What to Know Today
In Colorado Springs, local officials resisted the state’s red flag law. This weekend’s mass shooting in Colorado Springs, in which a gunman killed five people and wounded more than a dozen at a queer nightclub, has already been framed as a failure of red flag laws. These policies are designed to allow law enforcement to disarm people deemed a clear risk to themselves or others. But in this case, it appears a red flag order could have been used against the suspect — and local officials may have chosen not to. As Chip Brownlee reports, officials declared El Paso County a “Second Amendment sanctuary” in 2020, vowing not to enforce the state’s recently passed red flag law. Read the full story here.
Hundreds attend vigil for victims of Club Q shooting. So many people gathered at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday that the service had to be repeated three times, local paper The Gazette reported. To the crowd, according to Them, Club Q co-owner Matthew Haynes said: “Club Q was there [was] this safe haven. Club Q doesn’t have employees. Club Q doesn’t have customers. Club Q has family and community and … we’ve lost our family.” Five people were killed in the shooting: Daniel Aston; Derrick Rump; Kelly Loving; Ashley Paugh; and Raymond Green Vance. The gunman faces five counts of first-degree murder and hate crime charges.
Is America’s mass shooting guidance outdated? “Run, hide, fight” has been the prevailing guidance for surviving an active-shooter situation since Columbine. It might be time to rethink institutions’ hesitancy to emphasize the “fight” part, Juliette Kayyem argues in The Atlantic. Club Q patrons stopped the gunman, not police, and it wasn’t the only recent shooting that ended when victims fought back. It’s not a solution she likes, Kayyem adds: “In fact, I hate it.” Confronting shooters: Is there evidence that fighting back works?
Larry Krasner’s impeachment: a fight over statistics. After the GOP-controlled Pennsylvania House voted last week to impeach the reform-minded Philly DA, Krasner released a statement attacking what he called the “GOP’s Big Impeachment Lies” about his record. Krasner claims his conviction rates for “trial-ready” gun homicides and nonfatal shootings were 83 percent and 79 percent, respectively. But if you include cases dismissed in a lower court or withdrawn by prosecutors, those numbers fall to 74 percent and 50 percent, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Krasner argues that a backlog of cases and a decline in arrests have contributed to Philadelphia’s lower conviction rate. The lonely crusader: Krasner’s pushes for diversion in gun possession cases and holding police accountable have been controversial, Alex Yablon wrote for The Trace in 2020, but criminologists and community activists say he’s on to something.
“All of America is living with the normalization of gun violence.” When rappers are shot — as Takeoff of Migos was earlier this month — “it’s as if people believe they can’t be victims,” hip-hop scholar A.D. Carson writes for The Conversation. But blaming gun violence on rap music relies on a circular logic, he explains, and ignores the ubiquity of the crisis.
6,433 — the number of backlogged open cases in the Philadelphia court system in 2022. That’s lower than 2021 and 2020’s 7000+, but far higher than 2019, when there were 4,846 open cases. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]