In October 2022, a gunman espousing white supremacist, homophobic, and antisemitic views killed two people at a gay bar in Slovakia — and cited the racist massacre in Buffalo, New York, that had taken place months before as inspiration for his attack. It’s just one example of how the U.S. has become a top exporter of extremist ideologies and far-right violence. How did we get here, and how can we solve it? [Foreign Affairs]
From Our Team
What if everything we know about guns is wrong?
That’s the question at the heart of The Gun Machine, a new podcast about the gun industry’s grip on the United States. Produced by WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, in partnership with The Trace, the podcast examines the history of American guns alongside the history of the country itself — and, fittingly, begins with the story of how early partnerships between a fledgling U.S. government and mad scientist gunsmiths created the firearms industry in the Northeast, and how that industry has been partners with the government ever since.
The Gun Machine is hosted by The Trace’s Alain Stephens. It debuts October 4. Follow on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts to listen to the first episodes as soon as they drop.
What to Know Today
Hunter Biden’s indictment on firearm charges is eliciting mixed reactions from prominent pro-gun groups. While Gun Owners of America responded to the news with glee, many others, like the National Rifle Association, essentially stayed silent on the topic. The Firearms Policy Coalition, meanwhile, reshared a social media post offering to connect the president’s son with “gun lawyers.” [Slate]
Illinois became the first state in the country to fully eliminate cash bail as a condition of pretrial release this week. Two hearings on felony weapons charges — one resulting in release on electronic monitoring, the other in detention — show what the reforms could mean for gun cases. [Chicago Tribune]
Pennsylvania is funding a $1 million grant to analyze where the state is falling short in supporting people who have experienced gun violence. The end goals include not only understanding victims’ needs, but also designing and piloting a “one-stop shop” for people and communities exposed to shootings. [ABC27]
TSA officers have caught more than 4,000 guns at airport security checkpoints nationwide so far this year, a number that’s been steadily increasing, according to the agency. “We are at a point where each gun that is caught sets a new record,” said the TSA’s security director for New Jersey. “It’s as though there is an epidemic of guns showing up at our checkpoints.” [Gothamist]
After schools in Oakland, California, experienced a shooting and a bomb threat in the first weeks of the academic year — following a year in which several other violent events, including a mass shooting, took place on Oakland campuses — school board directors and students are pressing the district to address its safety crisis. Part of the problem, they say, is that the district has yet to deliver on a safety plan it created in 2020. [The Oaklandside]
Mary Kay Connerton, a school wellness coordinator and finalist for Maryland Teacher of the Year, has lost several students to shootings in the near-decade she’s spent teaching at Annapolis High. Today, Connerton works with students exposed to gun violence on breathing techniques, yoga, and mindfulness — and she says the program has made a big difference for the young people and staffers who participated. [The Baltimore Banner]
The 2024 campaign season is here, and with it comes an under-discussed recent tradition: campaign advertisements featuring candidates using deadly weapons, frequently guns, to metaphorically attack policies they disagree with. [Mother Jones]
28+ — the estimated number of hate crime incidents involving the use or threatened use of a firearm that take place each day in the U.S. [Center for American Progress]