What to Know Today
NEW FROM THE TRACE: Philly’s top cop ducks criticism for rising violence. As Philadelphia passes the grim milestone of 500 homicides in a year for the second consecutive time, some are asking why Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has not received more blame for the killings. Larry Krasner, the city’s progressive district attorney, has been impeached by state Republicans, who accuse him of being soft on criminals. But while Krasner prepares for trial, Outlaw is receiving empathy from lawmakers — though whether she’ll keep the job under a new mayoral administration in 2024 isn’t clear. Mensah Dean has the story.
A judge struck down California’s gun bounty law. The governor thanked him. State legislation signed this July allowed private citizens to sue people who make or sell guns that the state prohibits, including unserialized ghost guns. Emulating Texas’s controversial abortion ban, the law awards those who successfully sue — $10,000 minimum. It was intended to provoke a court fight, so Governor Gavin Newsom’s positive response to it being struck down isn’t unexpected: “We have been saying all along that Texas’ anti-abortion law is outrageous. Judge Benitez just confirmed it is also unconstitutional.” The ruling also addresses the parallels between the laws. More from The Trace: Experts told Jennifer Mascia that the bipartisan adoption of bounty laws is a recipe for “chaos” that could accelerate the erosion of democracy.
New Jersey passes gun restrictions as Washington State takes up new proposals. The state Senate in New Jersey narrowly voted to send a post-Bruen reworking of concealed carry guidelines to the desk of Governor Phil Murphy. Meanwhile, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced his support for three gun policy proposals for the upcoming 2023 Legislature: an assault weapons ban, a law targeting the gun industry’s liability shield, and permit-to-purchase. The last one is most important to him, the governor said, citing the results in Connecticut of a similar law passed in 1995.
The case against describing gun violence as a “tragedy.” “I’ve used the word hundreds of times over decades spent grappling with the precise words for human suffering,” Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak writes. But a reader’s response to her work caused her to think more deeply. “Nothing reasonable can be done to stop or prevent” a tragedy, Timothy Kendall wrote — while “any deliberate murder is ‘atrocity.’” Dvorak’s response column delves into the power of words to encourage change.
Atlanta and Chicago respond to gun violence affecting children. Over the weekend, two teenage boys were shot and killed in Atlanta, following a shooting that killed two teen boys and wounded two others at a Chicago school on Friday afternoon. In Georgia, a city councilmember has proposed a curfew for teens — a strategy Chicago tried over the summer — and free lock boxes for gun owners. Meanwhile, advocates in Illinois say that rising violence affecting children makes a strong case for gun reform legislation at the state level.
40% — share of Minnesota domestic violence victims who are Black women, a group that makes up just 7% of the state’s overall population. [Missing and Murdered African-American Women Task Force via CBS]