What to Know Today

D.C. gives community members money to create their own gun violence prevention programs. As Washington, D.C., approaches a two-decade high in homicides, the city awarded $5,000 grants to residents of the most affected neighborhoods. Recipients created programs that offer job training, life skills, and healing sessions, The Washington Post reports. One grant funded a trip to Wall Street; another enabled a group of young people to create a documentary about gun violence. “We are not the answer,” Linda Harllee Harper, director of the D.C. Office of Gun Violence Prevention, said. “We need to support community members who know their communities. What the answer is in one community is not the same as in another community.”

Mexico files new lawsuit against Arizona gun dealers. Mexican officials have repeatedly blamed illegal firearms trafficking from the U.S. for contributing to violence in the country, and on Monday, Mexico’s government filed a lawsuit against five gun dealers in southern Arizona. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges that the dealers have knowingly participated in trafficking guns across the border. A federal judge recently dismissed a similar, much larger lawsuit against American gun manufacturers. Mexico’s government, which is appealing the dismissal, estimates that at least 17,000 homicides in 2019 were linked to guns trafficked from the U.S.

Sales rise of children’s books addressing violence and trauma. Since 2012, demand has been growing steadily for books that handle tough topics like school shootings, the Associated Press reports. Nearly six million copies of children’s books on trauma and violence were sold in 2021, nearly double the amount sold a decade ago. Educators and experts say age-appropriate books can help children cope with scary experiences — but caution that the child’s interests and worries should lead the conversation.

Gun rights group to challenge several Virginia gun laws. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, the Virginia Citizens Defense League said that it would challenge state laws that limit most people from buying more than one handgun per month, allow cities and counties to prohibit guns in public spaces, and ban loaded semiautomatic firearms with high-capacity magazines in certain jurisdictions. The group has previously targeted these laws, but legal experts told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the SCOTUS ruling could give its upcoming efforts more standing. Across the country, gun rights groups are challenging other state restrictions with varying degrees of success. 

As 2019 Walmart shooter’s murder trial approaches, concerns abound over El Paso DA. It’s sure to be one of the state’s highest-profile trials in years, but the Texas Tribune reports that locals are questioning whether District Attorney Yvonne Rosales is capable. Since she took office in 2021, Rosales and her office have generated repeated scandals, including hundreds of cases that were thrown out over prosecutorial delays. Although no trial date has been set for the shooter, who is accused of killing 23 people and faces the death penalty, the judge presiding over the case has excoriated Rosales in pretrial hearings.

Data Point

24 percent — the share of immigrants living in California who told UCLA researchers they’re “very worried” about falling victim to gun violence. That’s nearly double the rate of the state’s overall population. [California Health Interview Survey]