Good morning, Bulletin readers. As a subscriber to this newsletter, you know that community gun violence often gets overshadowed by mass shootings. This week, we saw some signs that may be changing.
Receive this daily news briefing by email every morning. Sign up here.
WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from THE TRACE: Community gun violence is suddenly getting a lot of national attention. When the political spotlight has fallen on gun violence, it has usually been in response to a mass shooting. Over the past week, though, a remarkable shift has occurred: On the campaign trail, on cable news shows, and on social media, a sustained, serious conversation about community gun violence has been stirring. Champe Barton has our roundup.
Most Americans believe mass shootings are more common than suicides. A telephone poll of 1,009 Americans conducted for the Guns & America reporting collaborative found that 23 percent believe suicides are responsible for the most American gun deaths, 33 percent think it’s homicide, and 25 percent think it’s mass shootings. In reality, 60 percent of gun deaths are from suicides, and less than 2 percent are from mass shootings.
The hotel the Las Vegas gunman used as a sniper’s nest will pay families of the victims up to $800 million. The settlement announced Thursday resolves claims that the Mandalay Bay hotel was negligent in letting the gunman stockpile weapons in his 32nd floor suite, from which he carried out the 2017 massacre. Several other lawsuits stemming from the mass shooting are still pending, including one filed against eight gunmakers.
Wayne LaPierre “bristled” at the NRA’s early Trump endorsement. The National Rifle Association CEO’s early skepticism about the president was revealed by the gun group’s former PR firm Ackerman McQueen, with whom it’s embroiled in ongoing litigation. The NRA would go on to spend $30 million to help elect Trump. From The Trace archives: We found evidence that the NRA coordinated some of that spending with the Trump campaign, in violation of campaign finance laws.
A Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting attacks on politicians and media figures pleaded guilty. Christopher Hasson, an admitted opioid addict, was found in February with unregistered silencers and a “hit list” consisting of well-known figures in media and politics. Federal prosecutors are asking for a life sentence.
An Infowars producer says he tried to stop the show’s host from spreading conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook. Rob Jacobson, who worked in video production for the conspiracy website, said in a court deposition that his concerns were met with “laughter and jokes.” Victims’ families are suing Infowars host Alex Jones for defamation over Jones’s repeated false claims that the shooting was a hoax and Newtown parents were really “crisis actors.”
A Florida man accidentally killed his son-in-law. Christopher Bergan, 37, was fatally shot in Gulf Breeze on Tuesday after jumping out of the bushes to surprise Richard Dennis, 61, for his birthday. Bergan, who lives in Norway, had flown in for the occasion. Dennis said he mistook him for a relative he’d been fighting with earlier that day. The sheriff has opted not to press charges, saying, “I’m not going to second guess Mr. Dennis for what he did.”
Teens in Milwaukee want to start their own violence interruption program. Zion Rogers, 15, has been working with 414Life, a conflict intervention program. She proposed starting a branch for the area’s high school students during an anti-violence forum attended by teenagers in the Wisconsin city on Wednesday. “We need real solutions to real problems,” Rogers said.
Our “Since Parkland” project has been recognized with a pair of journalism awards. We recently learned that the collaboration won the 2019 Global Youth & News Media award. Earlier last month, at the Online Journalism Awards, the project won the Pro-Am Student Journalism prize, which “honors an excellent student project that uses digital storytelling and technologies to inform its audience.” To complete “Since Parkland,” The Trace worked with more than 200 teen journalists to profile nearly 1,200 American kids killed by guns during the 12 months following the February 2018 school shooting. We share these honors with those student reporters, as well as our project partners at the Miami Herald and McClatchy newspapers.
26 students in the single school district in Richmond, Virginia, were shot last academic year. [WWBT]