Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s briefing: A study highlighting the toll gun violence takes on our mental wellbeing, the latest on how Pittsburgh is coping with the Tree of Life shooting, and the NRA loses another corporate partner.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
President Trump visited Pittsburgh to meet with survivors of Saturday’s synagogue shooting. Several local and national officials declined to appear alongside him, and the family of at least one victim refused to speak with him at all. The mayor of Pittsburgh said it was too soon for a presidential visit. Hundreds of residents gathered in Squirrel Hill to protest his arrival.
A doctor killed in the massacre rushed into danger to help the wounded. Three witnesses say Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz was in a bible study room when shots rang out. Rabinowitz ran toward the sanctuary, where victims lay dying. “And that is how he lost his life,” said a University of Pittsburgh professor whose students Rabinowitz mentored.
Jewish medical staffers were the first to treat the shooter’s wounds. The gunman was injured exchanging shots with responding officers and taken to Allegheny General Hospital for treatment. The hospital’s president is a Tree of Life congregant, and has noted to reporters that Jewish medical staffers were the first to provide care to the gunman.
Gun violence is stressing Americans out, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the American Psychological Association. Seventy two percent of people aged 15-21, known as “Generation Z,” said school shootings were a significant source of stress. Among millennials, 73 percent said the same. Parents also reported fears of shootings happening in their children’s schools; nearly three-quarters of them said this was a significant source of stress.
At a gun show in Kentucky, Nazi and KKK merchandise were available for sale. A confederate flag was also on display. The Louisville, Kentucky, expo center where the gun show took place over the weekend says it will hold an “emergency meeting” to re-evaluate its policies. The presence of white supremacist memorabilia coincided with the Pittsburgh massacre, carried out by an anti-Semitic gunman, and came just days after a white man with a history of racist threats shot and killed two black shoppers at a nearby Kroger supermarket minutes after trying to enter a black church. That shooting is also being investigated as a hate crime.
Someone fired several bullets into a Republican Party office in Florida overnight on Sunday. Police say the office was empty at the time of the shooting and no one was injured. A Democratic state lawmaker condemned the act: “Your party affiliation should never make you a target of gun violence.”
FedEx is ending its NRA discount. Starting November 4, the company will end its discount program for National Rifle Association members. The company says the change was economic, and not a response to any recent mass shooting, a move that suggests the NRA no longer has the economic clout to inspire fear in the corporate world. The shipping company faced criticism from gun reform advocates after it refused to end the arrangement following the Parkland massacre.
The nation’s strongest “ghost gun” bill is headed to the New Jersey governor’s desk. On Monday, the New Jersey Senate approved the legislation, which would prohibit the purchase of parts and kits used to create untraceable weapons. It would also outlaw 3D-printed weapons and require background checks for firearm receivers, a component that can be used to make fully functioning DIY guns that lack serial numbers. Governor Phil Murphy is pushing for even more gun restrictions. On Monday, he proposed several new measures to strengthen gun laws in response to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. Among his suggestions were a ban on ammunition purchases for people already prohibited from gun ownership and a law requiring photo identification for ammunition sales. He also proposed increased funding for gun violence intervention programs in the state.
Florida prosecutors are calling for a repeal of “stand your ground.” The League of Prosecutors, a Miami organization of current and former local prosecutors, filed a brief on Friday asking the state’s Supreme Court to strike down the self-defense law, arguing that it is unconstitutional.
At least 43 people were shot in Chicago over Halloween weekend. Five of them died, including a teenage boy. John Pena, 16, was killed in a drive-by shooting early Sunday. “He lost his mom at a young age. I remember his mom got killed when he was 4 or 5 years old,” a community activist said. Pena was among 16 Chicagoans hit by bullets within a five-hour period.
A 2-year-old girl shot herself in the chest in Indiana. According to police, three adults were also at the apartment where the toddler found a gun and shot herself on Tuesday. One of them fled the scene. The toddler, who may have believed the gun was a toy, is expected to survive.
ONE LAST THING
The first of those killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting were buried yesterday. Mourners gathered at Pittsburgh’s Rodef Shalom on Tuesday to bury brothers David and Cecil Rosenthal, ages 54 and 59, who were remembered as “gentle giants.” According to Jewish tradition, bodies of the deceased are not to be left alone until they’re buried. So the 11 victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting have been watched over by volunteer guards since Saturday. “When we die, our soul stays with us until our body is laid to rest and then the soul is free to go,” the director of a Jewish funeral home in Pittsburgh said. “During that time, that soul is kept company and not alone.” More funerals are scheduled to take place today.