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NEW from THE TRACE: Before they were conservative heroes, St. Louis couple fought gun companies in court. Mark and Patricia McCloskey attracted national attention when they stood on the lawn of their palatial home and pointed a rifle and a handgun at a passing group of Black Lives Matter protesters. The city’s top prosecutor later charged them with unlawful use of a weapon. But before they were feted by Republicans and embraced their role as mascots for the gun rights movement, the McCloskeys litigated numerous cases against prominent gun manufacturers in their role as personal injury attorneys. Chip Brownlee and Brian Freskos have that story.
Residents, political leaders condemn Jacob Blake Jr.’s shooting. Protests and unrest continued across Kenosha, Wisconsin, as Blake’s father told reporters his son was in stable condition after being shot by police seven times. Meanwhile, the Wisconsin governor called in the National Guard to the city of 100,000, officials put a curfew in place, and the police officers involved in the shooting were placed on leave pending a state investigation, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Nationally, activists, politicians, and athletes expressed anger over the shooting. “This is why we don’t feel safe,” tweeted NBA player Donavon Mitchell, whose league has been vocal in its support for Black Lives Matter. “Jacob Blake should not be fighting for his life right now,” said vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
The difficulty of focusing on school when the violence keeps taking your friends. A powerful new story in The Washington Post explores how trauma permeates the lives of D.C. students living in neighborhoods with elevated rates of violence. The loss of classmates often leads students to miss exams and becomes a ubiquitous focus for classroom lessons and extra-curriculars. “What we are up against is an overwhelming force of trauma and general insecurity that is going in the community,” said one high school social worker in the city’s Anacostia neighborhood. The trauma has only been compounded by a pandemic that’s taken a disproportionate toll on the very neighborhoods where violence is most acute.
A Hollywood producer and NRA insider’s newly revealed ties to a Russian oligarch. David McKenzie features heavily in the New York attorney general’s lawsuit seeking the National Rifle Association’s dissolution. As the NRA paid McKenzie and his companies millions over the years, he ferried CEO Wayne LaPierre and his family around on private air travel and provided them with the use of his 108-foot yacht in the Bahamas. Now, the Daily Beast sheds light on McKenzie’s business dealings with the Russian oligarch Sergey Sarkisov and a secretive business network that spans from Los Angeles to the Caucasus.
Facebook users are still flouting the platform’s ban on gun sales — this time with stickers. Last year, a Wall Street Journal investigation found that sellers on Facebook Marketplace were hosting coded gun listings by posting empty gun cases and boxes for sale. Despite company vows to remove violators, The Trace’s Champe Barton confirmed the practice was still widespread as of January. Now, the Journal reports that several Marketplace sellers are using stickers adorned with gun company logos as a signal for the same scheme. When the Journal contacted sellers via the platform’s private messenger, they revealed the details and pricing of actual guns.
0 — the number of shootings in a one-square mile area of Washington, D.C.’s Washington Highlands neighborhood since May 15. The calm came after violence interrupters brokered a truce in the tiny neighborhood that had seen 11 shootings in the first five months of the year. [The Washington Post]