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America's gun violence is heartbreaking. It doesn't have to be hopeless.

Plus the states stockpiling abortion pills, a seasoned veteran snags "the best job in Washington" and a special morning routine in this week's 3 Minute Read from Jen Psaki.
"Inside with Jen Psaki"
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Is it time to freak out…?

Gun violence is a crisis in the country, and freaking out right now would be totally understandable. One in 5 adults in the United States have been personally threatened by a gun. Guns are the leading cause of death for children in the United States. These statistics are startling and heartbreaking.   

Feeling hopeless? I have felt that way, too. But there are some recent, small slivers of daylight. In Tennessee, where lawmakers have been weakening gun safety laws for years, The Covenant School shooting and ensuing backlash has finally sparked action.  

Girls embrace in front of a makeshift memorial for victims by The Covenant School in Nashville on March 29, 2023.
Girls embrace in front of a makeshift memorial for victims by The Covenant School in Nashville last month.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

Earlier this week, the governor of Tennessee quietly signed an executive order to strengthen background checks for purchasing guns and called on lawmakers to pass a “red flag” law. It is not nearly enough, but it is a step forward in a state where gun safety legislation had been moving in the wrong direction.

So, yes, let’s continue to freak out about the fact that there have been more mass shootings than days in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive. But don’t ignore those small signs of progress, either. 


Keep an eye on: States stockpiling abortion pills

If a conservative Texas judge with zero medical training has his way, the FDA’s approval of mifepristone, a key component of the abortion pill, will be suspended and women nationwide will have no access to it. 

While the Supreme Court did temporarily block the ruling, it could still go into effect in the near future. And because of the competing ruling from a judge in Washington, this will all be decided by the Supreme Court at some point anyway.

These developments aren't a surprise, given that the most extreme wings of the anti-abortion movement would like to ban birth control

Liberal states aren’t wasting time. The governors of Washington, California, Massachusetts and New York quickly announced plans to stockpile mifepristone following that Texas judge’s ruling.

Gov. Gavin Newsom in California has secured up to 2 million doses of Misoprostol, a second drug that can be taken to safely induce an abortion. In New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced that her state Health Department will begin purchasing a five-year supply of Misoprostol and invest an additional $20 million in reproductive health care. 

Abortion medication is the next big battle in the reproductive health war. So I will definitely be watching the states who are pushing back.


Someone you should know: Matt Miller

Earlier this week, the State Department announced that Matt Miller will become the next spokesperson for the department. As I know from experience, this is the best job in Washington. At a time when leaked top secret documents, the war in Ukraine, the rising threat of China and the future of Iran are all potentially explosive global issues, Matt is a key person to watch.  

He is already a seasoned Washington veteran, with stints as an adviser to the National Security Council during the early months of the war in Ukraine and as the communications chief at the Department of Justice during the Obama administration. He will be a steady presence at the lectern and by the side of @SecBlinken during this tumultuous time.

Follow him (I know will be) at @statedeptspox.


Jordan Klepper’s weekend routine

 What show are you bingeing right now?

“Gabby’s Dollhouse.” I have a 2-and-a-half-year-old at home. He puts this on while he does dishes and I veg out to the dulcet tones of DJ Catnip.

What’s the last book you read?

Rick Rubin’s “The Creative Act.” It’s wonderful. I read it and immediately wrote out the lyrics to “Hurt” by Trent Reznor, covered by Johnny Cash. Was super bummed to find out it was already a song. 

What time do you wake up on weekends?

When my anxiety becomes too much to bear (like 7 a.m.-ish?)

How do you take your coffee?

I have a pour-over situation at home that involves a Chemex, grinder, timer and a scale. It takes me 15 minutes every morning. I have yet to experience “hot” coffee. 

Follow @jordanklepper on Twitter and tune into “The Daily Show” all next week when he’s guest hosting.