What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: Black mothers are the real experts on gun violence. With Flint Beat, MLK50, The Oaklandside, and New York Times Opinion, The Trace interviewed more than a dozen Black women across the United States about the seemingly unending drumbeat of community shootings and police violence. Reporter Arionne Nettles, herself a Black mother, writes in the introduction to her interviews that took place over the course of eight months: “The priorities of some people concerned about racist violence at the hands of the police — those who want to reduce the presence of officers — are often framed as being in tension with those of Black people who want their communities to be safer. That’s simply not true. It’s a misconception that exists in part because we don’t hear enough from those who are touched by both components of the crisis and lead the fight against it.” As one mother tells her in the piece, “As a parent, nobody wants to get that call that your child is not coming back home or your child has been shot.” You can read all 15 of the vital, honest, and harrowing testimonies here.
Fresh data offers another way that Black women have been ignored in conversations about gun violence. FiveThirtyEight analyzed the media coverage of fatal police shooting victims. For every Black woman, like Breonna Taylor and Ma’Khia Bryant, who received some news coverage after they were killed, there are many others whose deaths barely registered. FiveThirtyEight finds that at least half of the Black women killed since 2015 got some media coverage. But in the majority of cases, the coverage in the 60 days surrounding the incident was limited to five stories or fewer. And even coverage of Taylor, whose death was reported in eight articles in national outlets in the two months after her death, pales in comparison to the thousands of stories written about George Floyd in the same timeframe. “Mainstream narratives are often still written by men or are tailored toward a male perspective,” said one expert.
NEW from THE TRACE: Documents bolster doubts about the NRA board’s independence. In eight days of recent testimony before a Texas bankruptcy court, governance failures by the National Rifle Association’s board of directors came up repeatedly. Several directors implicated the board’s own counsel — William “Wit” Davis — arguing that he had acted in the interest of CEO Wayne LaPierre and his inner circle rather than the body he’s supposed to represent. New documents obtained by The Trace echo that cause for suspicion and suggest that Davis worked on the group’s bankruptcy plan in January before board members even knew of its existence. Early next week, a judge is expected to rule on whether to dismiss the NRA’s bankruptcy petition, appoint a trustee, or appoint the examiner sought by a breakaway bloc of board members. You can read Will Van Sant’s latest scoop here.
Shootings at two schools leave one dead, several wounded. In South Carolina, a student in the town of Ware Shoals was found dead in the parking lot of their high school from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. In Rigby, Idaho, a student was taken into custody for shooting two classmates and a custodian; all sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The incidents came as local police in three states say they apprehended students carrying a gun on school premises on Wednesday — at high schools in Michigan, Alabama, and North Carolina.
Police documents warn of growing danger posed by far-right groups. The Guardian obtained two separate documents. In one from January put out by the National Explosives Task Force — which coordinates with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and state and national law enforcement about explosives incidents — an intelligence bulletin documented numerous cases in 2020 and 2021 in which weaponry and explosive devices were found at protests and outside of public buildings. A separate document from the New York Police Department after the Capitol insurrection explicitly defines far-right groups like the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, and Oath Keepers militia as right-wing extremist groups.
58 per 100,000 — the rate of suicides by Missouri veterans aged 18 to 34, the highest in the Midwest and well above the national average. Reporters involved with the Missouri Gun Violence Project, a two-year journalism collaboration, probed the high rates of firearm ownership among vets in a state with one of highest shares of suicides involving a gun. [The Kansas City Star]