Good morning, Bulletin readers. Today we bring you updates on the fight for gun safety in courthouses, statehouses, and on the streets of Miami, where a group of men are going without food to bring attention to the loss of life in their communities. Plus, an ocean-spanning fundraiser meant to show that those who take up firearms out of hate will not divide us.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
At least 73 of children under 12 died in accidental shootings in 2018. Accidental shootings took the lives of young children more than once a week last year, roughly the same pace as 2017, USA Today reports. Many of the victims had accessed weapons that family members failed to store properly. Legislative responses to the tragedies have varied widely. While some states have sought to punish negligent parents, others focused on incentivizing safe storage.
New York’s highest court will hear arguments today on a major gun case. The defendant is an Ohio gun dealer who sold a firearm that was later trafficked to Buffalo, where it was used in a shooting. The sale took place at a gun show in Ohio, a state that does not require background checks for private sales. The central question of the case is whether people in states with universal background checks, like New York, can sue dealers from states with looser regulations.
The city of Columbus is suing the state of Ohio over an NRA-backed law. Officials there are contesting a state law, passed via a veto override, that can be used to block cities’ gun regulations. Explainer: Here’s what you need to know about pre-emption laws, as applied to the local regulation of firearms.
Maine could get a “red flag” law. Medical professionals, law enforcement officials, and gun reform advocates teamed up Tuesday to push for a bill that would allow courts to remove guns from people who are deemed a threat to their own safety or the safety of others. The proposal is intended in part to reduce suicides, which account for nearly 90 percent of gun deaths in the state.
A bill in Oregon would allow gun safety courses for first-graders. Instructors would teach children what to do if they encounter an unsecured gun, how to distinguish real-life violence from video game violence, and the dangers of confusing real guns for toys. Similar gun safety courses have proven ineffective at keeping kids safe. Researchers have found that children who participated in the National Rifle Association’s “Eddie Eagle” program were still likely to pick up a gun when unsupervised.
A group of men is hunger striking against gun violence in their Miami neighborhood. Nine members of a community group calling themselves the “Hunger 9” entered their 11th day without food yesterday. They’ve been sleeping in a makeshift tent on a street corner in the Liberty City neighborhood, where shootings are an everyday threat. “Our priority is to stop the killings in our community,” a member of the group said. On Sunday, about a week into the strike, a 15-year-old was rushed to the hospital after he was shot in broad daylight just blocks away from the protest.
ONE LAST THING
The Tree of Life synagogue has raised $30,000 for victims of the New Zealand mosque attack. Survivors of the October mass shooting in Pittsburgh have launched a campaign to raise money for the two mosques in New Zealand struck by a hate-fueled massacre last week. “We feel compelled to come to the aid of those communities, just as our Jewish community was so compassionately supported only a few short months ago by people around the world of many faiths,” members of the congregation wrote on their GoFundMe page. Within two days, they had raised more than $30,000 toward their $100,000 goal.