Hello, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: A bill with a provision that could curb the push for guns in schools slides through the House of Representatives. Doctors are getting more vocal on gun reform. Plus, two links for understanding the NRA’s role in anti-immigrant sentiment.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
A provision added to a federal counter-terrorism bill would bar grant funding for civilian guns and gun training. The legislation itself was introduced in the House following a deadly truck attack in Manhattan last October. The restrictions were added in response to suggestions from pro-gun politicians to use Department of Homeland Security funding to help arm teachers and staff following the Parkland massacre. “Three months ago we heard rumors of plans to use precious homeland security funding to distribute guns to teachers,” Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida told McClatchy, which spotted the language. “Arming teachers would be both impractical and immoral.” The measure passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote earlier this week.
Pediatricians remind parents: Asking about guns saves kids’ lives. The American Academy of Pediatrics declared Thursday “ASK” (Asking Saves Kids) Day, to encourage parents to ask if there’s a firearm in a home that their child is going into for the first time, and whether it’s locked up. Why it matters, in one number: An estimated 4.6 million American children live in homes where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked. When their friends visit, they’re at risk too.
The Chicago artist behind “The Bean” is suing the NRA. Anish Kapoor, the artist who created the Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago, filed a lawsuit earlier this week against the National Rifle Association for using an image of the work in a video. “I am disgusted to see my work — in truth the sculpture of the people of Chicago — used by the NRA to promote their vile message,” Kapoor said.
Youth gun reform activists bring their bus tour to the office of a vocal critic of firearms regulations. On a stop in Iowa, March for Our Lives organizers joined local students in Sioux City for a die-in at a local office of far-right Congressman Steve King. Here’s why die-ins, in which protesters lie on the ground to symbolize shootings victims, are such a potent tactic for the movement.
Federal gun prosecutions have doubled in St. Louis this year. The local U.S. Attorney’s office is on track to file 618 gun cases this year, the highest number since at least 2005. From The Trace archives: Authorities in St. Louis have embraced the approach since the 1990s, making the city a leader in federal firearms prosecutions. At the same time, its homicide rate remains the worst in the country.
A gun storage initiative in Oregon won’t be on the November ballot. The proposal, which would have required gun owners to lock up their weapons — and be liable if their unsecured firearms are stolen and used to harm others — has been shelved. The group behind the initiative said that legal challenges from the gun lobby made it difficult to collect the 88,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot by early July. Context: The Trace’s Brian Freskos wrote about the families who pushed for the initiative. They lost loved ones to a mall shooting carried out with a stolen gun.
Ohio gun groups are challenging local bump stock bans. In May, Cincinnati and Columbus both voted to pass bans on the devices within city limits. On Thursday, two pro-gun organizations filed companion lawsuits against both cities claiming the bans violate the state’s preemption laws.
Utah will revisit red flag legislation. On Wednesday, after a school safety commission in the state recommended a red flag law to prevent school shootings, Republican lawmakers said they would bring back legislation for extreme risk protection orders, which failed last session. “There’s no single solution to mass killings, but these red flag laws that are popping up in many states could turn the tide,” said Republican Steve Handy, who says he plans to reintroduce the failed bill.
A 9-year-old girl was fatally shot while sitting in her mother’s car. Police say the girl and her adult sister were waiting for their mom in a parked car in Cleveland, when gunfire erupted, hitting the 9-year-old in the head. The big picture: More children die from guns in the United States than in any other high-income nation.
ONE LAST THING
The NRA has a history of anti-immigrant rhetoric. Stephen Miller, the White House adviser behind the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy to separate children from their families at the southern border, was heavily influenced by NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre’s 1994 book Guns, Crime, and Freedom. Miller reportedly read the book as an adolescent, and it was LaPierre’s words in part that hastened his transformation from a budding Democrat into a right-wing provocateur.
For at least the past decade and a half, the gun group has used its writings and speeches to stir anti-immigrant fears. One example, from a speech given in 2002 by LaPierre in which he rails against airport security: “The first target in homeland security shouldn’t be the people of the homeland. It should be finding people who are not citizens of our homeland, who don’t belong in our homeland along with aliens on work visas, or green cards, or student passes. They are the ones that should get the extra wandings and random searches!”