explain it” to your constituents? How about this: There was an American soldier held captive, and when that happens, we get him out. We’ll even take risks to do it, because we consider it really important. There’s an explanation for you.
* Jason Carter, the Democratic nominee in the Georgia governor’s race, is openly advocating for the state to accept the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, and is making it a campaign issue against GOP Governor Nathan Deal. Carter is drawing attention to rural hospitals that desperately need the money. Shockingly, even in a conservative Southern state, that position isn’t a bad one to take.
* GOP Rep. Vance McAllister, who is retiring from Congress due to an adultery scandal, has been liberated to tell the truth. “Money controls Washington,” he told an audience of accountants, adding that Congress is caught in a “steady cycle of voting for fundraising and money instead of voting for what is right.”
Chief Justice John Roberts has no idea what McAllister is talking about.
* John McCain with some tough words for fellow Republicans: If we don’t pass immigration reform, it doesn’t matter who we nominate in 2016; we’re going to lose.
Of course, McCain is a big loser himself, having failed in his bid for the presidency in 2008, so this only shows Republicans should nominate a real conservative.
* According to the latest Gallup data, President Obama’s approval rating has risen steadily since the beginning of the year and held steady at around 44 percent in May. Not great, but perhaps all those scandals weren’t as devastating as advertised.
* GOP Sen. Dean Heller tells Roll Call that negotiations over an extension of unemployment would go better if only President Obama were more involved: “I do believe that if the president would be more engaged on this particular topic we could get something done.”
Right. Because nothing makes Republicans more likely to hammer out a deal than Barack Obama’s involvement.
* Since that quasi-bribery thing enabled the GOP to take over the Virginia state senate, the Republican party now controls the legislature in all the former confederate states for the first time since Reconstruction.
* Dana Milbank marks a milestone: the House Rules Committee has now forbidden amendments on more bills in this Congress than in any other Congress before it. Congrats!
To wit: 42 percent of Fox Republicans support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, compared to 60 percent of non-Fox Republicans. The closed conservative information feedback loop at work!