After losing their children to gun violence, mothers in Washington, D.C., leaned on each other to navigate their grief and channeled their pain into advocacy. Their latest act: A play about the experiences of motherhood, loss, and empowerment, performed in the hopes of sparking real change in their communities. [The Washington Post]
America’s crisis of police violence is deeply rooted. Last year, police nationwide shot and killed at least 1,096 people, the highest number on record, and one that has been growing each year since at least 2016, according to one database; public records indicate that many others are shot by police and survive every year, though a precise tally is elusive. But research shows that there are solutions.
Several studies have shown the connections between the ubiquity of guns, officer safety, and police use of fatal force. For the latest edition of The Trajectory, The Trace’s Chip Brownlee reports on a study that examined the flip side: whether particular gun laws could potentially reduce the number of police shootings.
What to Know Today
Three men of Palestinian descent were shot and wounded, one sustaining serious injuries, in Burlington, Vermont, on Saturday; police have arrested a suspect. The victims’ families and civil rights organizations are calling for the shooting to be investigated as a hate crime. [Vermont Public]
The 4th Circuit struck down Maryland’s licensing requirements for handgun owners, ruling that the law failed the “history and tradition” test established in the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen decision. Maryland’s handgun law, passed a decade ago after the Sandy Hook shooting, required applicants to complete a gun safety course and wait up to 30 days for a state official to issue a license. [CNN]
Philadelphia Mayor-elect Cherelle Parker announced her choice for the city’s next police commissioner: Kevin Bethel, chief of safety for the city’s public schools, where he’s been lauded for implementing restorative justice practices, and a 30-year veteran of the Police Department. Parker’s pick comes as her critics and supporters debate what she’ll need to do to combat the city’s gun violence crisis. [Billy Penn]
When Wewoka, Oklahoma, experienced an outbreak of shootings, state prosecutors were powerless to help, because the town sits on Native American land. Relationships between members of the Seminole tribe and the local district attorney were key to stemming the violence. [NPR]
The FBI found Nazi materials in the home of the man who opened fire, wounding four, in an Ohio Walmart last week, a spokesperson said. The shooting was the second at a Walmart within 24 hours; the day before, a woman was killed at a store in Anchorage, Alaska. [The Guardian]
In the two years since cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot and killed on the set of the movie “Rust,” a divide has emerged in Hollywood over the use of real guns in productions. Unions and movie studios have been quietly working to revise their safety protocols around the use of firearms on set, and armorers have seen business dwindle. [The New York Times]
The Boston Public Health Commission is funding an armed private security force in an area known as “Mass and Cass,” where many unhoused people gather to access nearby services, and an epicenter of Massachusetts’ opioid crisis. In the two years that the city has contracted with Ware Security of Norwood, no guard has fired their weapon while on patrol. [The Boston Globe]
Chicago’s signature drill rap music is at the center of the trial over the 2020 shooting death of musician FBG Duck. Prosecutors argue that a series of diss tracks is evidence that the rapper was killed as part of a years-long gang war; defense attorneys say the genre is “strictly for entertainment.” [Chicago Sun-Times]
Treating Mothers’ Trauma as a Way to Prevent Youth Violence: In Michigan, SURE Moms has created a healing space for parents working to keep their kids out of the juvenile justice system. (February 2020)