What to Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: How often are guns involved in accidental deaths? Accidental gun deaths aren’t as common as firearm suicides or homicides. But they generate public concern because they’re so preventable, and often involve children. A reader’s question led The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia to the discovery of some alarming trends.

How many Americans favor Bruen? Depends on how you ask. A Marquette Law School poll queried respondents on their support for the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, which held that “the 2nd Amendment right to ‘keep and bear arms’ protects the right to carry a gun outside the home.” More than 60 percent said they were in favor — a statistic some media outlets used as evidence of the ruling’s popularity. But the question belies what was actually at stake, Andrew Willinger writes for the Duke Center for Firearms Law, and shows the difficulties of capturing public opinion on nuanced judicial issues.

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to America’s gun violence crisis. Experts say these changes could make meaningful progress. In the second part of a series on America’s relationship to firearms, experts from Temple University discussed the reforms that could help reduce the gun violence epidemic. Among the takeaways: Investing in public education, expanding the Supreme Court, and increasing federal spending on gun violence research.

Should the identities of cops who kill be kept secret? The Florida Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case regarding whether police who use deadly force are covered under Marsy’s Law, a state constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018 that gave crime victims privacy rights. Policing agencies in Florida, the Tallahassee Democrat and ProPublica reported in 2020, have used the law to shield the identities of officers who use deadly force. 

At vigil for gun violence victims, Biden again calls for federal assault weapons ban. President Joe Biden reiterated his commitment to a ban at the National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence, following remarks last month that he would push lawmakers on the effort before Republicans take control of the U.S. House. The president’s speech comes after nearly 70 mayors urged the Senate to pass gun restrictions before the new session — and after Democratic lawmakers said they have other priorities

After Colorado Springs shooting, drag performers are on high alert. Extremist right-wing attacks and protests at drag events are intensifying, BuzzFeed News reports, and in the wake of the mass shooting at Club Q — on the night of a drag event — performers fear what could come next. Many are waiting to put on their make-up and clothes until they arrive at a show, and venues are upping security, if not canceling shows altogether. Events for children, like drag queen story hours, are frequently the sites of vitriolic protests, a trend some performers find absurd: “You’re so worried about protecting children, supposedly, and you’re screaming and acting like this. … Call me names all you want, but children don’t need to experience this.”

Data Point

1,094 — the number of people shot and killed by police so far this year. In 2021, police fatally shot 1,047 people, a record high. Police shoot and kill about 1,000 people each year — disproportionately Black people — but the number has been rising each year. [The Washington Post]