Good morning, Bulletin readers. They may not garner the same public concern, but after-school shootings are occurring with alarming frequency, according to a new analysis. That news and more in your Tuesday roundup, below.
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Shootings at after-school events are “an overlooked epidemic.” The United States is a country on high alert for gunmen plotting to attack classrooms, but a new analysis shows the threat doesn’t end after the final bell: At least once a week during the 2019-2020 academic year, gunfire has erupted at after-school sporting events, proms, and graduations, according to The New York Times. Going back seven years, there have been at least 108 shootings at after-school sporting events alone, causing 19 deaths and more than 100 injuries, the Times found. “There’s a growing problem there and we know that it’s not some spurious thing — it’s something systematic,” one researcher told the paper.
2019 set a single-year record for federal gun background checks. The FBI processed more than 28.3 million checks last year through its National Instant Criminal Background Check System, eclipsing the previous record of 27.5 million set in 2016. Because the government does not track gun sales, federal background check figures are often used as a proxy. “The firearms industry had reason to celebrate in 2019,” the head of the National Shooting Sports Foundation told The Washington Examiner.
Philadelphia’s mayor says gun violence is his top concern. Mayor Jim Kenney said Monday at the start of his second term that his administration’s Number 1 priority will be reducing homicides by 30 percent and shootings by 25 percent each year until his time in office concludes in 2024. Philadelphia recorded 356 homicides in 2019, a 12-year high. Part of the city’s plan: $1 million to community groups. The award will be divided among more than 50 anti-violence groups, the officials announced. The money follows a $700,000 infusion to dozens of community organizations in June.
A jury ordered a Virginia police officer to pay $3.65 million to the family of a teen he fatally shot. A prosector’s review previously cleared the officer in the 2014 killing of a suicidal 17-year-old who was holding a small paring knife. But a civil trial revealed inconsistencies in the officer’s claims that the teen advanced on him with the knife and that the officer had issued a warning before shooting.
Judge tosses lawsuit stemming from Kate Steinle shooting. The parents of the young woman killed on a San Francisco pier in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant carrying a Bureau of Land Management ranger’s stolen gun had filed suit against the government in an effort to hold the agent liable for leaving the firearm unsecured in his car. The incident made national headlines, in part because of attention from then-candidate Donald Trump. From the archives: The lessons of the case should be about the risks of stolen guns, not immigration, Alex Yablon wrote in 2017.
In a startling two-minute span on New Year’s Eve, 149 bullets were fired across Toledo, Ohio. The gunshot detection system ShotSpotter recorded the celebratory gunfire from 22 locations between 11:59 p.m. on December 31 and 12:01 a.m. on January 1. No injuries were reported. “It is imperative that citizens understand how dangerous this can be,” a police spokesperson said.
Police in Syracuse, New York, have seized two dozen ghost guns in the last year, according to the local district attorney. One of those guns was used by a man to kill his 6-year-old nephew. —Syracuse.com