Good morning, Bulletin readers. Fatal firearm injuries for children and teens have been steadily rising since 2013. That fact and others form the basis of your lead Monday morning roundup.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
The facts on children and teens killed by guns. In this story republished from The Conversation, three public health researchers from the University of Michigan look at the data behind gun violence and children. Among the findings: More than 90 percent of firearm deaths among kids and teens that occur in industrialized nations happen in the United States; firearms are the second leading cause of death among that group after car crashes; and black youth are more than eight times more likely to die from firearm homicide than their white counterparts. Read the rest here.
New York’s governor proposed a law that would label hate-motivated mass shootings domestic terrorism. Democrat Andrew Cuomo said the Hate Crimes Domestic Terrorism Act would apply to anyone who targeted people in a mass-casualty attack based on their race, religion, or sexual orientation. “It is now a two-front War on Terrorism; it is fed by hate, but hate from abroad and hate right here at home,” Cuomo said.
The NRA might be too weak to counter gun reform groups in 2020. Republican sources told Politico that the gun group has been so hobbled by recent turmoil that it might not be able to aggressively lobby lawmakers against gun reform proposals or hold them accountable for their votes ahead of the election. “There’s no coordinated effort,” a source close to the National Rifle Association said. “The staff feels like there is no plan.”
President Trump again blames mass shootings on mental illness. At a campaign stop in New Hampshire on Thursday, Trump suggested that building more mental institutions would curb gun violence, and vowed to “always uphold the Second Amendment.” Earlier that day in New Jersey, he reiterated his support for “strong, meaningful background checks.” Trace context: Critics warn that blaming mass shootings on mental illness alone is a way to avoid talking about gun violence.
A 25-year-old Florida man allegedly said he wanted to commit the nation’s deadliest mass shooting. The suspect was arrested Friday after texting his ex-girlfriend that he wanted to “break a world record for longest confirmed kill ever.” He told police he doesn’t own guns but that he’s obsessed with mass shootings. This month, a former FBI agent told our Ann Givens that a fixation on mass gun rampages is one of several warning signs that someone could be poised to commit an act of violence.
Seven people were shot at a house party in Houston. The gunfire stemmed from a verbal altercation at the gathering that began early Saturday. All victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Beto O’Rourke proposed a federal gun registry. The 2020 hopeful made the declaration in a new plan released Friday. The former congressman also reiterated his support for requiring gun buyers to first obtain a license from the government. For more on where the 2020 candidates stand on guns, check out our guide.
ONE LAST THING
Top NRA lobbyist: A proposed assault weapons ban in Florida could take rifles away from kids. Marion Hammer, who has held unprecedented sway over Florida lawmakers for years, told a panel of GOP-appointed state economists on Friday why a constitutional amendment that bans assault weapons should be kept off the 2020 ballot. For one, she said it would be devastating for the gunmakers former Governor Rick Scott lured to the state. And the amendment’s definition of an “assault weapon” is overly broad by design, she argued, and could even include young kids’ starter rifles: “How do you tell a 10-year-old little girl who got a Ruger 10/22 with a pink stock for her birthday that her rifle is an assault weapon and she has to turn it over to the government or be arrested for felony possession?”