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Congress has not passed a gun-regulation bill since 1994 — five years before Columbine -- despite support for some restrictions even in Red States devoted to Second Amendment protections. Will last week's gun rampage in California make a difference? Also, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki meets with President Obama and resigns. On today's Talking Point, will bioelectronics replace the drug industry?

Banner image: People sign the large signing boards with each victims name, put up by the Pardell Student Center, located across the street from the IV Deli in Isla Vista, California. Photo courtesy of Jason Groman

VA Secretary Shinseki Meets with Obama and Resigns 7 MIN, 36 SEC

President Obama today said he's accepted the resignation of former General Eric Shinseki as Secretary of Veterans Affairs. At the White House, when asked by a reporter why he changed his mind just days after asserting full confidence in Shinseki, the President responded, "I think his belief that he would be a distraction from the task at hand, which is to make sure that what's broken gets fixed so that his fellow veterans are getting the services that they need." Mark Thompson is national security correspondent for Time magazine. 

Mark Thompson, Time magazine (@MarkThompson_DC)

Inspector General's report on VA patient care, wait times

The Tragic Mathematics of Gun Violence 34 MIN, 41 SEC

Another lone gunman grabbed headlines last week in California, but so-called mass shootings rarely kill more than a dozen people. That's all too many, but it's a fraction of the 20 to 30 deaths every day from firearms -- 32,000 every year: the daily gun violence that does not receive saturation news coverage. Each rampage focuses attention on killers with mental illness. But most of the mentally ill are not violent, and most violent people are not mentally ill. Is there some way to reduce the carnage without violating the gun rights now recognized by the US Supreme Court?

Joe Nocera, New York Times (@nytimes)
Richard Feldman, Independent Firearm Owners Association
Richard Friedman, Weill Cornell Medical College
Matt Bennett, Third Way (@ThirdWayMattB)
Michael Waldman, New York University (@mawaldman)

Manchin/Toomey bill
Nocera's most recent gun report (May 29, 2014)
Feldman's 'Ricochet: Confessions of a Gun Lobbyist'
Waldman's 'The Second Amendment: A Biography'
Bennett on UC Santa Barbara and the long road to gun safety
Friedman on difficulty of identifying people at risk of committing violent acts
Friedman on difficulty of identifying people at risk of committing violent acts

The Second Amendment

Michael Waldman

Can We Cure Disease by Shocking the Nervous System? 8 MIN, 14 SEC

Painkillers, steroids and other drugs are often effective, but they can be expensive, hard to administer and accompanied by lethal side effects. Medical professionals and some investors say the entire drug industry may some day be replaced by what's called bioelectronics. This sort of electroshock therapy is a way to get the nervous system to communicate with the immune system — in effect, telling the body to heal itself. It's a promising new industry described in this Sunday's New York Times magazine by author Michael Behar.

Michael Behar, freelance journalist (@michaelbehar)

GlaxoSmithKline on bioelectronics research
GlaxoSmithKline on bioelectronic research

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