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An annual playwriting contest, Enough! Plays to End Gun Violence, enlists teens to write short scripts about how gun violence influences American life — and recruits theaters across the country to stage the finalists. Among the subjects of this year’s winning plays: a young girl’s confrontation with a police officer, the failure of a “school kindness” week to prevent gun violence, and the aftermath of a violent crime. [NPR/Enough!]


Darnell Lane has been enmeshed in the cycle of gun violence since he turned 5, and until he was convicted of shooting and killing another man, he didn’t believe he had any other options but to continue the pattern. Now, as he serves a 45-year sentence for murder in an Illinois prison, Lane is on a journey to heal from his past — and he’s helping his incarcerated peers do the same.

After he received his bachelor’s degree last year, Lane was inspired to create a course confronting gun violence as a public health crisis, and centering the perspectives of incarcerated people. He wanted to show incarcerated people that they can overcome their previous mistakes and be a resource to their communities. “It’s important for those who have caused harm to be accountable to the community and to show themselves to be part of the solution,” Lane told The Trace’s Rita Oceguera. “Who knows more about violence than the incarcerated?”

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What to Know Today

Residents of Smiths Station, Alabama, have expressed grief and outrage at the death of Mayor FL “Bubba” Copeland Jr., a beloved community member and pastor who killed himself with a gun after becoming the target of intense online harassment when a far-right website claimed that he wore women’s clothing and cosmetics in his private life. “The community is all broken up about it,” said a resident and longtime friend of Copeland’s. “He’s a hard man to replace.” [The Washington Post/The Guardian

Democratic Representatives Joaquin Castro of Texas, Dan Goldman of New York, and Mike Thompson of California, chair of the House Gun Violence Prevention task force, introduced legislation to curb trafficking of U.S.-produced guns and ammunition across the southern border by enhancing information-sharing between federal agencies and Mexico. Their bill follows efforts in the Senate to address firearms trafficking. [CBS]

Democrats in the Pennsylvania House, who won control of the lower chamber this year with a one-vote majority, are advancing a number of bills to strengthen the state’s gun laws, including legislation concerning safe storage practices, universal background checks, and extreme risk protection orders. The GOP-controlled upper chamber likely won’t take up the bills, but advocates are ramping up pressure for senators to consider firearm safety measures. [Spotlight PA

Chicago’s civilian police oversight panel approved a policy that would ban officers from participating in hate and extremist groups. The move came after the department investigated, but took little action against, officers with connections to extremist groups, including the Oath Keepers militia. [WBEZ

After mass shootings, fundraisers for victims often spring up online, but deciding how donations should be distributed isn’t always straightforward. In Monterey Park, California, for example, those who survived the January attack but sustained no physical injuries weren’t included in a large fundraising effort. They’re frustrated that they’ve been left to deal with lingering psychological trauma without the recognition that they, too, were victims. [Los Angeles Times]


To Shed a Cage: Hamid Abd-Al-Jabbar and David Thompson bonded in juvenile detention in the 1980s, then spent most of the next 40 years in prison. When they emerged from one of the country’s most unforgiving state penal systems, their friendship proved crucial. (July 2021)