The Atlantic Daily: How the Charleston Shooter Bought His Gun

A background check fails, an agency head resigns, and more …

Jason Miczek / Reuters

What’s Happening: The Error on Dylann Roof's Background Check

The .45 pistol that Dylann Roof used to kill nine people in a Charleston church last month was widely thought to be legally bought. On Friday, FBI Director James Comey told reporters that a background check should have prevented Roof from purchasing his weapon. Roof had been charged earlier in the year for unlawful use of a controlled substance, which would have barred him from buying a gun. As David Graham notes in The Atlantic, “it seems the problem is just a failure in the system.”

Fallout from the federal hack: Katherine Archuleta resigned as the director of the Office of Personnel Management on Friday. She stepped down just one day after it was revealed that hackers compromised the sensitive data of over 21 million Americans. When the cyberbreach was first reported in June, only 4 million Americans, mostly government workers and contractors, were thought to be affected.

The Confederate flag comes down in Columbia: One day after South Carolina lawmakers voted to remove the divisive symbol from state grounds, an honor guard removed it in a ceremony on Friday. A crowd cheered and chanted “U.S.A.” and “take it down” as the flag was lowered. The NCAA announced that the state is now eligible to host future tournaments.


Pope Francis and Bolivia's President Evo Morales wear traditional Bolivian hats during the second World Meeting of Popular Movements in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, on July 9, 2015. For more pictures from this week visit The Atlantic Photo. (Gregorio Borgia / AP)


  • Sophie Gilbert: “Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman is indisputably the most eagerly awaited work of fiction since Rowling wrapped up her Potter series in 2007, in no small part because it offers answers to the question of what happened to Scout, Lee’s sagacious and scrappy creation.”​
  • Megan Garber: “The other explanation for all the Fitbitterness may come down to the original software bug: human nature. We bore and burn out easily—particularly, it seems, when it comes to fitness.”​
  • Christopher Orr: “There’s plenty of high-velocity comic inanity on display to keep kids happily diverted, and the minions themselves are consistently amusing... The movie’s major problem is an extension of its own premise: Search as they may, the minions never find a villain worthy of their subservience.”​

News Quiz

1. In the United States, federal spending on prisons totaled ___________  in 2013.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

2. Wisconsin currently requires employers in the manufacturing and retail sectors to give their employees at least _________ hours off each week.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

3 In 1948, Henry Wallace ran for president on the Progressive Party ticket, earning _______ percent of the national vote.

(See answer or scroll to the bottom.)

Weekend Read

David Frum explains why Jeb Bush’s focus on growing the GDP won’t necessarily improve American living standards.

The core idea of the emerging Jeb Bush economic policy is that a bigger Gross Domestic Product will translate into more opportunity and higher wages for the average person.

Over the past generation, however, rising GDP has not always improved living standards. A close look at the period in the past 40 years when living standards did improve, in the second half of the 1990s, reveals that the improvement was driven by a (temporary) pause in healthcare cost inflation. When the cost of employee benefits rises more slowly, employee pay can rise more quickly. The tragedy of the American workplace is that employers continue to pay more for labor—but workers don’t receive that money. It is siphoned off by the healthcare industry.


Hollywood legend dies, Iran talks stall, Ariana Grande apologizes, LeBron stays, Djokovic advances, and Pamplona’s bulls run.

Answers: $7 billion, 24, 2.4