Hello, readers. One thing we report on here at The Trace is relevant new research. Sometimes the findings are shocking on their own, like this item from Monday: “Roughly 4.6 million American kids live in homes with unlocked, loaded guns.” Sadly, the daily headlines we sweep when compiling these newsletters have a tendency to include terrible illustrations of the statistics we cover. Such was the case with two stories involving toddlers in Virginia. Please read on.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
The Washington Post asked every member of the House of Representatives how they would vote on the March for Our Lives gun policy agenda. What the paper found:
- 156 Democrats and two Republicans expressed support for all five of the proposals, which include universal background checks and bans on assault-style weapons ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds
- One Democrat and 24 Republicans opposed or declined to support the proposals
- One Dem and three GOP members support some but not all of the Parkland activists’ remedies
- Another 245 lawmakers did not reply
“Given The Post‘s extensive efforts to contact every lawmaker, nonresponse may be its own type of response: a deliberate refusal to engage on the issue,” writes Christopher Ingraham in his analysis. Eighty-six percent of non-respondents were Republicans. Related: In March, we broke down the Parkland platform.
Some California lawmakers want to let school employees file for gun-violence restraining orders. On Monday, the state Assembly passed a bill that would expand California’s red flag law. The change would also allow co-workers to petition for the temporary removal of guns from people at risk of harming themselves or others.
Two more states are advancing red flag bills. An extreme-risk protection order bill cleared a New York State Senate committee on Tuesday. Today, the Massachusetts House of Representatives is scheduled to take up a red flag bill. Stay updated: We’re keeping track of these bills across the country.
Educators are lobbying against policies that would arm teachers and staff. Since Parkland, 14 states have introduced 25 measures to arm teachers and staff. Of those, only one has passed: The Florida School Safety Bill passed by lawmakers after Parkland included a provision that allows some teachers to be armed with the consent of the school district and sheriff’s department. One reason the measures have stalled is vocal opposition from educators — the majority of whom oppose being armed, according to polling by the National Education Association.
“Door control” is an inadequate response to school shootings, experts say. After Friday’s school shooting, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick of Texas said that “too many entrances and too many exits” was a key reason the gunman wasn’t stopped. Security experts told the Washington Post that limiting doors would be prohibitively expensive and a potential fire hazard.
The school security market is now a multibillion-dollar industry. Despite little proof that high-tech security systems prevent violence, companies are selling technology built for the military and police to schools all over the country.
An Ohio man was shot twice when the revolver he kept in his oven went off. Detectives say the gun, which was stored in the broiler for safekeeping, discharged after someone turned on the oven to cook on Sunday.
Two Virginia 2-year-olds were unintentionally shot and killed on the same day. A toddler in Louisa, Virginia, was accidentally shot by his 4-year-old brother while the siblings were playing with a gun they believed to be a toy, the sheriff’s office said. In Roanoke, police say a boy who unintentionally shot himself later died in the hospital. From The Trace Archives: About every other day in the United States, children injure or kill someone with a firearm, our analysis from 2016 found. Between September 2014 and September 2016, The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia counted nearly 300 such incidents. In 113 of the cases, the shooter was under the age of 4.
In the past decade, the United States has had 57 times as many school shootings as the six other major industrialized nations combined. CNN reviewed media reports and databases of shootings worldwide and counted 288 shootings at American schools since 2009. France and Canada are tied for second place, with two recorded shootings each.
HELP A TRACE REPORTER
We’re looking into often-overlooked aspect of domestic violence. We need your help.
A gun doesn’t have to go off to cause harm in an abusive relationship: By one estimate, 4.5 million American women have been coerced or bullied by an armed intimate partner. Have you ever been threatened with a gun in the context of an intimate relationship? For an upcoming article, we are interested in hearing your story. Please consider filling out our short questionnaire. Your answers will be confidential.