What To Know Today
Gunman kills four at a medical building in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Yesterday afternoon, a man carrying a handgun and a rifle opened fire in what law enforcement and witnesses suggested was a targeted attack. Several other people had non-life threatening injuries, police said. The shooter reportedly took his own life. The shooting took place in a medical building on the campus of St. Francis Hospital. Police said the perpetrator was between 35 and 40, but gave few other details. It was the 20th mass shooting since Uvalde, according to Gun Violence Archive, which defines such incidents as four or more people injured, and the 233rd mass shooting of the year. GVA also said it was the twelfth mass murder of the year, defined as four or more people killed. The day’s second medical facility shooting: Earlier yesterday in Dayton, Ohio, a man who was an inmate at a local jail and was being treated at a hospital took a private security guard’s gun and fatally shot the officer before killing himself.
Texas governor tells state school security officials to conduct “unannounced, random intruder” audits of schools. The mandate came in a letter Republican Greg Abbott sent to the head of the Texas School Safety Center. It asks the body to begin in-person audits on public school districts to find weak access points and see how quickly an auditor could enter a school without being stopped. Some education advocates and legislators condemned the idea. “If it really does mean breaking into a school, it could be an accident waiting to happen,” said a spokesperson for the Texas State Teachers Association. Separately, Abbott asked legislative leaders to convene special committees to consider policy responses to prevent school shootings. He requested that the Legislature look at school safety, mental health, social media, police training, and gun safety, among other issues. The request falls short of calling a special session to consider new legislation.
Uvalde police official denies he’s not cooperating with a state investigation. Chief Pete Arredondo of the Uvalde school district police contested the claim made by officials with the Texas Department of Public Safety that he had stopped responding to a state investigation of the widely criticized law enforcement response to the shooting.
States with higher gun ownership rates have higher rates of child firearm deaths. That’s according to RAND Corporation gun policy researcher Andrew Morral, who found that, based on his calculations, “we would expect 10.5 additional child firearm deaths in the average state for every additional 10 percent of households with firearms.” He used CDC figures for gun deaths in 2019 and 2020 among people 17 years or younger in the 50 states.
Baltimore sues leading seller of DIY ghost gun kits. Democratic Mayor Brandon Scott announced the lawsuit against Polymer80, a Nevada-based company that sells unserialized ghost gun kits. The company has previously been raided by ATF agents and faced a number of suits, state subpoenas, and probes related to its alleged facilitation of the illegal gun market. Scott’s office said that 91 percent of ghost guns seized by police this year had Polymer80 parts. The lawsuit, which was filed with the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, accused the company of marketing its product to minors, convicted criminals, gun traffickers, and others trying to evade federal and state laws. Also on Wednesday, Maryland’s new ghost gun law went into effect, which requires a background check and serial number for unfinished frames and receivers commonly sold in ghost gun kits.
43 percent — the share of Texans who favor stricter gun laws, according to a recent poll from the Texas Politics Project. Thirty four percent of respondents said gun laws should be left as they are, and 16 percent want them less strict. “When we ask Texas voters whether gun laws should be more or less strict, as we have done nine times since 2015, each time a plurality or majority have indicated they wanted stricter gun laws,” writes project’s director of research. [Politico]