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When President Trump almost pushed gun control

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Under a cloudy dark sky, mourners place flowers for shooting victims in the Walmart parking lot.

EL PASO, TX - AUGUST 15: People gather at a makeshift memorial honoring victims outside Walmart August 15, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. 22 people were killed in the Walmart during a mass shooting on August 3rd. A 21-year-old white male suspect remains in custody in El Paso which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. (Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images) Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Image

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At the end of a long week, it’s Friday. We talk about what changed then-President Donald Trump’s mind following his call for gun control after a shooter killed 23 people at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart. Plus, baseball teams use their social media platforms to speak out about gun violence. Before we go, our hosts ponder sharks, farmyard pets and more in a game of This or That.

Here’s everything we talked about today:

Tell us what you think about today’s show. Email us at makemesmart@marketplace.org or leave us a voice message at 508-827-6278, or 508-U-B-SMART.

Make Me Smart May 27, 2022 transcript

 

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Hey everybody, I’m Kai Ryssdal. Welcome back to Make Me Smart. Make it today make sense is what we do.

 

Kimberly Adams: And I’m Kimberly Adams. Hello everyone and welcome to Economics On Tap, our Friday ritual. And thank you to those of us who are joining on the YouTube live stream, on Discord, on Twitter. If you’re listening later on, wherever you shall roam, we are grateful that you decided to join us.

 

Kai Ryssdal: We are. Very grateful. That’s why we do this actually. I mean, we do it for the podcast audience too, but also on Fridays for all y’all, you know?

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, we have fun. Oh, what are you drinking out of that pretty blue mug?

 

Kai Ryssdal: Well, I’m having a cup of coffee because number one, I was up stupidly early this morning. But number two, I’m solo parenting this weekend. And the 18-year-old has a late night function, so he’s going to be gone. And I have to pick up the 15-year-old at a thing at like 10:30 tonight and if I’m gonna make it, a beer is not in my afternoon plans.

 

Kimberly Adams: And I don’t suppose a nap is an option anywhere in there.

 

Kai Ryssdal: No. If I nap, I’m like a two-hour nap guy, and I’m not going to do a two-hour nap at four in the afternoon.

 

Kimberly Adams: I’m a big, big fan of naps. Big fan of naps. Okay.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Wait, you said you had a new recipe. A new cocktail recipe?

 

Kimberly Adams: Yes, a new cocktail. So when I was in St. Louis, I was having dinner with one of my good friend’s mom and she was like raving about her new favorite old drink, which is called a rusty nail. Have you ever heard of this?

 

Kai Ryssdal: I’ve heard of this. Never had one, but I’ve heard of.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yes. So it’s like two parts or three parts whiskey, and one part Drambuie, which is a type of liquor that I had never heard of in my life. And so yeah, I made one for the first time. I haven’t actually tried it yet. So here we go.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Well, you’re gonna have a sip. Yeah.

 

Kimberly Adams: That is strong. Wow. She rolls hard.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Three party whiskey with Drambuie, I’m like, shockingly strong. My goodness. My goodness.

 

Kimberly Adams: I like it.

 

Kai Ryssdal: That’s pretty funny. I can hear your eyes watering from here. Oh my god. That’s really funny.

 

Kimberly Adams: Well, you know, may I be this when I’m 71.

 

Kai Ryssdal: There you go. I’ll take your quick spin through the comments while you recover.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, while I recover. And I’ll look at what people are drinking in Discord to regain my vision.

 

Kai Ryssdal: John Allen, he was in a brand-new copy A glass for the first time. We got – let’s see, Original Sin Crimson Chaos Cider down in Florida from Megan O’Hare. OG Stone IPA, you go, Christopher, and your OG copy A glass. Maker’s – Maker’s Bourbon Manhattan, that’s lovely, from Brad Bardot. Oh and a black and tan from Stephen Coke. Those are good too. I like those.

 

Kimberly Adams: So let’s do some news. Look, it’s been a super awful week. We are going to deal with some heavy stuff up front. But we do have some fun things. We have a little bit of lightness. Gonna try to take the seriousness of the moment but still, you know, give some hope in the world before we pass you all for the long weekend.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Totally, totally, totally. I’ll go first, what the hell, right? Yeah, I’ll go first. Two reasonably quick things. One is an excerpt in the New York Times from a book by Michael Bender about the Trump presidency. It’s called Frankly, We Did Win This Election, the Inside Story of How Trump Lost. And it’s about when Trump after the Parkland shootings, decided he wanted to do something about gun control. And here’s the exchange that caught my eye. “What are we going to do about assault rifles?” Mr. Trump asked. “Not a damn thing.” Mick Mulvaney, his acting Chief of Staff replied. “Why?” Trump demanded. “Because,” Mr. Mulvaney told him, “you would lose.” And this is the guy who controls the entire Republican establishment, and he would lose, on an assault ban. Which is wild, just wild. Fascinating little glimpse behind the scenes in that article. Number two, last night I’m scrolling through Twitter – what? Yes, I’m sorry. Go ahead. I heard a deep sigh.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, just because, if these are the conversations we know about, how many of the conversations that we don’t know about that sounds exactly the same? And so as terrible as that is, you know, it has to reflect something broader. So there’s that.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, totally agree. 100%. The other thing is, I was scrolling through my Twitter last night, and I saw a bunch of tweets from the New York Yankees account. I am a Yankees fan. I do not follow their account. I’m not quite that much of a fan. But apparently what had happened was last night, the Yanks and the Tampa Bay Rays, took their social media, their Twitter feeds, and turn them into gun safety awareness accounts. Tweeting things like every three hours, young black man dies by gun homicide. Firearms were the leading cause of death for American children and teens in 2020. They did this all night. I think it’s a really great way to reach another audience on some of these messages. And I just thought that deserve a little shout out. That’s it.

 

Kimberly Adams: And it’s been fascinating to see just how many people are refusing to air quotes stay in their lane? Because it’s just too much. Ann Blocker in the YouTube chat says the Heat has done it too.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, do they? That’s cool.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah. And so yeah, this is gonna take all of us.

 

Kai Ryssdal: So let me ask you this. And I’m going to take it slightly off topic here. But before we get to the fun part –

 

Kimberly Adams: Let me have another sip of my strong drink.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Okay, fair enough. Fair enough. Do you think things changed this time? And I’m not talking like cataclysmic change, do we get even incremental change?

 

Kimberly Adams: I do. I was looking at the tweets from David Hogg, I think his name is? One of the kids from the Parkland shootings. And he was saying this time it is going to be different. Because we’re now at a point where the kids who came of age having to go through these active shooter drills are old enough to vote. Kids who’ve spent their whole lives under this fear of mass shootings, who have experienced them and seen the trauma and been traumatized. They can now vote, they can now be politically active. They have a really interesting way of organizing themselves on social media that’s very different. I mean, think back to when TikTok users got together to make a Trump rally be an empty stadium, you know? There is a different group involved. And there’s a lot of them. And this is an issue that galvanizes them. Now, yes, we have gerrymandering, we have a Supreme Court that doesn’t seem to be on board with these things, we have a Senate that seems pretty stuck. But I still have hope in the power of humans and democracy. And I do think this time is going to be different. After Buffalo, we didn’t see Mitch McConnell saying, Okay, we actually do need to do something. Whether or not that’s true, there wasn’t even the motions for it. Also, these children themselves, these ten-and-eleven-year-olds are going out and telling their stories. And it’s devastating. But remember how powerful it was when the Parkland teenagers started speaking out. And now you’re having ten-and-eleven-year-olds speak out about what this is actually doing to them. My mom called me just before the show, and she said that some of the schools in St. Louis were doing the last few days of the year remote, because the kids were too scared to go to class. And their parents were too scared to drop them off. And I think this one is so visceral. When Sandy Hook happened, we didn’t get a lot of the gory details of what actually went down, in as public of a way as we are right now. At least I don’t recall that we did. And I think –

 

Kai Ryssdal: I think you’re absolutely right. Yeah, I think you’re absolutely right. Yeah, the ten-and-eleven-year-old kids on CNN and MSNBC today describing, and the accounts in the newspapers, are really remarkable. And I think you’re right, that’s a witnessing that we didn’t get with Sandy Hook. I also think, you know, it’s interesting that the Columbine survivors are now 30, 35, right? They’ve got kids who were six and eight and ten years old, maybe?

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah. Can you imagine being a Columbine survivor and having to send your kid to schools with active shooter drills, you know? So. Maybe. I want to believe it’s different.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, that was a really, that was a persuasive account. I’m not sure I’m as far down the hopeful path as you are, but I think that was a really good account. Thank you for that.

 

Kimberly Adams: Somebody in the YouTube chat was saying, you know, pointing to this NRA conference that’s happening and this massive protest outside of it, with kids yelling at this protest “am I next?”. You know, kids holding up signs saying, if I’m killed in a school shooting, put my body on the steps of Congress. Come on. That’s new. That’s new. So. Okay, mine is a follow up to a story I talked about earlier this week, about the Southern Baptist Convention, and that just wide-ranging report on sexual abuse within the church. And if you recall, one of the things that I mentioned, the investigators were calling for, was for them to release the list of sexual abusers in the church. And they did, they did! They put out this big, long list. And some of it is redacted. A lot of these names are people who were already convicted of crimes, who were in jail and it had been reported in local media or whatever. But they put – the Southern Baptist Convention put out a statement and they’re like, this is the first step, we have to do it. And, you know, praying for the victims and the survivors. But I actually read through some of these accusations. And there are a lot of little kids involved. A lot of very little kids involved. And this is not a shortlist. So. Well, with all of that, there is – I want to give people something to look forward to, possibly, which is that – I know, it’s like a possible good thing, which is that there may possibly be a really cool meteor shower over the holiday weekend. So I’m looking at this article on Sky & Telescope, which I didn’t even know was a thing. But there is a – let’s see, there’s a possibility. So the earth is going through this section of space that has a bunch of meteors. And depending on exactly where we go through, we’re either going to get an outburst of meteors, or probably not that many. And the scientists are all like up in the air – up in space, I guess you should say – over whether or not we’re actually going to see it. And so, it’s an excuse for people to go out and look up at the sky, if you’ve got a clear night. It may be a really great show. And you know, if you’re one of the people who doesn’t have to go to work on Monday, might be something nice to do. So there’s that. Yeah, yeah. All right!

 

Kai Ryssdal: Drew?

 

Kimberly Adams: Sip this very slowly.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Alright, we’re doing This or That today. We’re gonna give Kimberly a chance to recover from the rusty nail. Drew Jostad is in charge. Kimberly goes first on all these answers. Let’s remember the rules. It’s you got to pick this or that. Drew, you may begin.

 

Drew Jostad: Coffee or tea?

 

Kimberly Adams: Tea. Coffee gives me the shakes, but I will drink it when I’m desperate.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Coffee all the way. Coffee all the way. As we can see today.

 

Drew Jostad: Would you rather have a pet pig or a pet goat?

 

Kimberly Adams: Ah, you take this one first. I need a minute.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Okay, this is gonna make me sound like a horrible person. Pig, because I like pork better and it’s yummier.

 

Kimberly Adams: Oh, wow.

 

Kai Ryssdal: No look, I’m not gonna keep up the pig.

 

Kimberly Adams: So by that logic, I should have the goat because I do like goat meat. But here’s the thing. It’s like, I think goats are cuter but they also have really weird eyes. And I hear that pigs are actually very loving pets, and like super affectionate and very doglike, but it’s also a pig. And like every time I see people online who have them, the pigs are like walking around with diapers, which is also not a good look. I’m gonna go with the goat, easy outside and you know, as somebody mentioned in the chat, they cut the grass. So!

 

Kai Ryssdal: Have I told you about that time that a listener of the Marketplace named their goat after me? I’ve told you that.

 

Kimberly Adams: No, you have not, please do.

 

Kai Ryssdal: So this, it’s got to be like 10 or 15 years ago, and I’ve somehow found out that this woman who’s a goat herder – farmer, whatever – has named a goat Kai Ryssdal. And I’m like, Oh, this is so cool. It’s amazing. And I mentioned that to people every now and then for a couple of months. And then I go back to check at some point. And the latest entry in her blog, which is now sadly gone, is we had to butcher Kai because you got too aggressive. And I was like, Oh, that sucks. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Kimberly Adams: Huh. You could really pull some threads from that.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Anyway, that’s my goat story. That’s my goat story. Drew, save us.

 

Drew Jostad: Would you rather work from home for a little less money or work in the office for a little more?

 

Kimberly Adams: How often? Because that’s a key thing. Is it like full time or part time? If we’re talking about full time, five days a week, I’d work from home for less money. But if we’re talking about sort of like a split? But I also like don’t think that’s the question we should be asking? I mean, good luck employers continuing to try to do that in this job market.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, yeah. Well, look, I’ve actually been in the office, as Drew and most of the engineers at Marketplace for the past two years. I’m gonna say, I’m gonna take the money, and five days a week in the office, because you know what, it’s pretty relaxed in the office, you roll in at 11:30, 12 o’clock. You’re out there 2:30, quarter to three. Boom. Done. Shush. Anybody in St. Paul listening. Don’t pay any attention to that.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I don’t know. I’m a real homebody. I like to be at home.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Fair enough. Fair. I get too distracted at home, honestly. It’s like, oh, I have to go put the laundry in, and oh, I can wipe up the kitchen table or oh, I need to vacuum, or oh, I need to whatever. Go to the fridge and have a snack. I just, I get too distracted.

 

Kimberly Adams: That’s the thing. Nobody can complain about me microwaving fish in my own house, Kai.

 

Kai Ryssdal: That’s true. That’s true. Although if Jasper could speak… well, he’d probably want some of the microwave fish.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah he would.

 

Drew Jostad: Art Museum or natural history museum?

 

Kimberly Adams: Oh, that’s a tough one.

 

Kai Ryssdal: I would say art now. Art now for sure. Yeah. Yeah. Yep.

 

Kimberly Adams: Though I do love a natural history museum. Museum of Natural History. Do you ever see that movie, We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story? Anyway, side thing. Meanwhile, go ahead, Drew. What else?

 

Drew Jostad: Fiction or non-fiction?

 

Kimberly Adams: Fiction. 100%. Science fiction and fantasy to be specific.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, interesting. So I’m non-fiction with the exception of good science fiction, actually. So there you go. Yeah.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, I definitely love the escapism, world building, total different thing. And definitely a lot more in the fantasy realm because science fiction ends up sometimes being too much like real life. Like, so many things that we’re going through these days remind me of Octavia Butler. I’m just like, oh, no, this is where we are.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Wait, what’s the difference? Alright, this is gonna make me sound like an idiot. What’s the difference between fantasy and science fiction?

 

Kimberly Adams: So fantasy tends to be like mythical creatures, dragons, magicians, like medieval-ish things. Game of Thrones is –

 

Kai Ryssdal: Gotcha. All right.

 

Kimberly Adams: – sort of an example. It is fantasy. I’m not a fan of those books. Whereas science fiction is the Foundation series or Star Trek. That kind of stuff.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yep. Gotcha. All right. Gotcha. Thank you.

 

Drew Jostad: Mashed potatoes are French fries?

 

Kimberly Adams: French fries.

 

Kai Ryssdal: It’s kind of situational, right? I mean, you know, burger and fries, yes. But also mashed potatoes and, I don’t know, like a roast chicken or something? But if I have to pick one, which I do, because that’s the point of this game – French fries.

 

Kimberly Adams: Although I’ll make an argument for sweet potato fries.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, yeah. For sure. Or garlic fries. You know, fries in all their… Yeah, totally. Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. But fries, for sure.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yes. Yeah. All right. What else?

 

Drew Jostad: Last one: sharkcano or sharknado?

 

Kai Ryssdal: You got to explain this. You got to explain this. Kimberly, go.

 

Kimberly Adams: Okay, so. Yesterday I was obsessed a little bit with this story about the sharkcano, which is apparently this underwater volcano that’s like erupts on a regular basis, but there are also sharks living in the sharkcano. Well, that’s why they’re called the sharkcano, because it’s underwater volcano with actual sharks and it’s a real thing. And it erupted and it was captured from space. Like NASA satellites captured it. And so unlike sharknado, sharkcano is a real thing. And I think it’s pretty great. So I’m gonna go with sharkcano.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Me too, because this whole sharknado thing was just bizarre and weird.

 

Kimberly Adams: It was weird.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, yeah, that was weird.

 

Kimberly Adams: And over done.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Way over done. I don’t even know how many of those movies there were, but there was, that many too many. All right. And you know what that is all I’m saying, because we’re done for today. But we’re not leaving without a shout out to Tiffany Bui. She’s our intern. It’s her last day today. She has been here for a couple of months.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yay, Tiffany!

 

Kai Ryssdal: We wish her well. And we say thank you for all that you brought to us, which was invaluable. So good to have her on board.

 

Kimberly Adams: You’re awesome, Tiffany. And for those who will never have the pleasure of being on a zoom call with her, she has the most amazing, colorful background for her Zoom with like, excellent decor, like on point.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Excellent decor. Totally true.

 

Kimberly Adams: Yes. Yes. Okay, so we will be back on Tuesday. Monday is a holiday so we will be not here at all. Sort of. I will be here, in a different way.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yes. And thank you for that.

 

Kimberly Adams: No worries. In the break, if you have thoughts or questions you want to share, you can send those to us, voicemail, voice message, makemesmart@marketplace.org. You can call us 508-827-6278, 508-U-B-SMART.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera, our intern this very one last time is Tiffany Bui. Today’s episode was engineered by Drew Jostad. The Senior Producer and person in charge of – well, this podcast anyway – is Bridget Bodnar.

 

Kimberly Adams: The team behind our Friday game is Steven Byeon, Mel Rosenberg, Isabel Lyndon, and Emily Macune, with the theme music written by Drew Jostad. And the Director of On Demand is Donna Tam.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Another Friday in the books. How’s that rusty nail going down? Smoother now?

 

Kimberly Adams: Very slowly, but definitely smoother. I got a giant ice cube in it that’s starting to mellow it out a bit, but wow.

 

Kai Ryssdal: Yep, good for you.

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