What to Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: Why don’t restrictions on guns cover the police? For as long as police in America have carried guns, they have been exempted from many of the prohibitions that apply to the public. A reader’s question prompted The Trace to find out why. For the latest installment of Ask The Trace, Will Van Sant contacted more than a dozen academics and researchers who’ve concentrated on policing, the firearms debate in America, or a bit of both. Read their takeaways here.

The NRA’s steep financial decline has continued in 2022. Revenue is falling far short of projections, according to a blog post on NRA in Danger, an anonymous site. The November 2 post included what appears to be a revenue and expense statement for the first eight months of the year showing member revenue at $80 million compared to a projected $111 million, and donations to the NRA’s political arm at only $12 million compared to a projected $20 million. The document also indicates that, through August, the gun group’s legal office had spent $40 million, more than the entire year’s budget. The numbers suggest that the NRA, whose recent financial contraction The Trace has covered, will come nowhere near its projected revenue this year, one in which there’s a midterm election and a Democrat in the White House, factors that tend to benefit the group financially. — Will Van Sant

The prosecutor and sheriff races to watch tomorrow. Candidates for Congress and other national offices have made crime a central issue to their campaigns. But the races that will have the most immediate effect on the criminal justice system are local: County attorneys and sheriffs have vast discretion over many major policy issues, like prosecutions and sentencing. Bolts identified 30 races of the total 2,000 prosecutor and sheriff elections this year that will shape the criminal justice system for years to come.

After mass shooting, Philadelphia candidates criticize city for not addressing gun violence in Kensington neighborhood. On Saturday night, nine people were shot, four critically, near the intersection of Kensington and Allegheny Avenues — “ground zero for the city’s opioid epidemic,” The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. According to the Inquirer, the widespread gun violence in Kensington is largely fueled by the drug trade; the neighborhood is also home to some of the poorest census tracts in the country. After the shooting, former Kensington City Council representative and mayoral candidate Maria Quiñones-Sánchez criticized the city for failing to address Kensington’s public health crises, and said that residents feel abandoned by the government. “The mayor, this administration has asked a vulnerable, majority Black and brown community to shoulder a citywide crisis,” Quiñones-Sánchez said.

Modern American gun culture was propagated in former slave states, researcher suggests. Nick Buttrick, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, argues in The Los Angeles Times that the association between guns and personal safety arose in former slave states after the Civil War, as elite white Southerners tried to repress Black people’s political power. Buttrick and social psychologist Jessica Mazen examined census data and death records, and found that the higher the rate of enslavement in a county in 1860, the higher the rate of gun ownership today. They also found that as people moved away, they brought gun culture with them; counties outside the South with the strongest social ties to counties with high rates of historical enslavement also have high rates of gun ownership.

Data Point

61 percent — the percentage of registered voters who say violent crime is very important when making their decision about who to vote for in the upcoming midterms. [Pew Research Center]