On Saturday, an attack motivated by racial hatred took the lives of three Black people at a Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida. The shooting was the latest of its kind, one in a public place targeting a specific group of people — like those occurring at a supermarket in Buffalo last year, a Walmart in El Paso in 2019, and a synagogue in Pittsburgh in 2018.
The Jacksonville shooting bore a few other hallmarks, as the perpetrator was a white man in his early 20s, underwent a mental illness examination in 2017, had written several hate-filled manifestoes, used legally purchased weapons (an AR-15-style rifle, with swastika markings, and a Glock handgun), and took his own life.
The nihilistic bloodshed, which authorities are investigating as a hate crime, is the latest iteration of racist violence that has spanned centuries. And it came just two days before the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his transcendent “I Have a Dream” speech.
What To Know Today
ICYMI: A shooting’s toll on survivors and people close to them can be overwhelming and long-lasting. Why isn’t there more research on how much it costs victims? [The Trace]
Gun violence research barely existed two decades ago, but the field has experienced something of a boom as shooting deaths, funding, and advocacy have all increased. Through researchers’ work, there’s growing consensus about which interventions prevent shootings, which don’t, and which need more study. [Associated Press]
All the victims of last Wednesday’s shooting in a Southern California bar have been identified. Three people died and six others were injured when a retired police sergeant opened fire. His intended target was his estranged wife, who was shot in the jaw but survived. [NBC/Los Angeles Times]
Florida is spending $61.6 million to bulletproof windows in its Capitol Complex. This comes after the state made it easier to bring weapons inside those same buildings and other public places less than two months ago. [Orlando Sentinel]
The shooter who killed 10 people at a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket in 2021 has been deemed competent to stand trial. But this evaluation is tenuous and depends on the continued treatment of his schizophrenia diagnosis. [Associated Press]
In Pennsylvania, T-shirts bearing names, ages, and dates adorn the grass in front of the Harrisburg Quaker House — a gun violence memorial meant to remind passersby of the sanctity of human life. [WGAL]
Philadelphia’s public safety leaders have created what they hope is a one-stop-shop for local information and resources related to gun violence. The 25-page directory includes housing, education, employment, health, and victim services. [WHYY] Context: Although homicides in Philly are trending downward, some politicians and community activists say state and local governments need to do more to prevent gun violence.
In April, U.S. Representative Andrew Clyde, Republican of Georgia, grilled the ATF’s director about a program to monitor gun dealers found selling large numbers of weapons that were later traced to crimes. What Clyde did not say was that one of the two gun stores he owns was monitored by that program in 2020 and 2021 for selling 25 guns that had been used in crimes within three years of their purchase. [The New York Times]
Melissa Alexander, 44, is a Republican and gun owner whose son survived The Covenant School shooting in March. The event thrust her into activism for the first time, and she has joined a burgeoning group of like-minded people — mostly mothers — pleading with Tennessee’s GOP-controlled Legislature to pass stricter gun laws during a special session that began last week. [Washington Post] Context: Governor Bill Lee called for a special session after the General Assembly failed to pass an extreme risk protection order law following the shooting in Nashville.
600 — the number of gun violence prevention researchers who attended a national conference in Washington, D.C., last fall. Two decades ago, there were around 20 researchers focused on the topic. [Associated Press]