What To Know Today

Cybercriminals say they hacked the NRA. NBC News reports that 13 files believed to be from the gun group were posted to the dark web by a ransomware group based in Russia. The hackers allegedly threatened to release more information if a ransom request wasn’t met. The documents were said to include grant-related reports and private meeting minutes. “NRA does not discuss matters relating to its physical or electronic security,” an NRA spokesperson said on Twitter. “However, the NRA takes extraordinary measures to protect information regarding its members, donors, and operations – and is vigilant in doing so.” The hacker group, called Grief, is believed to be a rebranded version of an organization that is currently under sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Surveyed voters showed majority support for sending mental health experts as emergency first responders… A survey of 1,223 likely voters conducted by Safer Cities, a progressive nonprofit focusing on public safety, found that 73 percent of respondents supported creating a new agency of first responders that sends mental health counselors in lieu of armed officers to some 911 calls about people in crisis. The idea drew 91 percent support from Democrats, 67 percent from independents, and 55 percent from Republicans.

…but the share of Americans who want more spending on police is also rising. Forty-seven percent of American adults say they want more funds dedicated to their local law enforcement, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted last month, up from 31 percent in June 2020. For all groups, there were increases in the support for more police spending, and declines in calls for decreased spending, although views continue to be heavily divided based on age, race, and party affiliation. Black Americans were still the most likely among racial and ethnic groups to want to decrease police spending in their area, although that number dropped from 42 percent in June 2020 to 23 percent this September. 

Louisiana could join Texas in shutting out banks over gun stances. Several of the biggest Wall Street firms have halted their municipal bond underwriting operations in Texas because of a new law that blocks state and local governments there from giving contracts to banks with policies limiting business with the gun industry. Louisiana’s Democratic governor vetoed a similar law his state legislature passed this year, but the Republican treasurer and attorney general are threatening to cut JPMorgan Chase out of some of the state’s bond business, as it has already done with Citigroup. Both banks have policies restricting ties to certain pieces of the gun industry.  

An award-winning gun violence reporting project plans for the future. In April 2020, the Kansas City Star, in partnership with Report for America and the Missouri Foundation of Health, launched a two-year reporting project that has delivered a slew of eye-opening reports on the root causes of — and potential solutions to — gun violence in Missouri. With the end of year two on the horizon in May, and a number of promising stories said to be in the works, we hope you’ll give them some of your attention. “We will continue to cover gun violence with an emphasis on the root causes, impacts and solutions,” Kansas City Star managing editor Greg Farmer told me. “We for certain will be using what we’re learning to shape our coverage going forward and doing all we can to further draw attention to the gun violence crisis.” We wrote more about the gun violence reporting project last October in our Weekly newsletter (which you can subscribe to here).

Data Point

Nine — the number of cities where Advance Peace is currently operating or set to launch. Eighteen more are said to be using elements of the program, which provides young people deemed at risk for involvement in gun crime with intensive mentorship and financial incentives to stay out of trouble. [The Wall Street Journal]