What to Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: The unsung women healing Chicago. In Chicago communities where shootings are common, Black women are often the ones laboring to provide emotional and lasting care to alleviate the ricocheting impacts of gun violence, writes The Trace’s Justin Agrelo. These women lead block clubs, grow community gardens, organize food drives, and provide free childcare. They foster safety and address community needs, functioning as the hidden, if vital, scaffolding of more visible work. But they’re often unpaid, undervalued, and unrecognized. Agrelo shines a light on their work in his latest story.

Two men in their 70s killed themselves after their property was destroyed in Hurricane Ian. Florida officials say that at least 70 of the 126 deaths caused by the storm were victims 60 years or older, and two were men in their 70s who shot themselves after seeing the damage to their property. According to official death tallies, older people may have died from storm-related causes in disproportionate numbers, The New York Times reports. The aftermath points to a wrenching confluence of crises from housing to insurance and emergency aid.

Who — or what — is behind the rising number of active shooter hoax calls to schools? Extremism researcher Emmi Conley told NPR that a recent uptick in technologically sophisticated hoax calls about active shooters in schools could originate from overseas. No one has taken credit for the false reports so far. NPR obtained audio of calls in Ohio and Minnesota that follow an identical narrative: The person reporting a shooting states that they are a student at the school, though they sound like an adult male and speak with a heavy accent. “Our big questions now are whose attention are they after?” she said. “Is it the public? Law enforcement? Media? Something else? And why [are they] after it?”

At least six sheriffs in rural New York State say they won’t enforce new gun regulations. Conservative sheriffs across the nation — from Knox County, Tennessee, to Barry County, Michigan, and Pinal County, Arizona — are becoming a powerful force for the right wing. Now, several sheriffs in upstate New York say they won’t enforce new concealed carry regulations, The New York Times reports, dealing another blow to the state’s attempt to recover from the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision. On Thursday, a federal judge blocked key parts of the state’s new gun laws.

Uvalde school district suspends entire police force. The Uvalde, Texas, school district announced Friday that it had suspended all of its Police Department’s activities, The Texas Tribune reported. Hours later, the district superintendent told staff that he intends to retire, and two other school officials were placed on administrative leave. The reckoning comes as parents and families of victims, and Uvalde residents, protested around the clock for more than a week outside the school district’s administrative building to demand the removal of police from campus grounds. “We’ve gotten a little bit of accountability,” said Brett Cross, the guardian of 10-year-old victim Uziyah Garcia.

The “no compromise gun lobby” group that keeps suing Philadelphia. After Mayor Jim Kenney banned firearms in city recreation centers and playgrounds last month, Gun Owners of America challenged the order — and got it thrown out in less than a week. The group, which has called the National Rifle Association “weak” on gun rights issues, has sued Philadelphia multiple times over its licensing processes and filed a suit last year against the city’s ghost gun ordinance, Billy Penn reports. The group has endorsed mostly Republicans for the upcoming midterm elections, including gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano, who in June compared U.S. gun regulations to Nazi Germany. As Philadelphia grapples with unrelenting shootings, The Trace’s Mensah Dean wrote last week, the city’s gun violence crisis has already supercharged the race for mayor.

Data Point

47,286 — the number of firearm-related homicides and suicides in the U.S. in 2021. That’s up from 43,675 in 2020. [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]