What To Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: Where to find help if you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts or depression. The United States has the highest rate of gun suicide in the world — and suicides account for more than half of the total number of gun deaths nationwide each year. But these deaths are not inevitable, and research shows that most Americans would act to support someone they know is at risk. If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Our team created a guide to share some organizations that can provide emotional support in the moment and connect you and/or another person who needs care to longer-term mental health resources. If you’re concerned about the issue more broadly, we’ve also collected a list of ways you can get involved to support others. Our engagement editor Gracie McKenzie has more in the newly published guide.

If you have feedback about our existing work related to suicide or know about a resource we should add to our guide, please email us at [email protected]. Have a question about mental health and gun violence you think we should try to answer? You can submit that to our Ask The Trace series here

Officials seek shooting suspect linked to “heinous” violence against people experiencing homelessness in D.C. and NYC. Police believe the same assailant shot three people in the nation’s capital between March 3 and March 9 before shooting two more in New York City on Saturday. A victim in each city died of their injuries, authorities said, and all of those targeted have been men. The cities’ police departments are investigating the matter together with the ATF, and said in a joint statement they believe the perpetrator was the same because of “common circumstances involved in each shooting, circumstances of the victims. and recovered evidence.” In a joint statement, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and New York City Mayor Eric Adams said “the rise in gun violence has shaken all of us and it is particularly horrible to know that someone is out there deliberately doing harm to an already vulnerable population.”

The young children witnessing D.C. shootings. Washington Post metro columnist Theresa Vargas reports that children in Washington, D.C., have been witnesses to four homicides in the last three months, including one 5-year-old who was holding the hand of her father, Sedrick Miller, when he was shot. “When the city’s homicide numbers are tallied at the end of the year, Miller will be counted. His children won’t,” Vargas writes. “But they, too, are victims of the city’s gun violence. They, too, are part of its toll. And when we discuss how that violence is affecting local communities and what resources are needed to help address that, those uncounted victims matter.”

New Mexico is the latest state to fund community-violence intervention programs. Last week, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bipartisan crime prevention bill that includes creating a state fund to establish and support community-violence prevention programs. The program begins with an initial $9 million investment. The measure makes New Mexico one of more than a dozen states to directly invest in community-violence intervention programs. While the provisions are notable, the wide-ranging New Mexican legislation leans more heavily on a slew of traditional law enforcement-based strategies, like providing $50 million for a new police officer recruitment fund and instituting stronger penalties for gun crimes — including firearm possession by people convicted of felonies and using a gun to commit a felony. 

Congrats to Upstatement! The Society for News Design awarded the creative studio a silver medal for redesigning our website in November 2020. Judges said: “The pages look so consistent and clean across the board. The speed of this site is very snappy. You can immediately tell these things go together. I saw things that were original and interesting. They were all unique user experiences that required a lot of thought.”

Data Point

21 — the number of states so far that have committed to using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds for public safety, including violence intervention and prevention, according to a Biden administration tally. Dozens of cities are also using ARP money for similar purposes. [The White House]