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When Tuan Huynh was growing up in Wichita, Kansas, where his family moved after leaving Vietnam, gun violence became “a way of life”: By 14, Huynh carried a gun every day; at 18, he says, he accidentally shot and killed someone, and was sentenced to life in prison. After receiving parole more than 10 years ago, Huynh opened Vietfive, a coffee shop in Chicago’s West Loop, to provide a space where people could build community, and thrown himself into the work of helping people with backgrounds like his own enter a path of “creating better habits, making better decisions.” [Chicago Sun-Times]


Earlier this month, the National Rifle Association elected several officers who have been cast as reformers by some in the gun rights movement. It looked like it could be the start of a new chapter for the organization, after years of declines in revenue and membership, and the recent civil corruption case that found the group and its longtime boss and fundraising talisman Wayne LaPierre liable for civil corruption. 

But while the faces of the group’s leadership are new, they might not necessarily be a new breed. Those elevated to power — tasked with confronting the organization’s legal problems and arresting a financial collapse — include people tied to past misuse of NRA funds and a board member who allegedly conspired to overturn the 2020 election. The Trace’s Will Van Sant has the story.

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What to Know Today

U.S. Representative Tony Gonzales, a Texas Republican representing a large district that includes Uvalde, narrowly won his primary runoff election against YouTube gun rights personality Brandon Herrera, who tried to frame the race around Gonzales’s voting record on firearms. The win came after months of feuding between Gonzales, who voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and the GOP’s far-right wing. [The Texas Tribune/Texas Public Radio

Messages from an encrypted chat show that a group of Mississippi sheriff’s deputies who called themselves the “Goon Squad” joked about shooting, killing, and brutalizing people; shared pictures of corpses they encountered; and traded racist and misogynistic comments and memes in a WhatsApp group text for years. The thread paints a portrait of a unit — which gained national attention last year after its members tortured two Black men in their home, and nearly killed one with a gunshot to the face — involved in terrorizing Rankin County residents for a generation. [Mississippi Today and The New York Times]

After a life-altering trauma, why do some people consider themselves “victims,” while others consider themselves “survivors”? Many studies have probed the differences in these identifiers after sexual violence, but there’s been little investigation into self-perceptions after a shooting. To get a start, researchers interviewed 10 Black men with gunshot wounds about how they labeled themselves — and whether their self-perceptions fit the victim-survivor dichotomy at all. [Journal of Urban Health

Vermont Governor Phil Scott allowed a bill prohibiting state residents from possessing ghost guns to pass into law without his signature. The legislation does not ban homemade firearms, but requires Vermonters to take them to a licensed dealer to conduct a background check and serialize the gun. [VTDigger]


Vermont’s Long, Strange Trip to Gun-Rights Paradise: Why the Green Mountain State and its singular history are to thank for new laws that allow the concealed carry of guns without a permit. (July 2015)