What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: Congress approved millions for gun violence prevention. Will it reach grassroots groups? In May 2021, the Biden administration said states and cities could use American Rescue Plan funds for community violence intervention. While advocates have lauded the ARP for making this funding — potentially the largest sum ever devoted to the cause — available for CVI programs, it wasn’t specifically designated for that purpose. Violence intervention groups have had to compete with other causes like COVID-19 mitigation, infrastructure, and law enforcement, and it was largely up to local and state leaders to prioritize spending. Many states and cities have put funds — some $2 billion, according to the White House — toward violence intervention, crisis responders, and mental health services. But others have not. “The funding that was received is not coming down to grassroots organizations,” one advocate said of her experience in Florida. Chip Brownlee has that story.
The heavy burden carried by the hundreds of Chicago children who lose parents to gun violence. Between 2016 and 2020, there were at least 2,484 people under 18 who had a parent fatally shot. Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox reports in a must-read feature about the harrowing toll that has taken on so many young people. “It’s crazy the extent to which we ignore these kids, and that they fall through the cracks of our system, because we just don’t have any systematic way at all of identifying them, assessing them and making sure that they’re getting whatever help and services they need,” one leading expert told him. From The Trace: After Uvalde, we wrote about five ways the mass shooting brought into focus the contours of an American crisis that falls heavily on young people.
More than 500 mass killings since 2006. More than 2,600 lives claimed. An updated database from the Associated Press, USA TODAY and Northeastern University looks at incidents where four or more people lost their lives in one mass-casualty event. There have been 19 such mass killings so far this year, which is about average compared to previous years. The vast majority of mass killings happen in a residence or other shelter, and victims are likely to be killed by someone they know. More than 80 percent of mass killings involved a firearm. Related from The Trace: Last year, Jennifer Mascia spoke with the founder of Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as four or more people injured in one incident and captures a bigger share of mass gun violence.
Judge rules that Sandy Hook defamation case against Alex Jones can go forward in Connecticut. Federal bankruptcy Judge Julie Manning ruled this week that a defamation damages trial can continue in Connecticut state court after a lawyer for the far-right conspiracy theorist tried to have the trial moved to federal bankruptcy court. Earlier this month, a Texas jury ordered that Jones pay nearly $50 million in damages to parents of a child killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. Besides the trial in Connecticut, Jones still faces another defamation damages trial in Texas. Both are scheduled to begin next month.
More than 96 percent — the share of parents lost to gun violence in Chicago between 2016 and 2020 who were Black or Hispanic. [The Washington Post]