Weekly Wrap: "People Be Votin.'" Public radio reporter and Marketplace contributor Sally Herships (@sherships) and WNYC Reporter Sean Rameswaram (@rameswaram) join Sam to talk about the week that was: Election Day, an update on the Paradise Papers, and the Texas shooting, along with a call to a listener in Los Angeles. It's all capped off with the best things that happened to listeners all week. Email the show at samsanders@npr.org or tweet @NPRItsBeenAMin with your feedback. Follow Sam on Twitter @samsanders and producers Brent Baughman @brentbaughman and Anjuli Sastry @AnjuliSastry.
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Weekly Wrap: "People Be Votin.'"

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Weekly Wrap: "People Be Votin.'"

Weekly Wrap: "People Be Votin.'"

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Sam here. Thank you so much for listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE. We need your help. We want to know what you think about the show, what you want to hear more of, how we can do this better. So fill out an anonymous survey at npr.org/sam. It takes less than 10 minutes. We'd love for you to do it. Again, it's npr.org/sam. Help us make the show better for you. Check it. Thanks, as always, for listening.

AUNT BETTY: Hey y'all. This is Sam's Aunt Betty. This week on the show a reporter for Marketplace from American Public Media, Sally Herships. And a reporter for More Perfect from WNYC, Sean Rameswaram. All right. Let's start the show.


SANDERS: A-plus, Betty.



SANDERS: Some Chance The Rapper to start us off - also Betty to start us off. Welcome, welcome, welcome to the show. Hey, y'all. This is NPR. I'm Sam Sanders. IT's BEEN A MINUTE. Each week, we start with a different song. I'll explain this wonderful song in a second. You like this song.

SEAN RAMESWARAM, BYLINE: I'm already in...



CHANCE THE RAPPER: (Singing) You don't want no problem, want no problem with me.

SALLY HERSHIPS: I'm mesmerized. I'm feeling this. Feeling it.

SANDERS: (Laughter) Yeah, yeah. So as Aunt Betty said, two great, fine folks here. Sean, reporter for More Perfect, the WNYC series all about the Supreme Court from the folks at Radiolab.


SANDERS: Glad to have you here.

RAMESWARAM: Thank you.

SANDERS: Sally, interviewer for Marketplace. You cover the economy, business, the numbers that make the world go around.

HERSHIPS: Anything to do with money. Money touches everything.

SANDERS: (Laughter) It does.

RAMESWARAM: Cash rules everything around me.

SANDERS: I knew you were going to do that.



SANDERS: So today, we are at the lovely studios of WBEZ in Chicago because we're all here for this big conference called Third Coast - podcasters and radio folks. And it's fun, huh?



HERSHIPS: It's snowing here.


SANDERS: It is snowing. Yeah. Yeah.

HERSHIPS: What happened to hotumn (ph)? We have got hotumn in New York City. It's...

SANDERS: Oh, like hot autumn.

HERSHIPS: Hot autumn, yeah.

SANDERS: Yeah. It's cold now.


SANDERS: Although, my thing is, like, if it's going to snow, it better stick. I don't like the snow that's not going to give me, like, a day or two or three of winter wonderland.

RAMESWARAM: I brought sneakers, so I'm good with...


RAMESWARAM: ...Whatever wants to just dissipate immediately.

SANDERS: So this song - I'm playing a song called "No Problem" by Chance The Rapper...


CHANCE THE RAPPER: (Singing) You don't want no problem, want no problem with me. You don't want no problem, want no problem with me.

SANDERS: ...One, because we're in Chicago, and he's from Chicago, two, because I love this song. Since the day that I heard it, I've been obsessed with it. And it's in my head every day. But three, Chance made some Chicago news this week. He attended a city council meeting in Chicago...


SANDERS: ...And was, like, hey, what's up? And he went there because he wanted to make the case that Chicago should spend more money on schools.

RAMESWARAM: And there's, like, this shadow campaign to get Chance to run for mayor, right?

SANDERS: Really?


SANDERS: I had not heard of that.

RAMESWARAM: There's, like, a Chance for mayor hashtag out there for sure.


SANDERS: I bet he's more popular than Rahm is right now.

RAMESWARAM: (Laughter) Yeah, it's not that hard, right?

SANDERS: (Laughter) I love Chance.


CHANCE THE RAPPER: (Singing) Want no problem with me. Just another day...

SANDERS: Also, Chicago side note - Barack Obama was dismissed from jury duty this week.

RAMESWARAM: Saw that coming.

HERSHIPS: Oh, yeah.

SANDERS: You know, they called him up. And then they were, like, no, you don't have to. It's fine.

HERSHIPS: (Laughter) Thanks for coming.

SANDERS: Yeah. Can you sign this for me?


SANDERS: All right. We are here to discuss what happened this week. It was a big week full of news - big Election Day, yet another mass shooting, GOP tax bill moving through Capitol Hill and so much more. So let's just get started. I challenge my panelists every week to describe how this week of news felt in just three words. I've already heard that Sally broke the rules and has more than three words. But it's fine. Go ahead.


SANDERS: What are your three words?

HERSHIPS: I know. But this was, like, a special week, you guys.

SANDERS: OK. All right.

HERSHIPS: (Laughter) I was going to say - I was hoping - I was, like, maybe they won't notice.


HERSHIPS: Maybe they're not counting.

RAMESWARAM: You had one job, Sally.

SANDERS: (Laughter) It's OK.

HERSHIPS: So here are my words - digging in, up and out.



SANDERS: Digging in, digging up, digging out. So what does that mean?

HERSHIPS: Yeah. So first of all, Puerto Rico.


HERSHIPS: Puerto Rico. We can't forget Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is still digging out.



SANDERS: Yeah, yeah.

HERSHIPS: We can talk more about that. But that is digging out. OK. Digging in - the elections. So I see minorities. I see women. I see people of color, underrepresented groups - they are digging in. And this is going to be, like, a long-term battle. So this is kind of, like, trench warfare.


HERSHIPS: OK. So that was digging in. The - oh, digging up, the paradise papers.



SANDERS: Now for those that don't know, what are those?

HERSHIPS: Oh, my gosh. The paradise papers are this massive leak of documents.

SANDERS: Financial documents.

HERSHIPS: Financial documents which showed that billionaires around the world are hiding their money offshore.


HERSHIPS: And even the Queen...

SANDERS: Oh, yeah.

HERSHIPS: Even the Queen of England...

SANDERS: The Queen of England was doing it. Apple was doing it.


SANDERS: I didn't know Nike. Oh, my faves (ph). Just caught up.



SANDERS: Oh, my god.

HERSHIPS: The commerce secretary Wilbur Ross...

SANDERS: Oh, yeah.

HERSHIPS: ...Implicated in money in a company owned by a relative of Putin.


HERSHIPS: Yeah. yeah.

SANDERS: This just confirms my underlying belief about all humanity - given the chance to be shady, most of us will be shady.

HERSHIPS: Yeah (laughter).

RAMESWARAM: I mean, Apple - I think Apple - we knew about Apple, right?

HERSHIPS: I mean, a lot...

SANDERS: Because they were in Ireland for a little bit doing stuff.

RAMESWARAM: Yeah. They'll do anything...

HERSHIPS: Yeah. I mean...

RAMESWARAM: ...To catch a tax break.

HERSHIPS: Switzerland is kind of on the out. You can't - on the outs. You can't really hide money in Switzerland very easy...

SANDERS: So where do you hide it now?

HERSHIPS: You hide it in offshore islands. And so we know about a lot of this stuff. But the crazy thing is, like, that it's legal. And the - looking at how people do this.

SANDERS: I mean, but, like, what's going to come of this? Because I've been seeing stories trickle out all week. Will people get punished? Will this be forgotten in the crazy vortex of news cycles? Like, what do you think?

HERSHIPS: You know, what's real - I think what's really interesting is when the Panama papers, came out there was massive reaction and protest. And yet\ here these stories are coming out all around the world. There are countries around the world, journalism organizations from around the world. And there's just a real lack of reaction. Everything right now - feels like every single news item is in neon lights. And when everything is in neon lights, it's kind of...

SANDERS: you just close your eyes.

HERSHIPS: Yeah. Nothing...


HERSHIPS: You close your eyes. Like, nothing feels special anymore.


HERSHIPS: And we're just kind of like, shrug.

SANDERS: Yeah. When you mentioned Puerto Rico - I've been seeing reports this week that governments here and there are finally beginning to acknowledge that this death toll is much higher than officials were saying.

RAMESWARAM: But a thing that's just sort of like a beacon of hope in Puerto Rico though...


RAMESWARAM: ...Is Lin-Manuel Miranda maybe just single-handedly reminding people all the time that this is happening. And the way he did it this week was by announcing that he's going to officially bring Hamilton to Puerto Rico in January 2019...

SANDERS: I love it.

RAMESWARAM: ...And that he will return to the show...

SANDERS: For that.

RAMESWARAM: ...As its star.

SANDERS: That's great.

RAMESWARAM: I mean, can this man single-handedly rejuvenate the arts in Puerto Rico? I don't know. But I hope so.

SANDERS: I fully expect him to be in a Marvel comic movie at some point.

RAMESWARAM: (Laughter).

SANDERS: He's just trying to save the world.

RAMESWARAM: Yeah. It's kind of fun to watch.

SANDERS: Oh, yeah.




SANDERS: Your week of news in three words. Go.

RAMESWARAM: Three words. Heads will roll, which is a Yeah Yeah Yeahs song.


RAMESWARAM: But also...

SANDERS: And the remix is better than the original on that one.

RAMESWARAM: It's true. It's true. I'm going to play it at the Third Coast dance party on Saturday...

SANDERS: Oh, hey.

RAMESWARAM: ...Because I want to be zeitgeist, you know, timely.

SANDERS: (Laughter).

RAMESWARAM: But, you know, I saw some tweet a couple of days ago that was, like, you know, we have to remember that this isn't just about calling out all the people that have done things but actually changing how we act or something. And then someone responded to it and was like, actually, let's just keep calling everyone out for a minute.


SANDERS: And so Sean, you're talking about calling out men accused of sexual harassment, like...

RAMESWARAM: Oh, let's see here. This week Louis C.K.

SANDERS: The comedian.

RAMESWARAM: So that just happened.

HERSHIPS: Oh, my god.

RAMESWARAM: That one's been, you know, rumored for a long time. But no one came out, which just speaks to the power and the fear of power and retribution...


RAMESWARAM: ...In media, in the arts...


RAMESWARAM: ...And victim blaming. Louis C.K. allegations have been around forever. Someone posted about - spoke about them in a podcast and then pulled the podcast episode.

SANDERS: Wow. And the allegations are basically that he was exposing himself to women.


SANDERS: And yeah.

RAMESWARAM: He's canceling all these appearances, canceling his appearance at his own movie premiere, canceling his entire movie premiere...


RAMESWARAM: ...Canceling his appearance on Stephen Colbert. And I read this morning that HBO is removing his comedy special.


RAMESWARAM: So people are acting much faster than they used to.

SANDERS: Life comes at you fast.


SANDERS: Now Louis C.K. said on Friday - he put this statement out saying those allegations are true. We should also caveat, as of Friday, when we're taping this show, another person's been accused of sexual misconduct. This is a candidate for Senate.


SANDERS: Yeah. So this is the Republican candidate for Senate in Alabama...


SANDERS: ...Former judge. He came to fame as the official in Alabama that wanted to have a statue of the Ten Commandments right there in public. He's been controversial for a while. But now the Washington Post has a story out that cites women and girls, one woman as young as 14, when she said...


SANDERS: ...He engaged in some sexual misconduct with her. Are we in this new era now where just every week it's going to be one more guy exposed?

HERSHIPS: I think until the next big thing, yeah. This is digging in. Women are digging in right now.


HERSHIPS: And we're seeing women in politics in California, right? They joined together and wrote a letter. Women in the United Kingdom, women in the arts world, women in the business world. Women are - I think I find it heartening.

RAMESWARAM: Absolutely.

HERSHIPS: Women are, you know, taking a stand. And they're coming out.


HERSHIPS: They didn't feel confident enough to do this years ago.

RAMESWARAM: And in the case of Kevin Spacey, men.



HERSHIPS: I think this is entirely tied in - I think it is representative of the same pattern that's happening in the recent elections. It's people trying to find balance. There's a huge imbalance of power. And women - there's a - right? - imbalance of power. Women are stepping forward and fighting powerful men, except in the case of Kevin Spacey, when there's still an imbalance of power.

RAMESWARAM: Or the powerless.

HERSHIPS: Yeah, the powerless.

RAMESWARAM: Either way. But yeah.


SANDERS: Yeah. I've got three words.



SANDERS: I'm trying to think of, like, some wise, pithy, really smart take on the election results this week. But all I really came up with was people be voting.



SANDERS: As we know, there was a - Tuesday was Election Day. And we saw some good results for Democrats. They won in state and local races, governors races in New Jersey and Virginia. A bunch of firsts, as well. First openly trans woman elected in Virginia to a statewide office. Hoboken, N.J., elected a Sikh mayor - a lot of first black mayors in cities throughout the country. And my question with this is what this says about the state of parties. So we'll recall right before the election on Tuesday, there was all of this press about the allegations by Donna Brazile. She is the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee. And she has this new book out, basically claiming that Hillary Clinton and her campaign had kind of hijacked the DNC...


SANDERS: ...To help themselves in the election. And there was all this reporting saying that oh, my God. Even more evidence that Democrats are in disarray. They can't get anything done. This is a really bad sign going into Tuesday. And then they won. So my question is, like, does the party's strength or weakness actually matter? It's really about the candidates, right?

RAMESWARAM: I just feel you shouldn't take anything for granted. If you're really invested in the 2018 election, you should get out there and vote. And another thing I want to add is that people be voting, obviously.

SANDERS: (Laughter).

RAMESWARAM: But people also not be voting.

SANDERS: (Laughter).


RAMESWARAM: In Jersey, the governor's race had 35 percent voter turnout. Thirty-five percent? That isn't exactly the will of the people. So Democratic governor in New Jersey. Is it a referendum on Christie? Is it not? I don't know - 35 percent of people. And then, you know, 50 percent of them voted for a Democrat.

SANDERS: Yeah. Like, what does that really mean?

RAMESWARAM: Exactly. What does that mean?

SANDERS: Yeah. What does that really mean?

RAMESWARAM: We should really wait and see.

SANDERS: Yeah. You know, also just to wrap up this chat about politics, the results of these elections on Tuesday puts even more pressure on Republicans to do something if they're worried about losing seats in the midterms next year. So they're trying to work this tax bill that has been in the mix for, gosh, a few weeks now. Senate has their own version out of the tax plan. But there's still a ton of disagreement between Republicans in both chambers and how to pay for it all and questions over things like the state and local tax deduction. So there'll be a lot of headlines, I think, next week about what happens with that tax bill. We shall see.


SANDERS: Right now it's time for a quick break. Coming up, Long Distance. We're going to call a listener who dealt with the same kind of tragedy that we saw in San Antonio this week. Also my favorite guessing game. It's called Who Said That. You are listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE for NPR. I'm Sam Sanders. We'll be right back.

: Hey. It's Guy Raz here, host of How I Built This, with a recommendation for another podcast for you to check out, namely How I Built This. Every week, I talk to the people behind some of the most inspiring companies and brands in the world with stories of incredible persistence, grit and insight. You can find How I Built This on the NPR One app or wherever you get your podcasts.

SANDERS: We are back. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR, the show where we catch up on the week that was. I'm Sam Sanders here this week with public radio reporter Sally Herships. Hi, Sally.


SANDERS: Also reporter for More Perfect from WNYC - it's a mini-series all about the Supreme Court - Sean Rameswaram. What's up, dude?


SANDERS: Quick question - yes or no - give it to me quick. Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon are going to be in a new drama series all about morning news shows. Would you watch that?

HERSHIPS: Yes (laughter). How could I not?


SANDERS: Apple's doing it. They won this really big bidding war, and they outbid other folks like Netflix, Hulu. And Apple's going to do the show.

RAMESWARAM: Because they got all that money offshore.


RAMESWARAM: How much you need? We got you.

SANDERS: All right. Now it's time for a segment that we call Long Distance.


RAMESWARAM: We call a listener somewhere in the world and talk to them about the news. This week, we are talking with Mandy Pifer. She's in Los Angeles. Mandy, you there?


SANDERS: Hey, Mandy. How are you?

PIFER: I'm doing well. How are you?

SANDERS: I'm good. Thanks for your time today. Really appreciate it.

PIFER: Hey, no problem.


HERSHIPS: Hi, Mandy.


SANDERS: That's John and Sally, two friends of mine.

PIFER: All right.


PIFER: Hi, John and Sally.

HERSHIPS: Hi, Mandy.

SANDERS: So where in LA are you?

PIFER: I am in the lovely town of Koreatown.

SANDERS: Oh, yeah? So what do you do out there?

PIFER: I work downtown at City Hall for the mayor.


PIFER: But in Koreatown, I moved out here - Shannon lived out here. I like walking around. It's easy access to a lot of good music concerts.

SANDERS: So Shannon - Shannon Johnson is your late fiance. He died in a mass shooting in 2015 in San Bernardino. This was at the Inland Regional Center, December 2015. And from what I understand, he died while shielding a woman from getting shot herself. He saved that woman's life.

PIFER: Correct.

SANDERS: And now you're a crisis counselor.

PIFER: I am. Well, I manage a team of crisis responders. They're immediate, on-scene support. So it's just kind of doing some psychological first aid and then hooking them up to some counselors to visit in the future.

HERSHIPS: Was that something you did before the incident with your partner? Was that work you did beforehand?

PIFER: Yeah, it's an all-volunteer program. Well, it's - except for three of us at City Hall. And I joined as a volunteer in 2010. So I've been doing it for almost six years.

SANDERS: And so, I mean, you know, given the news of this week where there's a shooting in a church in Sutherland Spring, Texas, that kills 26 people - 20 are injured. I'm sure that must have you flashing back not just to Shannon's story but also the work that you do, right?

PIFER: Yeah. It's certainly a flashback to my personal situation, but it - I can be honest. I actually received a lot of calls...

SANDERS: Really?

PIFER: ...From folks who we've responded to as the crisis team, and it triggered a lot of their existing trauma, as well. But yeah, it made me flash back to Shannon. It made me flash back to all my, quote, "new friends" in this mass shooting club that exists.

SANDERS: Oh, man. Oh, man.

PIFER: So yeah.

SANDERS: Knowing how it's been for you and what you've seen through your work, what do you think the people in Texas that witnessed this shooting firsthand are dealing with right now?

PIFER: Definitely, I'd say just now the fog is getting a little lighter. You know, they're in shock, right?


PIFER: I know that there are feelings of, I don't care if I live or die.


PIFER: And it's not like a suicidal thing it's just a who cares. And it passes. But - so what happens when something like that in Sutherland Springs happens is our bodies do everything it can to make sure we survive the psychological impact. And so there's some kind of disconnection. And it feels like you're in a cloud. So, hopefully, by now, their bodies - like, their adrenaline is back to normal. They're getting some sleep. And then that's when you deal with the aftermath, right? I mean, the business of death and just going on living.

SANDERS: Yeah. When you lost Shannon, how long did it take for that fog to lift for you?

PIFER: Oh, man, I was lucky. It was about three weeks. And I say I was lucky because it's a buffer. You know, it exists so that you're not just completely pummeled by the world. So for me, it was about three weeks. And because I've studied trauma - you know, I'm a marriage and family therapist, as well - I knew that the buffer was normal. I knew everything I was going through was normal. So I knew that buffer was going to go away.


PIFER: And it did. Yeah.

RAMESWARAM: You know, it's interesting. A thing that we're seeing now with the Vegas shooting and this one in Texas is politicians saying, you know, it's too soon to talk about, you know, legislation. You know, we just need to send our thoughts and prayers right now, et cetera, et cetera. I wonder - I did a story about the Second Amendment over the past year. And the one shooting that the politicians don't seem to have a problem with over and over referencing and reminding us of is San Bernardino. And part of that to me feels like maybe it was because the shooter said that - you know, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State or something. But then how do you feel when you hear politicians talking about San Bernardino? Do you - how do you react to that?

PIFER: Well, I'm very thankful that the presidential election is over because I - you know, I didn't listen to TV for a year because they just drop it, right? It's - listen. It's like - it's - San Bernardino was as much a workplace shooting as it was a terrorist incident. It was personal. He knew the people he killed. I mean, they all worked in the same office. But it frustrates me. It - I mean, it frustrates me. And I also think in whose name - like, in whose honor are you saying this about San Bernardino? Because it's not Shannon's.

SANDERS: You have such professional and personal experience in dealing with the aftermath of a shooting like Sutherland Springs. If you were there now and talking with some of those survivors and relatives, what would you say to them? What advice would you give to them? How would you console them?

PIFER: I would hold space for their reaction, which - however they're reacting right now is a normal reaction in such an abnormal event. I would assure them that they're not going insane.


PIFER: I would assure them that there are a lot of people everywhere in the world who care for them, that they're not alone, that there is support available for them when they're ready to reach out for counseling or what have you.


PIFER: Just reaffirm everything that they're feeling.


PIFER: Yeah.

SANDERS: Well, what are you going to do this weekend to take some time for you to have some fun?

PIFER: So I'm going to - I have a doctor's appointment.


PIFER: And then on Sunday, we have a barbecue for the crisis responders.

SANDERS: Awesome.

PIFER: So, yeah. I need to get a personal life.


SANDERS: Don't we all?

PIFER: Yeah, but I really like - you know, I like the people I work with. And again, they've been friends of mine since 2010. So...

SANDERS: Yeah. Yeah.

PIFER: Yeah, that's what I would do. And sleep - I'll probably sleep a lot. OK.

SANDERS: Sleep is good.

PIFER: Yeah.

SANDERS: Enjoy the barbecue.

PIFER: I will.

SANDERS: Tell those folks you work with that we are grateful for them and the work that you and they do.

RAMESWARAM: Yeah. Thanks, Mandy.

PIFER: Yeah, no problem.

SANDERS: And have a great weekend. It was a pleasure talking to you.

HERSHIPS: Thanks, Mandy.

PIFER: All right, guys. You too. Take care.

SANDERS: All right. Bye-bye.



SANDERS: What - so what I find so tragically fascinating about this is that every week, there are more people that join the club that Mandy's in.

RAMESWARAM: Yeah, that club that we're in is like we're alongside countries like Yemen...


RAMESWARAM: ...When it comes to how many deaths we have by firearms in the United States.


SANDERS: Of course there are things that we have to make clear about what happened this week in Texas. One is gun advocates have pointed out the suspect - as he was fleeing that church last Sunday, he was pursued by a gun owner - an NRA-trained gun owner. And lots of folks think that that helped prevent more death. And two, even if all of the strictest gun control measures in the world were passed tomorrow, there would still be millions of guns all across the country. Listeners, we would love to talk to you for this segment. If you want us to give you a call and hear about anything going on in your neck of the woods, just drop us a note. Tell us what's happening. Email us at samsanders@npr.org.


SANDERS: All right. It's time for our main story of the week. Given Sunday's shooting in south Texas, we are yet again having another national conversation about guns, gun violence and what the Second Amendment actually means. But the way - America's relationship with guns, Sean - it wasn't always this way, right? You reported an hour all about the Second Amendment. It's called the gun show. It's an episode of More Perfect. And you kind of trace the history of the gun rights movement. And what I found really fascinating is that our current conception of what the Second Amendment means - it wasn't always what it is now.

RAMESWARAM: Sure. That's a fact.


RAMESWARAM: Every interview I did for that piece, I would start the interview by asking my guest - be it someone I went out to Texas to interview or, you know, an academic - like, hey, what's the Second Amendment? And, you know, some people knew it by heart. Some people just went, you know, that's my right to bear arms. That's my right to have a gun. That's sort of a conversation, and that's sort of the accepted understanding now, but certainly always was not that way. So I don't know if you're asking me to sum up the story, but, basically, what we try to understand in this 69, 70 minutes of radio is, how did we get here to where everyone thinks it's one thing? And the answer is complicated. But it's a mix of a lot of people in the 1960s - when there was a lot of violence and riots and anti-war protests and assassinations of a president, of civil rights leaders, of a president's brother - going, I need a gun.

SANDERS: Yeah. Well, and you have this wonderful scene of Black Panthers coming up to the state capital in California in Sacramento, fully armed, saying, it's our right to do this. And that image of those black men with big old guns at the capital...


SANDERS: ...Sparked a lot of folks across the country to say, we need gun control laws.

RAMESWARAM: Exactly, exactly - including Ronald Reagan.


HERSHIPS: (Laughter).

RAMESWARAM: Who then becomes...


RAMESWARAM: ...President - becomes the first president ever endorsed by the NRA.


RAMESWARAM: ...And then says, you know, the right of the - the Second Amendment is the right of people to keep and bear arms, period - just to...

SANDERS: Yeah - because the original conception of it was that this was the right for militias to bear arms, not the right for individuals to bear arms.

RAMESWARAM: Well, that is a disputed fact.


HERSHIPS: (Laughter) Yeah.

RAMESWARAM: And therein lies our Second Amendment issue, right.

SANDERS: Yes, yes, yes, yes.

HERSHIPS: How long do you have?


RAMESWARAM: People say it's really simple, you know? But when this - when the conversation finally got up to the Supreme Court - is this just about militias, or is this about the - what's called the individual right, the right of Sam and Sally and Sean to keep a gun in our basement, in our kitchen, in our bedroom - the Supreme Court split 5-4 in a case called the District of Columbia v. Heller.

SANDERS: And that was in 2008, right?

RAMESWARAM: 2008 - right around the time President Obama took office. And the 5-4 decision saying, yes, it's - Sam and Sean and Sally, get a gun.

SANDERS: So given the way that Americans conceptualize the Second Amendment now, a lot of folks interpret it as meaning an individual's right to bear arms. If that's the way we think of it, given the landscape of these shootings happening more and more frequently, it seems, is our gun debate stalled? Is the potential for gun control stalled because of the current way that we conceptualize the Second Amendment?

RAMESWARAM: Well, that's a great question. That remains to be seen. I don't think this can keep happening over and over and over again, and we will, as a country, be resigned to it.

SANDERS: This being the mass shootings.

RAMESWARAM: I do think the right kind of legislation - it can't just be people screaming for an assault rifle ban over and over. That doesn't seem to work. Screaming for it doesn't seem to work. Passing it didn't seem to do much. We had an assault rifle ban, and we still had mass shootings. But it's super important that both sides can come to some sort of agreement on common-sense things.

SANDERS: Well, there's a consensus...

RAMESWARAM: ...Like mental health.

SANDERS: There's a consensus in the public. Whenever you poll Americans, they agree on a few basic ideals for gun control. If you have mental health issues, they'd say you shouldn't be able to own a gun.


SANDERS: They endorse the idea of background checks. So these are things that the public agrees upon.

RAMESWARAM: And that's where I think the political will could shift.

HERSHIPS: But most shootings - most mass shootings are not carried out...

SANDERS: ...By mentally ill people.

HERSHIPS: ...By mentally ill people. And I'm just...

RAMESWARAM: But this one, at least, was - in Texas.

HERSHIPS: And I'm going to play the skeptic once again and just say, after Sandy Hook, nothing changed. If children - and then this recent church shooting - and we had the baseball game where members of Congress were shot at.


HERSHIPS: People - someone was shooting politician - picking them off.

SANDERS: Picking them off.

HERSHIPS: If that's not going to do it, what's going to do it?

SANDERS: Well, and just to let - I mean, you know, there is a little movement on Capitol Hill, it seems. You know, after the Las Vegas shooting, there was a lot of talk about a ban on what's called bump stocks. These are the things that can turn a semi-automatic weapon into a fully automatic weapon. There was talk of a bipartisan bill, then the NRA said, well, the ATF can just ban bump stocks. The ATF is...

RAMESWARAM: Alcohol, tobacco...

SANDERS: ...The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco...

RAMESWARAM: ...firearms.

SANDERS: ...and Firearms. Then the ATF said, actually, we can't ban bump stocks because bump stocks aren't guns. We only deal with guns. So in just a few weeks, the bump stock conversation was over. Now there's a conversation in the aftermath of this Texas shooting to possibly push through some bill that would tighten up the reporting of people's mental health backgrounds and domestic abuse backgrounds so that they would be on this list of folks that can't get guns. But it's not sure how far that push will go and if that will change any laws.

HERSHIPS: Seems like we're getting stuck in the weeds here.

RAMESWARAM: If I may - the Supreme Court decision - the Heller v. District of Columbia decision, 2008 - it does say, yes, this is about individual rights. But it also says - Scalia said - of course we need gun control. You can't have guns in schools.

SANDERS: Antonin Scalia says...

RAMESWARAM: We can't have...

SANDERS: This is the most conservative member of the Supreme Court at that time.


RAMESWARAM: A huge fan of guns.

HERSHIPS: Which - except where you can have guns in schools.

RAMESWARAM: Right. So it's up to the states, so there's a lot of - you know, there's a patchwork of legislation. But at least he said, you know, even if you have this Second Amendment right, individual right to have guns, of course, to be a functioning society, we need to have gun control. So a very conservative member of Supreme Court said that, and that should be where the conversation starts.


SANDERS: Quick plug - you can check out more of Sean's reporting on guns on his episode of More Perfect. That is a show from WNYC and Radiolab. And he has a whole hour all about the history of America's relationship with the Second Amendment. It's called "The Gun Show." All right, time for a quick break. We'll be right back.


SANDERS: OK, before we get back to the show, something fun - I have a request for our listeners. I want to hear your Thanksgiving horror stories.



SANDERS: They can be tied to food or whatever. Just send me some drama. Have the subject line say, Thanksgiving horror story. Tell me briefly what happened, and then leave me your phone number because I might call you to talk about it for a show that we're doing for Thanksgiving.

But here's the catch. You have to be free to take the phone call from me and a special friend Tuesday, November 14 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. East Coast time. Be free to take a call from me Tuesday the 14 of November between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. East Coast time.


SANDERS: All right. We are back. Time for a high-stakes, winner-takes-all game called...


KANDI BURRUSS: Who had been saying that?

PORSHA WILLIAMS: Who said that?

SANDERS: Who said that?


RAMESWARAM: You win, Sally. You win in advance.

SANDERS: It's actually not winner-takes-all because the winner gets nothing.


HERSHIPS: Do I win - I could - do I win for anxiety, pressure, stress?


SANDERS: So this game is so simple. I share a quote from the week, you guys have to guess who said that. We'll do three or four today, OK?


SANDERS: You feel the pressure?


HERSHIPS: Oh, my - yeah. I'm flop sweating.

RAMESWARAM: I hope to know one of them. It's been a busy week. Let's see.

SANDERS: I know. I know. Here we go.

In this instance, the LA Times showed a complete disregard for basic journalistic standards.


SANDERS: Oh, who said it?





RAMESWARAM: (Yelling) Yes, yes, yes.

SANDERS: This guy...

HERSHIPS: Sean takes a victory lap.

SANDERS: You can't see him, but this dude is taking a lap right now. Shoutout for the win.

RAMESWARAM: Oh, my God. I just won nothing, woo (ph).


HERSHIPS: Sean's going to...

SANDERS: So have you guys been following this crazy story?

RAMESWARAM: Yes (laughter).

SANDERS: Disney has been, like...

HERSHIPS: Sure, yes.

SANDERS: Disney's been, like, blacklisting the LA Times because the LA Times had this big investigation into Disney's business ties to the city of Anaheim, Calif. Anaheim is where Disneyland is. The article was about some financial incentives and protections that Disney got from Anaheim. Disney didn't like that story, so in response, they blacklisted the LA Times from press screenings for its new movies. That'll get them.

RAMESWARAM: So the LA Times didn't go - get to go see "Thor" as a result.



RAMESWARAM: So they couldn't post a review. They're, like, the only people...


HERSHIPS: Sean, that hurts.

RAMESWARAM: But they did something brilliant, right? They wrote, we don't have a review because Disney blacklisted us. And then the internet was like, uh-uh.

SANDERS: I just imagined Mickey Mouse being like, you can't see my movie.


SANDERS: So then after that, The New York Times...

RAMESWARAM: Such a Goofy move on Disney's part.


SANDERS: Like, come on.

RAMESWARAM: I'm out, all right.


RAMESWARAM: Peace out, Chicago.


SANDERS: The "Goofy Movie" soundtrack was one of the best Disney soundtracks of all time.

RAMESWARAM: Can we get a sample?

SANDERS: They were, like, R&B.

HERSHIPS: I can't believe you know this. How do you know this?

SANDERS: Tevin Campbell did that soundtrack. It was amazing.

HERSHIPS: Oh, my...

RAMESWARAM: I didn't know.

SANDERS: Anyway, after the LA Times was like, Disney, you wrong, The New York Times was like, we're not going to go to Disney screenings either in solidarity. It's just high drama.


SANDERS: It's movies, y'all. All right, you got one, Sean.

RAMESWARAM: Thank you.

SANDERS: Next quote - "in the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories - dun, dun" (ph).

RAMESWARAM: "Law & Order"?

SANDERS: But where do they say this - in what space?


HERSHIPS: In the credits?

RAMESWARAM: In the credits (laughter).

HERSHIPS: Yeah (laughter).



SANDERS: In what social media space did they write this whole thing, and they couldn't write it that long before?

HERSHIPS: Twitter.





RAMESWARAM: Of course.

SANDERS: Twitter went from 140-character tweets this week to the potential to write 280 characters.

RAMESWARAM: Oh, my gosh.

SANDERS: And "Law & Order: SVU" probably had the best 280-character tweet.

RAMESWARAM: That's amazing.

SANDERS: They did that whole thing in there.

RAMESWARAM: I got to go find that and retweet it.

SANDERS: Retweet it in solidarity.


SANDERS: The sound, the sound.


RAMESWARAM: Nice. Can we get the "Goofy" soundtrack too?


SANDERS: All right, so it's tied 1-1. This is high-stakes competition. Oh, y'all aren't going to get this last one. I'm so excited. You're not going to get this. You're not going to get this. Ready?

RAMESWARAM: Famous last words.

HERSHIPS: All right.

SANDERS: It's a long quote, but just bear with me.

HERSHIPS: Is it Twitter?

RAMESWARAM: Is it 280?

SANDERS: (Laughter).

RAMESWARAM: Can you give it to me in 140, please?

SANDERS: I will try.

RAMESWARAM: My brain can't handle 280.

SANDERS: I will try. Here we go - sister, shoulder, daughter, lover, healer, broken halo, Mother Nature. These are song lyrics.

RAMESWARAM: Oh, Taylor Swift.


SANDERS: No. I wouldn't doubt that though.

RAMESWARAM: Ouch, shade.



SANDERS: No. It was a dude.


SANDERS: He's married to Nicole Kidman.

RAMESWARAM: That's that country guy.

HERSHIPS: Oh, the guy with the white teeth - Keith Urban.

SANDERS: (Laughter).


HERSHIPS: He has a lot of highlights.

SANDERS: He has a lot highlights.

RAMESWARAM: Did he write that about her?

HERSHIPS: I think he's what we would we call a metrosexual.

SANDERS: So he wanted to be a male ally, male feminist. He wrote this song in response to, you know, Weinstein and the ongoing fallout.

HERSHIPS: Oh, that's very thoughtful.


SANDERS: But the song is not good.


SANDERS: He had Nicole Kidman, his wife, sing backup. We have some of the song. Can we play it?


KEITH URBAN: (Singing) If you hear somebody say somebody hits like a girl, how does that hit you?


HERSHIPS: It's the thought that counts.


HERSHIPS: (Laughter) I don't know.


HERSHIPS: I'm trying to be nice (laughter). I'm trying...


HERSHIPS: I'm not digging it, you guys. Sorry, Keith.


URBAN: (Singing) Sister, shoulder, daughter, lover, healer, broken halo, Mother Nature...

RAMESWARAM: It's just about life.

SANDERS: It's, like, feminism Mad Lib.


SANDERS: So there was an article about the song in Elle magazine by one of my favorite writers, R. Eric Thomas. He wrote, this is the musical equivalent of a guy wearing a shirt that says, male feminist.

RAMESWARAM: (Laughter).

SANDERS: Like, why? And also, stop. Agreed.

HERSHIPS: Yeah, yeah.

RAMESWARAM: But could I just say that he's trying.

HERSHIPS: He's trying.

SANDERS: Keith Urban's trying.

RAMESWARAM: And I think the biggest thing we can all do in this moment where there's a lot of reconciliation, a lot of calling out, a lot of heads rolling is, we can all try.

HERSHIPS: (Laughter) Oh, my God, wow.

SANDERS: This after-school special over here...


SANDERS: All right, who got the last one?

RAMESWARAM: (Singing) Sister, mother...

SANDERS: No, sing it. Go. I have the lyrics.

HERSHIPS: Me. Keith Urban - I won. I'm a winner.

SANDERS: (Singing) You're sister, shoulder, daughter, lover, healer, broken halo, Mother Nature.

RAMESWARAM: Ah, Sam Sanders...


SANDERS: That's a lot. Sally, you won. As a reward, you get Sean and my's (ph) allyship (ph).

RAMESWARAM: We'll go eat deep dish on us.

HERSHIPS: Wait, you guys - you - are you going to write me a song? I feel like it doesn't really count.


RAMESWARAM: (Singing) Sally Herships, Sally Herships...

SANDERS: (Singing) Sally Herships (vocalizing).


RAMESWARAM: (Singing) Public radio reporter...

HERSHIPS: All right, I change my mind.

SANDERS: Congratulations.

HERSHIPS: Thank you.

SANDERS: This is the first time I've - this is the first time that we actually had a prize - that song we just wrote you.

HERSHIPS: Oh, all right. Is it tweetable?

SANDERS: Oh, yeah, 280 characters - believe it.

RAMESWARAM: Unprecedented.

HERSHIPS: I want a song in Twitter.

SANDERS: All right, with that, we're almost done. But first, a plug for Tuesday's episode - I got to talk with one of my favorite comedians of the moment. I talked with Iliza Shlesinger. I love her. I've seen all of her Netflix specials. She has a new book out. I met up with her face-to-face in New York last week, and she was the best.

RAMESWARAM: Awesome, great.

SANDERS: She's so funny. She has this new book out called "Girl Logic" that she kind of uses to get into the head of women like her. And she brought her dog with her.


RAMESWARAM: Wow - to the interview?

SANDERS: Her cute dog named Blanche, yeah.

RAMESWARAM: They let the dog in the building?


HERSHIPS: That's awesome.

SANDERS: It was really great. She was super fun. Check your feed for that Tuesday. I laughed so hard in the booth with her. All right.

RAMESWARAM: (Singing) Sister, shoulder, daughter...

SANDERS: This guy.

HERSHIPS: (Laughter) Oh, my God.

SANDERS: You got to let it go at some point. No, don't let it go. Don't let it go.

HERSHIPS: Promise you're not going to sing that in the taxi.

SANDERS: We got a Easter egg - Sean and I singing more of this song at the end of the episode, OK? All right, it is time to end the Weekly Wrap as we always do. Each week, we ask listeners to send us the sound of their own voices sharing the best things that happened to them all week. We encourage them to brag. They always do. It's always good stuff.

RAMESWARAM: Oh, that's nice.

SANDERS: Brent compiles the audio here. Let's take a listen.

CARLOS: Hi, Sam. My name is Carlos (ph), and I live in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

SANDERS: Hi, Carlos.

CARLOS: The best thing that happened this week is that after 48 days...

SANDERS: Oh, my goodness.

CARLOS: We finally got our power back at home.

SANDERS: Oh, that's good to hear.

CARLOS: ...Following Hurricane Maria.

SANDERS: Good to hear.

HERSHIPS: Aw, yay.

CARLOS: We're really happy about this. There's a lot of work to be done still in Puerto Rico. But thanks a lot for your work. I listen to you every week. Have a great day.

SANDERS: Thanks, man. You, too.

JENNIFER: Hey, Sam. It's Jennifer (ph). The best thing that's happened to me all week is that after six brutal months of unemployment, I finally started my first week at work.


SANDERS: Congrats.

HERSHIPS: Go, Jennifer.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: I had my last exam ever today, and I officially have finished my Bachelor of Commerce.

SANDERS: Congrats.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: My husband and I went to a cat cafe to play cat trivia.


HERSHIPS: Oh, my God.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: ...Which means we are officially the craziest cat couple ever.

SANDERS: I love it.

COLIN: Hey, Sam. This is Colin (ph) in Houston, Texas. It's about 4 in the morning, and I'm headed to the airport. I'm flying home to Wisconsin for the weekend to surprise my dad for his 55th birthday party.


HERSHIPS: Aw, Colin.


COLIN: And we've been planning this for months, and it's finally here. I'm a little sleepy, but I'm so excited.

SANDERS: I'll bet.

TERRY: Hey, Sam. This is Terry (ph) from Philadelphia, Pa.

SANDERS: Hey, Terry.

TERRY: The best thing that happened to me this week is that after moving to Philadelphia 15 years ago with 300 bucks in my pocket and not a very good plan...


TERRY: The theater company that I started here in Philadelphia won our first major award.

SANDERS: Aw, congrats.

TERRY: And it made years of wondering - what am I doing with my life? - finally kind of worth it.

SANDERS: That's awesome.

HERSHIPS: Yay, encore.

EMMA HARRIS: Hi, Sam. This is Emma Harris (ph) from Los Angeles, Calif. The best thing about my week is that I'm actually up in Monterey Bay visiting my parents. My dad's currently going through chemo, and it's really good to just be able to be here and be with them, be at the doctor's with them and to see and - you know, just be around. So that's the best thing that happened to me.

SANDERS: All right.

RAMESWARAM: All the best.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: Hey, Sam. I wanted to let you know about one of the best things that happened to me. I enjoy traveling, and because I've been a single mom for the last 17 years, I haven't gotten to do nearly as much of it as I would like to. But my daughter is now a college junior, so I decided to treat myself to...


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: ...A trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for eight days.

SANDERS: Oh, hey. I like it up there.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: I had the best time.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: It was liberating. It was fabulous. It was way, way overdue.

HERSHIPS: Go, mom.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: And I got in some much-needed me time.

SANDERS: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: I got to explore.


UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: So let's hope this is the beginning of me getting my wings back.

SANDERS: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #3: I love your show. Keep doing what you're doing.

JENNIFER: Have a great week.



SANDERS: I love that.


SANDERS: Thanks to all those voices we just heard - Carlos, Jen (ph), Cassie (ph), Sam (ph), Colin, Terry, Emma and Andrea (ph). Buenos Aires is a really beautiful, fun city. I was there years ago. I had so much fun. And the empanadas are amazing.

RAMESWARAM: On point - did you tango?

SANDERS: I tried to. I was very bad at it. I was very bad at it.

RAMESWARAM: It's kind of hard.

SANDERS: My hips do lie, it turns out.


SANDERS: All right, we wish we had time to play all of these that come in. We get a lot. But know that we hear them all. Also, crazy story about Carlos in San Juan, who you heard earlier - after he sent that message, he wrote us back to say the power actually went out.



SANDERS: ...After a major power line installed...

HERSHIPS: No, Carlos, no.

SANDERS: ...By the company Whitefish Energy failed. And it wiped out, like, half the power that had come back on the island. So Carlos, we're rooting for you.

RAMESWARAM: Yeah, we are.

SANDERS: I'm sorry to hear about this.

HERSHIPS: Hang in there, Carlos.

SANDERS: Hang in there. Let us know what happens there, OK? If you want to share your best thing all week, you can do so any time throughout the week. Just record your own voice. Send me the file to samsanders@npr.org. Mama, we made it. Chance, take us out.


CHANCE THE RAPPER: (Singing) You don't want no problem, want no problem with me.

SANDERS: Chance is the best.

RAMESWARAM: I'm going to play this on the dance floor. I want to see you shaking the leg.

SANDERS: My hips will lie.

HERSHIPS: Your hips will lie.

SANDERS: My hips will lie.

RAMESWARAM: Saturday night - I want to see Sam Sanders tango to Chance.

SANDERS: To this song.


SANDERS: I love it. All right, the show this week was edited by Jeff Rogers and Steve Nelson. Our big boss is Anya Grundmann. She's a VP of programming here at NPR. And the show is produced lovingly every week by Brent Baughman and Anjuli Sastry. Refresh your feed Tuesday morning for my chat with the comedian of the moment, Iliza Shlesinger.

Y'all are great.

RAMESWARAM: Thank you.

SANDERS: This was fun.

HERSHIPS: No, you are.

SANDERS: No, you are.

HERSHIPS: No, you are.

SANDERS: No, Keith Urban is.


SANDERS: You guys, we did it. Chance, keep doing you. Thanks to all of you for listening. I'm Sam Sanders. We'll talk soon.


2 CHAINZ: (Rapping) I'm so high, me and God dapping. This my blessing. This my passion. School of hard knocks - I took night classes.

CHANCE THE RAPPER: (Singing) You don't want no problem, want no problem with me. You don't want no problem, want no problem with me.

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