Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: A round of hearings is revealing new details about the lead-up to the Parkland school shootings. Another reminder of violent white supremacists’ attraction to guns. And a firearm safety paper from a surgeons group has a secondary message: “This is our lane.”
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Gun-owning surgeons released new firearm safety recommendations. On Wednesday, a working group from the American College of Surgeons released a paper pushing for robust background checks, enhanced gun safety training, mandatory reporting requirements for people considered a threat to themselves or others, and the development of gun safety technology. Eighteen of the 22 surgeons who authored the paper are “passionate firearms owners, including hunters, self-defense proponents and doctors with previous military experience,” who own a combined 204 guns. The safety agenda comes amid a battle between medical professionals and the National Rifle Association that began when the group told doctors to “stay in their lane” instead of weighing in on gun violence. “This is entirely in my lane,” a gun-owning trauma surgeon who helped compile the recommendations said. “Those trauma victims come to us.”
A man connected to the Pittsburgh synagogue gunman was arrested on gun charges. Jeffrey Clark, 30, appeared in court on Tuesday. Relatives said Clark and his brother, who died by suicide right after last month’s shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, befriended the gunman on a social networking platform popular with white supremacists and anti-Semites. They further indicated that the brothers were stockpiling guns and high-capacity magazines in preparation for a race war.
A commission investigating the Parkland shooting began an important series of hearings. The sessions began Tuesday, and are expected to focus on institutional failures that prevented an adequate response to the attack. Students say they warned administrators about the gunman. The accused shooter allegedly made racist threats and brought knives, bullets, and animals he had killed to school. But two students who reported this behavior to school administrators told investigators that they felt they were not taken seriously. Related: The family of a Parkland victim is suing the FBI. A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the parent of a 14-year-old killed in the attack alleges that the federal government failed to act on crucial evidence that could have stopped it. On multiple occasions, the lawsuits state, the gunman’s behavior was reported to authorities, but agents failed to adequately follow up.
The 13-year-old Indiana boy accused of killing his middle school classmate in May was sentenced. Yesterday, a judge ordered the Noblesville West Middle School shooter to be sent to a juvenile facility until he turns 18. “You took this community’s sense of safety,” the judge said. The teacher who intervened was given a medal of honor. Jason Seaman tackled the young gunman during the shooting. During the ceremony, he was presented with the medal by a student who was also wounded in the attack.
Local newsrooms are beefing up security. In the wake of The Capital Gazette shooting in June, media organizations across the country have begun to update their protocols for responding to violent threats. In Florida, a radio station has had detectives screen their phone messages. And at a newspaper in Idaho where security cameras were recently installed, a reporter stores a gun under his desk. “The cause of journalism is stronger than one idiot out there sending out cowardly threats,” he said.
Three people were killed in a murder-suicide on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Another woman was wounded in the Tuesday morning shooting, which police say was an act of domestic violence. The suspected shooter was found dead at the scene.
On one Kansas City highway, a rash of shootings is leaving drivers fearful. In the past week alone, there have been two shootings on Missouri’s U.S. 71 in which the victims and suspect did not know each other. “This is the best holiday to come around and enjoy with your family,” said one neighbor who is worried about drivers’ safety during Thanksgiving weekend. “If you don’t get a chance to do that, that’s just messed up.” ICYMI: A Pennsylvania bill would ban loaded guns in vehicles across the state in an attempt to prevent road rage shootings.
A 6-year-old was shot while waiting in a McDonald’s drive-thru in Texas. The girl was struck in the leg by a stray bullet while her family was ordering food on Tuesday. The round, fired by a security guard, was meant for a suspect who was trying to steal a cell phone from a nearby store. The suspected thief was also injured in the shooting.
ONE LAST THING
A century of American Rifleman covers. The New York Times analyzed the covers of every issue of the NRA’s magazine since 1923 to chart the evolution of the brand’s identity from one defined by shooting sports to one defined by uncompromising politics. While early editions focused on marksmanship and firearm safety, recent covers have used incendiary tactics to provoke subscribers.