After Nashville, Action on Assault-Style Weapons?
Plus, Sonny Bunch reviews 'Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.’
Recently in The Bulwark:
CHARLIE SYKES: Ready Perp One.
JVL: They Are Killing Baseball 🔐
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
JILL LAWRENCE: After Nashville, Action on Assault-Style Weapons?
As the funerals began on Friday for the victims of last week’s shooting at the Covenant School in Nashville, three 9-year-olds and three adults, I remembered a moment in Beto O’Rourke’s otherwise forgettable 2020 presidential campaign. It was when, at a Democratic debate in Houston in September 2019, O’Rourke blurted out: “Hell yes we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”
A few weeks earlier, on August 5, a shooter targeting Latinos had used an AK-47 to kill 23 people at a Walmart in O’Rourke’s hometown of El Paso. The former Texas congressman said soon afterward that owners of assault-style weapons would “have to sell them to the government.” Which led the debate moderator to ask: “Are you proposing taking away their guns?”
“I am,” O’Rourke replied, “if it’s a weapon that was designed to kill people on a battlefield, if the high-impact, high-velocity round when it hits your body shreds everything inside of your body because it was designed to do that so that you would bleed to death on a battlefield, not be able to get up and kill one of our soldiers. When we see that being used against children . . .”
🎥 PODCASTS AND VIDEOS 🎧
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
SONNY BUNCH: ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ Review.
By most lights, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves had “bomb” written all over it.
It’s a movie based on intellectual property that is relatively well known but only well loved by a fairly narrow slice of the population. Previous attempts to adapt the property have not been well received (and the 2000 movie is downright loathed by both players of the games and average moviegoers). This is the sort of thing that reeks of a studio desperate to create a franchise and doing so by throwing money at the problem.
Happy Monday! And congrats to the LSU Lady Tigers on their historic win. Defector calls them a “new cinderella.” Indeed, the game suffered from some bad calls and player antics. But it’s 2023, what important game doesn’t? Tonight in Men’s, it’s UCONN vs. SDSU. Our bracket winners and Huckabee Award winner will be announced tomorrow. Please keep an eye on where you’re placing because you’ll need to email me to get your prize.
An indictment requiem… A compilation of all the sads.
For love of the game… Regular readers know my views on the pitch clock and rule changes, and I obviously agree with JVL’s 🔥 Triad today. What Rob Manfred is doing is turning the MLB into the XLB, and not in the sense that the X stands for “Xtra Fun.” (I always thought it stood for experimental.) Vince McMahon, who remade himself like Rob Manfred remade baseball, recognized that fans wanted a different product and there was an opening for it. Not only in markets that were underserved, but in terms of attitude and fans. I do enjoy the XFL for what it is (Go Defenders!).
We can argue whether there are too many teams, but you’ll never hear me argue a town should lose its team. I know what that’s like, and it sucks.
As Peter Panacy writes at Bleacher Report: “Baseball requires the knowledge and patience of fans much more than any of the other major sports.”
You cannot manufacture patience or force knowledge. It is what it is. What Manfred is really testing is the patience of those who already have it: the opponents of these stupid rule changes. Manfred’s bet is that, like reluctant Trump voters, they’ll pull the lever when their MLBTV subscription is up next. And that shaving a few minutes off of games on average will bring in/keep new fans. I have a theory on who is more patient. We’ll see if Manfred’s theory of numbers pays off.
If you’re looking for somebody who agrees with you on the pitch clock, here’s a take from fellow Cleveland fan Scott Hines. But JVL, not Scott, has the shirt in the store.
Midjourney censoring for China? One of the more complex things tech platforms have to deal with is compliance with wildly varying laws from country to country. But when you’re image creation outfit Midjourney, which is nearly free for all to see, what to do about China? TechDirt reports: “Midjourney CEO Says ‘Political Satire In China Is Pretty Not Okay,’ But Apparently Silencing Satire About Xi Jinping Is Pretty Okay.”
Though, I was able to find somebody recently imagining “reallistic cinematic scene of Joe Biden kneeling down tothe president of china whom is standing victorious, with the Capitol behind violently burning, intrincated details.” Must not offend dear leader!
Not lovin’ it… McDonald’s told employees to work from home while they announce layoffs as part of a corporate restructuring.
The Twitter Verification apocalypse… Didn’t happen as promised, unless you’re the New York Times. Rather than delete all the checks from people who didn’t pay, Musk just threw them all into one basket. Here’s how to see who paid and who was verified to avoid confusion.
"The greatest crime you can have…" Ronna
Romney McDaniel struggles with the English language as she twists herself into a pretzel to complain about Donald Trump being held accountable for breaking the law. I’m sure minorities who are disproportionately targeted by police will appreciate how empathetic the leader of the RNC is.
Tom Zoellner walked Arizona… A journalist’s journey.
Motivated reasoning + ideology = foolishness.
Shaq made himself… Bigger than ever, writes Will Leitch. (Pre-order his new novel, A Time Has Come.)
Ron DeSantis chose the wrong college to take over… Argues Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic.
The post-indictment stakes… Of another Trump presidency.
All eyes on that former guy’s flight… But rather than pay attention to that, here’s a trio of experimental plane builders / pilots flying across the ocean to America. Earlier, the motorcade made attention. Former presidents don’t have as cool of motorcades as current ones.
Stolen Youth? The far-right book that is afraid of everything.
Tech support questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.