From Our Team
Gun violence affects every corner of the country, but the damage isn’t distributed equally. Though mass shootings dominate news coverage, gun homicides and assaults are far more frequent, and often isolated to some city neighborhoods. And while major cities record the greatest number of shootings, mid-size and smaller cities often record higher rates of gun violence overall.
To better understand how gun violence is distributed in the U.S., in 2015 The Trace began tracking incidents on an interactive map, using data from the Gun Violence Archive. We updated that project, “An Atlas of American Gun Violence,” today. The data included now spans from 2014 to 2022.
What to Know Today
Ahead of Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, more than 100 gun safety groups called for the president to announce a comprehensive plan to prevent firearm deaths, including declaring gun violence a national emergency. [Politico]
A Florida lawmaker introduced “constitutional carry” legislation, which would allow people to carry concealed guns without permits. [Tallahassee Democrat] Context: Until about 2010, the term constitutional carry was more commonly referred to as “permitless carry” or “Vermont carry,” after the first state to give its residents similar rights.
After her home was attacked during a string of shootings targeting Democratic politicians in New Mexico, state Senator Linda Lopez says she’s had to rethink what it means to work across the aisle. [Slate]
Former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords’s life changed when she was shot and partially paralyzed 12 years ago. Since then, Giffords has built a powerful firearm safety advocacy group — but, like her recovery, progress “happens inch by inch.” [The New York Times]
A 2021 mass shooting at a railyard station in San Jose, California, spurred the city to get tough on guns, requiring firearm owners to get liability insurance and pay a harm-reduction fee. In nearby Gilroy, a 2019 attack had no such effect. [San Francisco Chronicle] Context: San Jose’s plan may end up not being as effective as proponents have advertised.
New Jersey’s newest gun law, passed in response to Bruen, suffered another blow this week: A federal judge temporarily blocked the state from enforcing a ban on carrying guns at casinos, parks, and beaches, expanding on an opinion issued in January. [The Hill]
Alex Murdaugh, scion of a powerful South Carolina family, is on trial for allegedly shooting and killing his wife and son. The story is a dramatic example of class dynamics in isolated, poor regions of the state. [The Post and Courier/The New Yorker]
An English teacher in Washington, D.C., asked high school students to create “found” poems — compositions that borrow words and phrases from another piece of writing — about gun violence. The assignment confirmed that they’re hurting, and that poetry could be an avenue for change. [The Washington Post]
“Vermont’s Long, Strange Trip to Gun-Rights Paradise”: Long before permitless carry was branded as “constitutional carry,” groups like Gun Owners of America were championing a “Vermont-style CCW law” as a national solution, and activists were anticipating the day when what was then known simply as “Vermont Carry” would spread across the land. Despite being a deep-blue state known for jam bands and hippie ice cream, Vermont is alone in never having regulated concealed carry to begin with. (July 9, 2015)