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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: How many guns did Americans buy last month? We’re tracking the sales boom. With 2.61 million guns sold, July 2020 was the second-highest month on record, according to estimates based on seasonally adjusted background check data. That figure includes about 1.64 million handguns and 970,000 long guns (rifles and shotguns). The Trace’s firearm sales estimates are derived from data from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, run by the FBI. Be sure to bookmark our new tool here, which will update every month.
A violent year in Chicago continues to take its toll on the city’s young people. On Friday, 17-year-old activist Caleb Reed was shot in Rogers Park. Reed, a member of the young activist group Youth in Chicago Education, had emerged as a leader in the effort to remove Chicago’s police officers from public schools. “We can honor him by continuing the call to end (gun violence) & get students resources for healing,” tweeted the youth anti-violence organization GoodKids MadCity, after Reed died in the hospital on Sunday. Also on Friday, 9-year old Janari Ricks was fatally shot as he played outside with friends. Police arrested a suspect in Ricks’ shooting on Monday. The same evening Reed and Ricks were shot, a “Kids Lives Matter” march on the South Side drew dozens of youth and their families. “No more violence, no more hurt or anything,” said a 12-year-old participant.
A Pennsylvania man shot at a shop owner after refusing to wear a mask. Then he fired on the police who tried to arrest him the next day. The first incident happened on Saturday at a cigar shop in Bethlehem Township. The employee who mandated the face covering was not wounded. When police tried to apprehend the suspect near his home, the man fired on officers with an AK-47 and a handgun. He injured an officer before being wounded in return fire, and was arraigned on 22 charges including attempted homicide. It was the 13th incident we’ve spotted connected to disputes over pandemic-related public health restrictions. See a case missing from our tracker? Please let us know.
The Dayton mass shooting, one year on. In the early hours of August 4, 2019, a gunman killed nine people and injured 17 outside a bar in the Ohio city before being killed by the police. Residents and city leaders are marking the anniversary with virtual vigils and socially distanced commemorations, but described the additional difficulty of the pandemic. “We want to hug each other and to be with each other, and we just cannot do it,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Meanwhile, the FBI continues to investigate the motivations of the 24-year-old perpetrator.
A federal judge’s video tribute to her son. Last month, a self-proclaimed “anti-feminist” lawyer went to the home of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas and fatally shot her 20-year-old son and critically wounded her husband. The shooter, who once tried a case before Salas, was later found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. “Two weeks ago, my life as I knew it changed in an instant, and my family will never be the same,” Salas said. “Now, more than ever, we need to identify a solution that keeps the lives of federal judges private,” she added, describing how such information is readily accessible on the internet.
72 percent — how many of the nation’s 50 largest cities saw double-digit increases in homicides this year, according to a new Wall Street Journal analysis. Though elevated, homicide levels across the country are still near historic lows. [The Wall Street Journal]