Good morning, Bulletin readers, and a welcome to our new subscribers. There’s a lot to cover today, so let’s jump right into it. —Jennifer Mascia, engagement writer
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THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
A window for bipartisan action on red flag laws? Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said he and Democrat Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut would soon introduce a bill that would use federal grants to incentivize states to enact extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs, also known as red flag laws), which allow courts to remove guns from legal owners presenting an acute threat to themselves or others. Graham said the move has the support of President Trump, who signaled his openness to red flag laws during remarks on Monday morning. New to the issue? Here’s our explainer on ERPOs.
Trump blames gun violence on video games and mental illness. Reams of academic research show he’s wrong on both counts. “The data on bananas causing suicide is about as conclusive,” one expert told The New York Times. Our analysis: Shifting attention away from gun access is a political ploy.
Democrats call for an emergency Senate session. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky to call back members from their August recess to vote on a universal background check bill. McConnell has refused to take up the legislation, which was passed in February by the Democratic-controlled House.
Two more victims died at the hospital, raising the death toll of the Texas shooting to 22. Hours after the city’s Police Department announced that the 21st victim had died, Del Sol Medical Center said another person had perished.
At least eight Mexican nationals are among the dead. Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, called the El Paso shooting an “act of terrorism” against its citizens. The country’s foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, told The New York Times that his government is planning legal action against the American gun dealer who sold the shooter his weapon, saying, “The issue of arms is crucial.”
At least two people died shielding family members. David Johnson, 63, took bullets to protect his wife and 9-year-old granddaughter. Jordan Anchondo, 25, reportedly died while shielding her 2-month-old son. Her husband, Andre, was also killed. The victims range in age from 15 to 90.
The gunman may have chosen Walmart because he was hungry. El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen said on Monday that the shooter got lost after an 11-hour drive from the Dallas suburb of Allen and stopped at the store to eat.
NEW from TRACE: Google promotes sale of 100-round magazine like the one used in the Dayton shooting. Google Shopping, the tech giant’s price-comparison platform, has a policy prohibiting sellers from listing guns and gun accessories. But a review of products on the site showed an array of gun magazines, including two magazines nearly identical to the jumbo device used by the shooter in Dayton. Shortly after the article was published, Google Shopping removed the listings for two of the products. (See an archived version of the listings here.) But many other high-capacity magazine models are still being promoted. Daniel Nass and Alain Stephens have that story.
The Dayton gunman was expelled from high school for keeping a “hit list.” That’s according to former classmates, who said he was readmitted after apologizing. Friends from his childhood remembered his bitterness toward women who’d rejected him and his dark and violent jokes. “A lot of people could have helped, but no one did anything about it,” one of them said.
Ohio’s Republican governor was heckled at a vigil for Dayton shooting victims. Mike DeWine was met with chants of “Do something!” that nearly drowned out his remarks on Sunday. Earlier that day, he said “everything” was on the table when it comes to gun policy.
But his party has been an obstacle in the state Legislature. DeWine’s predecessor, Republican John Kasich, told CNN on Sunday that he was forced to use executive orders to pass gun reform measures. The Ohio Legislature is currently weighing seven gun reform bills, including a red flag law, as well as four bills that would expand gun access, including a permitless carry measure.
WHAT ELSE TO KNOW TODAY
Weekend gun violence swamped a Chicago trauma center. Mount Sinai Hospital temporarily diverted incoming ambulances on Sunday morning after several multiple-victim shootings maxed out its trauma response capacity. It was the deadliest weekend in Chicago this year, with a total of 53 people shot, seven of them fatally.
8chan was dumped by its service provider and domain registrar. The CEO of Cloudflare, one of the online message board’s service providers, called the site a “cesspool of hate” in a statement early Monday. Matthew Prince cited a racist screed posted to the site believed to be authored by the El Paso shooter, as well as racist rants posted on 8chan by the Christchurch and Poway gunmen. Tucows, 8chan’s internet domain registrar, later dropped the site after first saying it would not. On Sunday, 8chan’s creator told the Times that the site should be shut down.
Columbus, Ohio, won its fight to ban bump stocks. A state appeals court ruled on Thursday that the city’s ban can take effect, siding against gun rights groups in the state that had argued that the ban violated Ohio’s pre-emption law.
A mass shooting may have been averted in Texas last month. A 19-year-old Lubbock man bought an AK-47, rented a hotel room, and told his grandmother he was plotting a massacre, the local U.S. Attorney said on Friday. After she persuaded him to check into a hospital, police found his guns. He was charged with lying about his address on his federal gun background check form. Texas does not have a red flag law.
The NRA issued a statement on the El Paso and Dayton shootings. In a post on its Facebook page Sunday, the group’s lobbying arm said it “will not participate in the politicizing of these tragedies,” but “will work in good faith to pursue real solutions that protect us all from people who commit these horrific acts.” Following the Parkland school shooting, the NRA did not publicly address the tragedy for more than a week, then stuck a combative tone in a set of speeches, videos, and media appearances.
ONE LAST THING
Feeling sad, angry, and scared? That’s totally understandable. But know that there has been progress against gun violence. Here’s a collection of past Trace articles examining promising strategies for reducing shootings of all kinds.