What to Know Today
At least 30 injured, four dead after weekend with six mass shootings. New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Virginia all saw mass shootings this Saturday and Sunday, according to the Gun Violence Archive. Two of the shootings took place around college campuses, James Madison University and Clark Atlanta University; the shootings on New York’s Long Island and in Denver occurred at house parties, in total injuring 11 teenagers and killing one; in Worcester, Massachusetts, the shooting took place at a warehouse; and the shooting in Pittsburgh took place at a busy intersection. There have been 540 mass shootings nationwide so far this year, down from 563 last year.
Oakland police won’t use shotgun-armed robots — for now. After discovering that the Oakland Police Department had an accessory that enables robots to fire live shotgun rounds, a civilian oversight council proposed a policy barring police from loading the devices with lethal ammunition. The “percussion actuated nonelectric disruptor” — “picture a shotgun barrel secured to an 800-pound Roomba on tank treads,” The Intercept reports — is most often used to defuse bombs. Though OPD had never loaded it with live rounds, they initially pushed back on the proposal, asking, “What if we need it for some situation later on?” Eventually, the department conceded to language prohibiting offensive use of robots against people —with an exception for pepper spray. But a police representative said they are still “looking into” a lethal option.
In the race for Minneapolis prosecutor, police shootings and gun violence take center stage. Two years after George Floyd’s murder, and subsequent nationwide racial justice protests, Hennepin County voters will decide on their new top prosecutor. The divide between the candidates, report Bolts and Mother Jones, reflects that of many elections across the country: Mary Moriarty, a former public defender and the front-runner, is running on a reform platform that keys in on police accountability. Retired judge Martha Holton Dimick supports low-level reforms, but has centered her campaign on a law-and-order platform — and on blaming activists for the increase in gun violence in her neighborhood.
New Jersey might require insurance to carry guns in public. New legislation in the state would also require residents to complete firearm safety training to carry a gun in public and ban handguns in 25 types of public places. If enacted, NJ.com reports, the regulations would be some of the strictest in the country. The flip side: As “permitless” carry laws sweep the country, fewer states require gun owners to take live-fire training, The Trace found in January.