What To Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: The mothers of Flatbush: Turning grief to action in Brooklyn. The second installment of The Damage Done, our TV documentary with Brooklyn’s BRIC TV, focuses on a group of mothers who have lost their children to gun violence. Meeting in a church basement, they grapple with grief, mental health, and a desire for no one else’s child to die. One mother’s case remains in court, while another is unsolved, but even for the mothers whose cases have been solved, struggles remain. “None of us should be here, but it’s what it is right now,” said Maxine Lewis. “Can we stop it? We can’t stop it. It has to be bigger than us.” You can watch it here

Deep exposure, high personal costs for Chicago violence interventionists. In a new working paper published by the Northwestern Institute for Policy Research, six Chicago-based researchers surveyed people deployed as outreach workers to diffuse violent conflicts on the street. The results show that interventionists have extremely high levels of violence exposure: 32 percent had witnessed someone get shot while on the job; 65 percent knew someone through their professional duties who had been killed, and 80 percent had responded to the scene of a shooting before emergency workers. Another 20 percent said they had been shot at while working and 2 percent had actually been shot. “Failure to invest in this workforce and its health and well being will hinder these critical violence prevention work,” tweeted Andrew Papachristos, one of the authors. Related from The Trace: J. Brian Charles wrote about the workplace hazard for outreach workers in Baltimore after three workers were killed in 2021. And last year, Jennifer Mascia wrote about the push to pay gun violence interrupters a living wage.

NYC prepares for rollback of gun restrictions as a likely result of SCOTUS ruling. The high court will soon hand down a decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The state’s “may-issue” law requires people to demonstrate “proper cause” when they apply for licenses to carry concealed handguns. In New York City, the NYPD has discretion over whether to grant handgun permits to city residents that goes beyond showing proper cause. In an interview with The City, Mayor Eric Adams said he was consulting legal experts to see what options the city has if the high court invalidates the state law as expected. “In a densely populated community like New York, this ruling could have a major impact on us,” Adams said, noting that the city would consider restrictions on carrying in certain sensitive places — like mass transit and around schools — depending on the scope of the SCOTUS ruling.  

Gun control ranks lower among priority issues for voters ahead of midterms. A new Monmouth University poll asked people which of the following top six policy areas they ranked as the most important for how they’ll vote. Gun control ranked fifth, at 9 percent. The others were: economy (26 percent); abortion (25 percent); health care (16 percent); immigration (14 percent), and taxes (8 percent). The same poll in August 2018 found that 13 percent of voters viewed gun control as their top priority. The number of voters who said the issue was extremely or very important was still high, at 32 percent and 34 percent, respectively. 

Montana sheriff cancels training with Oath Keeper-affiliated police trainer after Reuters investigation. The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office announced that it would not go forward with two scheduled training sessions with Richard “Rick” Whitehead, a onetime member of the far-right Oath Keepers. Last week, Reuters published a story about the far-right ties of Whitehead and several others in the unregulated police training industry.

Data Point

93 percent — the share of contacted street outreach workers who agreed to participate in the aforementioned Chicago study. That accounts for 87 percent of all interventionists in the city. [Northwestern Institute for Policy Research]