Good morning, Bulletin readers. Details continued to emerge over the weekend about the shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach and the 12 people who died there. More on their lives, plus other stories, below.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
The Virginia Beach gunman submitted his resignation just hours before he killed 12 and wounded at least five others at a city office building on Friday. Local police released more details of the rampage, which took place across three floors and ended with a shootout that left one officer wounded and the gunman dying of bullet wounds. Authorities say the assailant, who was a former soldier, was not forced to resign, but are investigating his tenure working for the local government.
Colleagues, friends, and families are remembering the victims. They include Ryan Keith Cox, whom colleagues credit with saving their lives after he encouraged eight of them to barricade themselves in a room with a filing cabinet. His brother remembered him as a “caring soul.” Another victim, Christopher Kelly Rapp, had been working in the office for less than a year and played bagpipes in a local band. Mary Louise Crustinger Gale had worked in the public works department for 24 years and loved snuggling with her grandchildren and her dog and made gingerbread houses for her extended family every year. The Virginian Pilot has more on the lives each victim led.
In January, Virginia lawmakers quashed a bill that would have regulated high-capacity magazines like the ones used by the Virginia Beach gunman. Opposition from Republicans on a House of Delegates subcommittee meant the measure was a nonstarter. “There’s been no tragedy that has gotten the [Republican] majority to think twice and consider reasonable efforts,” said the Democratic state senator who proposed the ban. The GOP holds a two-seat edge in both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly.
The fate of NRATV remains unclear as the gun group and its longtime advertising firm separate. Last week, Ackerman McQueen, which operates NRATV, moved to terminate its contract with the National Rifle Association, escalating the legal and financial battle between the two organizations. Ackerman McQueen will continue to produce NRATV until the official end of the contract, but NRA officials have signaled they’ll phase out the TV channel, at least in its current form. “The concept remains under review as we determine whether it provides value to the NRA and its membership,” the NRA told The Oklahoman.
The Nevada Legislature sent an omnibus gun reform bill to the governor’s desk on Saturday. The bill’s main provision is a red flag measure; it also includes more stringent gun storage requirements and bans bump stocks (which have already been outlawed by the Trump administration) like those used in the Las Vegas massacre. Two Democrats voted alongside Republicans against the measure. Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak will likely sign it into law.
Ten people were fatally shot and 35 injured in shootings in Chicago this weekend. The casualties came as the Police Department announced that violence is down slightly in the city so far this year. By May 31, there had been 186 homicides in the city, compared to 200 by that point last year. Overall shootings are down 13 percent. In April, the department rolled out a summer safety plan that will deploy more officers to high-traffic areas and continue using data to inform its crime prevention strategy.
ONE LAST THING
Since his son was fatally shot 25 years ago, Gregory Gibson has been a gun violence prevention advocate and a shooting enthusiast. Now he’s trying to do both. In a New York Times essay, Gibson writes about how he set out to become an informed gun reform advocate after his son was killed at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts and, in the process, became an avid shooter and gun owner. But as he did more research, and as mass shootings continued, Gibson began to struggle with his intentions. His reflections on the internal conflict that is unique to someone in his position make for a fascinating and unexpected read.