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The Fourth of July is the most dangerous day of the year for mass shootings, according to recent analyses of Gun Violence Archive data by Northeastern University researcher James Alan Fox and CNN, with an average of five mass shootings each Independence Day over the past decade. The second-most dangerous day, both reports found, is July 5. 

This year was no exception. The Gun Violence Archive reported that there were five mass shootings on July 4 alone; over the extended holiday weekend, from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Wednesday, the archive found a total of 17 mass shootings, in which 18 people were killed and 102 were injured. That includes a rampage in Philadelphia, where five people were killed and two children were injured in one of the deadliest mass shootings in the city’s history; an attack on a large party at a housing project in Baltimore, where two people were killed and 28 were injured; and a shooting at a neighborhood gathering in Fort Worth, Texas, where three people were killed and eight were injured.

This weekend’s gun violence echoed the attack on a Fourth of July parade one year ago in Highland Park, Illinois, and marked a record high number of mid-year mass shootings in the U.S. The increase in mass shootings has prompted many Americans to question whether they’ll be safe at large gatherings, with some deciding to avoid them entirely, The New York Times reports. “Everybody goes out to crowded public events, even sometimes,” Jens Ludwig, the director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, told the Times. “It’s really striking that this is now a shared feature of the American experience: to worry and hope that [someone] isn’t also there with an AR-15.”

From Our Team

An independent evaluation of Philadelphia’s much-debated violence prevention grant initiative found that the program is mostly working and deserves to continue, Mayor Jim Kenney announced last week. The Community Expansion Grant Program, which launched in late 2021 amid record deadly gun violence, awarded $13.5 million in funding to 31 grassroots organizations. Their mission was to use a range of crime-prevention strategies — including trauma-informed healing, restorative practices, and creating safe havens — to reach those most affected by the violence: African American and Latino men between the ages of 16 and 34.

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What to Know Today

The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could allow people subject to domestic violence restraining orders to possess guns, after the 5th Circuit overturned a nearly 30-year-old federal domestic violence firearm ban in February. [NPR] Context: The 5th Circuit panel applied Bruen’s new “historical analog” test for deciding Second Amendment cases, and declared the ban unconstitutional because domestic violence wasn’t recognized as a crime in the 18th and 19th centuries. 

Mass shootings upend every part of survivors’ and family members’ lives. “There is a lot of focus on the people that are killed. And I’m grateful for that,” said a victim of last year’s attack in Colorado Springs. “The downfall is the rest of us are still suffering.” [Associated Press

Family members of victims of the 2018 Parkland mass shooting asked a judge to allow a reenactment of the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School before it is demolished. According to their motion, the families expect the reenactment to prove that a school resource officer, acquitted last week, lied about his position of safe cover. [South Florida Sun Sentinel

San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins is dropping charges against another police officer who shot a civilian, meaning that her office will not pursue any of the police shooting cases her predecessor, Chesa Boudin, filed during his time in office. [KQED

The government provides little to no support to family members of police shooting victims. Breonna Taylor’s aunt and Jacob Blake’s dad are filling the gap, traveling around the country together to connect grieving families to crucial resources and offer a shoulder to lean on. [Mother Jones]  

Amid an apparent rise in “swatting” — fraudulent 911 calls that relay serious criminal threats or violent situations to elicit a police response — the FBI has formed a national database to track and prevent the false reports. [NBC

The 7th Circuit heard oral arguments in six consolidated lawsuits challenging Illinois’ assault weapons ban; one judge questioned whether a Depression-era law against machine guns, which were used in violent gangland attacks, was unconstitutional. It’s not clear when the appeals court will issue a ruling. [Chicago Sun-Times

More than a dozen cities and counties nationwide have enacted or reinforced curfews for young people since the start of 2023. But research shows that curfews don’t reduce crime. [The Marshall Project and The Baltimore Banner] Context: Criminalizing young people’s presence in public places hasn’t stopped them from getting caught up in gun violence. What could?

Most mass shooters don’t live to be tried for their crimes. When they do survive, the question of whether victims’ loved ones should speak in court, or what they should say, is particularly fraught. [The New York Times]

Data Point

351 — the total number of mass shootings, defined as four or more victims shot, so far this year. That’s 31 more than at the same point in 2022. [Gun Violence Archive]