Good morning, Bulletin readers. Seventeen people were killed in the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, and a new generation of anti-gun-violence activists was born. Today we bring you a briefing on their latest action, as well as a report on a member of another group deeply affected by the shooting, but largely overlooked in its aftermath: The 17 victims who were injured, but survived. Please read on.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
Teens will embark on a 50-mile march to Smith & Wesson’s Massachusetts headquarters today. Several dozen young activists, joined by Parkland survivor David Hogg, will gather in Worcester, Massachusetts, this morning and set off for Springfield, where Smith & Wesson is located. Under the banner 50 Miles More, they’re demanding that the gunmaker spend $5 million on gun violence research and cease manufacturing assault-style weapons.
A court setback for Nevada’s background check expansion. A Clark County judge ruled on Monday that he could not force the state’s attorney general to implement a background check initiative approved by voters in 2016. The measure, which required that all gun sales go through a licensed dealer, had been stalled because of a disagreement between the state and the FBI over who would conduct background checks. From The Trace archives: The National Rifle Association poured $6.6 million into the effort to defeat the ballot initiative.
Despite a clampdown by a federal judge and several social media companies, blueprints for 3D-printed guns have spread across the Internet. According to a Washington Times report, the schematics have been downloaded more than a million times in the last three weeks — and probably millions of times before the Obama administration ordered them offline in 2013. Meanwhile, the federal judge presiding over the case, which stems from a lawsuit brought by 19 states to block the blueprints’ distribution, said during arguments on Tuesday that “a solution to the greater problem is so much better suited” to Congress or the president.
The gun reform group Giffords endorses Republicans who’ve broken with their party on gun legislation. The organization has endorsed three Republican House candidates in the Northeast. Two of them, both highly rated by the NRA, were chosen because of their votes against the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would force every state to honor gun permits from residents of other states. “A Republican trading his NRA ‘A’ rating in for a different endorsement is a really powerful sign of the times,” the group’s executive director said.
A former Illinois police officer killed himself using an old service pistol he was supposed to have surrendered. Donald Garrity, 44, fatally shot himself in June with a Glock 17 he turned over to police in 2015, when his state-issued Firearm Owners Identification card (FOID) was revoked because of mental health issues. But the Chicago Sun-Times discovered that, because of a legal loophole, his fiancée was allowed to legally retrieve it from the police department. That loophole will close in January, when a law takes effect prohibiting gun transfers to someone at the same address after a FOID card has been revoked.
ONE LAST THING
A Parkland survivor spent her summer interning at the hospital where doctors saved her life. Maddy Wilford, 17, was shot in the chest and arm during last February’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. If not for fast-acting trauma surgeons at Broward Health North in Pompano Beach, she would have died. Wilford aspired to be a doctor before the shooting, and the surgeons’ lifesaving work only intensified her interest. Over her summer break, she took an internship at the hospital, where she got to watch doctors perform one of the same surgeries that saved her life. “Some people would go through what she went through and never want to set foot in a hospital again,” her father told The New York Times. Wilford, though, reasoned that the experience will help her confront her trauma. “It’s better to deal with it now, rather than push it aside and deal with it later in life.”