What to Know Today
News coverage of gun violence can compound harm, victims say. Journalists often frame shootings as individual events, according to a Temple University Hospital report, and conventional news stories can leave victims feeling dehumanized, retraumatized, and threatened. The first-of-its-kind study, Billy Penn reports, was based on interviews with 26 people being treated for gunshot wounds. Researchers called on the media to practice trauma-informed reporting and prioritize the perspectives of victims.
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Preventing farmer suicides, one phone call at a time. Rural communities, where gun ownership is more common, face high rates of suicide. The risk is even worse for farmers. To combat the crisis in Texas, the state Agriculture Department is asking for $500,000 to sustain a toll-free helpline for agricultural workers, The Texas Tribune reports. Launched last year, the program serves areas with diminished health care options, and aims to destigmatize conversations about mental health in an often-isolating industry. “Agriculture is a culture where you don’t really discuss your feelings,” said program head Trish Rivera, “and we want to change that.” If you are having thoughts of suicide, help is available 24 hours a day: The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a free, confidential service for those in distress. Call or text 988, both toll-free, and find more resources here.
Why did Dallas’s police oversight board become an “exercise in futility”? After an off-duty police officer shot and killed Botham Jean in his own apartment in 2018, the city revamped its citizen oversight board. It’s been a source of contention ever since, Bolts reports: Activists say the new body is failing to do its job, and members allege that the city hasn’t given them enough power to press for accountability.
The deadliest year in Portland’s history. Oregon’s largest city logged 101 homicides in 2022, breaking the previous year’s all-time record and bucking a national trend. In almost two-thirds of major U.S. cities, murder counts decreased in 2022. Police data analyzed by The Oregonian shows that most of the victims died in shootings.
American far-right violent extremism provides a model for counterparts in the rest of the world. Two days after the Capitol insurrection’s second anniversary, supporters of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — a Trump-like figure who made gun rights a centerpiece of his reelection bid — attacked their country’s seats of power. It’s not the first time anti-democratic movements abroad have taken inspiration from U.S. violent extremists, domestic terrorism expert Jacob Ware explains in an article for the Council on Foreign Relations.
3.5 times — American farmers’ increased suicide risk, compared with the general population. [National Rural Health Association]