Rally up: In the wake of Uvalde and other recent mass shootings, senators had hoped to reach a bipartisan deal on gun safety reform by the end of the week. That didn’t happen. And as talks stretch into the rest of the month, the filibuster-proof measures are getting thinner by the day. So grassroots organizers are mobilizing.
Today, more than 450 marches are planned across the country to demand an end to the nation’s gun violence epidemic. (Find one near you, here.) This mass mobilization was organized by March for Our Lives, and follows weeks of testimony from people directly impacted — survivors, families of victims — who have shared their stories in congressional hearings and to the media:
“My mother’s life mattered. And your actions here today will tell us how much it matters to you,” Garnell Whitfield Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this week. His mother, Ruth Whitfield, 86, was killed in the Buffalo, NY, supermarket massacre.
“Somewhere out there, there is a mom listening to our testimony thinking, ‘I can’t even imagine their pain,’ not knowing that our reality will someday be hers,” Kimberly Rubio told the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Her daughter Lexi, 10, was killed in the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, TX.
“[Officers] have a bulletproof vest. I had nothing,” Arnulfo Reyes, an Uvalde teacher who lost all 11 of his students, told ABC. “You can give us all the training you want but the laws have to change.”
“I talked about that at Dylan’s funeral: This is going to be a time for change. I don’t know what that is going to be, but something good will come from this. I can’t let his death be for nothing,” Nicole Hockley told The Atlantic. Her son Dylan, 6, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Ten years ago.
If the Senate can’t get a bill past a filibuster, or passes one that mostly says ‘it’s up to states,’ local lawmakers and governors may have to pick up the slack. (Reminder: Voters in 36 states will elect governors this year.) And Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of gun safety right now — 90% support background checks. At least 63% support a ban on assault-style weapons. This isn’t the first time states have stepped in for the gov. See: New York. California. And Florida, after Parkland. (Texas, on the other hand, has loosened gun laws after its mass shootings.) But activists aren’t willing to wait for all 50 states to suffer the same fate before meaningful laws are passed. So people are making their voices heard.
After mass shootings, lawmakers opposed to stricter gun control often take a page from the same playbook: Condemn any attempt to make new regulations as ‘politics,’ then wait until public outrage fades. Today’s March for Our Lives rallies could be the clearest sign that public outrage will not fade. And Americans aren’t willing to look away.
The weekend means more time to do the things you love. For many of us, that’s reading. But we can’t Skimm it all for you. So instead, we’re giving you a look at the reads we’ve saved, texted, and emailed to our friends…
The Bachelorette Party Comes for Scottsdale…how the Phoenix, AZ, suburb got overrun with party buses, cabana boys, and Katy Perry sing-alongs.
The Only Woman at the ICO…what it’s like to be one of the few women working in the wild world of crypto bros.
Where Do Americans Stand On Abortion?...spoiler, it's extremely complicated.
Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here’s one idea for making the most of your weekend.
Life is just a bowl of cherries — especially now that the summery snack is back in season. While nothing beats the fruits of your labor (think: picking your own), you’ll also find a wide variety of the ruby red stone fruits at any grocery store or farmers' market. For something sweet, look for Bing or cult-favorite Rainier cherries. For something sour, check out Early Richmond or Morello.
Whatever your preference, there are plenty of recipes to help you make the most of your market haul (pro tip: store them in these containers when you get home). You can start the day with a sweet treat. You can use them to top colorful salads and toasted crostinis. You can mix them into sauces, seasonings, and even extra juicy cocktails. You can add them to all sorts of cheery desserts. And, of course, you can also eat them fresh, by the dozens.
Eyes On: The 2022 Midterms
The midterm elections have a big impact on the policies that affect our day-to-day lives. So we’re here to help you Skimm Your Ballot. And Skimm what’s going on next week…
State(s) of Play: On Tuesday, June 14, there are primary elections in Maine (House, Governor), Nevada (Senate, House, Governor), North Dakota (Senate, House), and South Carolina (Senate, House, Governor). Plus, a special House election in Texas.
In Maine, a purple state where seats flip between parties and politicians don’t always follow party lines, the state’s first female Gov. Janet Mills (D) is running to keep her job — while the state’s former Gov. Paul LePage (R) wants it back. And the GOP is reportedly optimistic about flipping the second congressional district, where Rep. Jared Golden (D) — the only Dem left in Congress who voted against impeaching former President Donald Trump — could rematch the Republican he ousted in 2018.
President Joe Biden narrowly won Nevada in 2020. And with the Senate split 50-50, Dems know that Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is among the party’s most vulnerable. So all eyes are on the GOP race that’ll determine her opponent. Former state AG Adam Laxalt — grandson of legendary Nevada politician Paul Laxalt — was widely seen as the GOP’s obvious choice. Until a few weeks ago, when underdog candidate Sam Brown unexpectedly tightened the race. Meanwhile, the GOP gubernatorial primary is equally competitive, with a Trump-endorsed sheriff, a former US senator, and the Las Vegas mayor all in the mix. And if any go on to win the governorship, it’ll split control of the state gov.
PS: The results of these elections are up to the voters. Click here to learn more about how to make your vote count.
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