Good morning, Bulletin readers. New research shows how fear of losing access to guns may drive Republican attitudes on firearm policy. We dig into the numbers, and more, in your Friday briefing.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Active shooting at Florida Naval base leaves at least two dead. We’re following reports of an active shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida this morning that killed at least two and may have wounded as many as 10 others, The Pensacola News Journal reports. The gunman is reportedly dead. The shooting comes two days after an active-duty sailor opened fire at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard near Honolulu, killing two people and wounding a third before killing himself.
Republican voters’ highest priorities: “Don’t impeach Trump,” and “don’t ban guns.” Since July, academics from the University of California at Los Angeles have been conducting a rolling survey that’s now collected the positions of more than 110,000 Americans. The research is teasing out both voters’ policy preferences and their priorities, which the scholars lay out in an article for The Upshot. In a divided nation, universal gun background checks remain popular with more than 90 percent of the members of each party — higher than any other issue the researchers polled. But Republican respondents gave significantly greater importance to opposing a theoretical ban on firearms, suggesting that the bogeyman of mass gun confiscation may contribute to some conservatives’ reflexive opposition to moderate gun restrictions.
A shootout in Florida left four people dead. Armed robbers hit a jewelry store in Coral Gables then hijacked a UPS truck and led police on a high-speed chase. During the ensuing shootout with the responding officers, the two assailants, the driver of the delivery truck, and a bystander in a nearby car were killed. “We extend our condolences to the family and friends of our employee and the other innocent victims involved in this incident,” said a UPS spokesperson.
Anti-violence advocates and officials in Philadelphia launched a “home gun check” campaign. Police officials, City Council members, and faith leaders are urging residents to search their homes for guns and turn them in at four locations around the city, no questions asked. “We are not looking to take people into custody,” the acting police commissioner said. More than 100 kids under 18 have been shot in the city so far this year.
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg announced his gun policy platform. In Aurora, Colorado, the site of a 2012 mass shooting, the former New York City mayor and most recent entrant to the presidential race proposed national gun licensing, a federal red flag law, comprehensive background checks, raising the minimum gun-buying age, and a safe storage requirement for gun owners. He also said he’d appoint a White House gun coordinator, declare gun violence a public health emergency, and empower the Consumer Product Safety Commission to oversee guns, which it is currently prohibited from doing. (Bloomberg co-founded the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety. He is not actively funding its nonpolitical arm, the 501c3 Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, which provides grants to The Trace. Here’s our list of major financial supporters and our policy on editorial independence.)
* An earlier version of The Daily Bulletin included an item about a study concluding that police killings of unarmed blacks led to adverse health effects in black children. On December 11, the author said the study would be retracted because of classification errors in the data.
32 people have been shot in the Southeast Jamaica neighborhood of Queens in New York City so far this year. That’s twice as many as last year, a spike police attribute to retaliatory violence. —The New York Times