Good morning, Bulletin readers. At least six GOP candidates have either returned or not deposited recent donations from the National Rifle Association; none did in 2016. Plus, two different looks at the impact of gun violence: one on children in Flint, and the other on everyday life in Chicago’s hardest-hit neighborhoods. And a shooting spree at a Kentucky Kroger leaves two dead.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
NEW from The Trace: Flint, Michigan’s child firearm fatality rate is nearly twice that of Chicago and Detroit. Tapped out by its battles over lead-tainted water, the Michigan city is grappling with another public health crisis: it’s losing kids to gun violence at a devastating rate. In partnership with hyperlocal nonprofit news organization Flint Beat, Sean Campbell examined data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and found that between 2010 and 2016, there were 25 children killed by firearms in Flint. All but two of them were black. Read the full story here.
Lawmakers are trying to ban animal abusers from gun ownership. A bill in Congress would add misdemeanor animal abuse to the list of crimes that disqualify offenders from gun ownership. A similar bill was introduced earlier this year in New Jersey, and at least two other states are considering legislation that would bar people convicted of animal cruelty from possessing firearms. Research suggests that animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people than non-abusers. The Trace brings you the story, syndicated from fellow nonprofit FairWarning.
A few Republicans are saying ‘thanks but no thanks’ to the NRA’s money. At least six GOP candidates have either returned or not deposited recent donations from the National Rifle Association, a review of federal election filings by Mother Jones found. During the 2016 election, no congressional candidates refused money from the NRA. The change indicates the extent to which “the Parkland effect” may be hurting the gun group’s public image.
Multiple people were shot at a grocery store in Kentucky. One suspect is in custody after two people were shot to death Wednesday afternoon at a Kroger in a Louisville suburb. Police say a man walked into the store and fired multiple shots at another man before he walked outside and shot a woman. Both victims were killed. A witness told reporters that during the spree the suspect confronted the witness’s father, who pulled out his own gun and said, “Don’t shoot me, and I won’t shoot you,” to which the gunman reportedly replied, “Whites don’t kill whites.”
Trauma surgeons identified two types of gun laws associated with fewer mass shootings. Researchers from the University of Toledo studied 155 mass shootings, using the narrower definition of four or more persons killed by an assailant without a clear motive, and sorted the data to find commonalities among the communities where such attacks have occurred. They found that the locations of mass shootings shared a shortage of mental health professionals, a relative lack of socialization opportunities, greater income inequality, and comparatively expensive housing. “In general, the communities in which these multiple-shooting events have historically happened are much less healthy compared with national averages,” lead researcher Dr. Stephen F. Markowiak said.
A Florida judge has cleared the way for challenges to a state law meant to prevent cities from passing their own gun safety regulations. Last week, a county circuit judge denied a request by the state’s attorney general to dismiss a lawsuit brought by more than 30 local governments alleging that the state’s pre-emption law is unconstitutional. The 2011 law threatens penalties, like removal from office, for local officials who pass gun laws stricter than those passed by the state Legislature.
A gun company is on the hook for more than seven million potentially faulty triggers. Remington was hit with a class action suit after several of its rifles fired without anyone pulling the trigger, leading to accidental deaths and serious injuries. A settlement it reached with plaintiffs formally went into effect yesterday. Remington continues to maintain that the guns are safe, and family members and lawyers for victims have accused the gunmaker of downplaying the settlement to minimize claims. A 2010 CNBC investigation unearthed company documents proving that Remington was aware of the potentially dangerous defect for decades but took no action to correct the flaw.
A South Carolina deputy died 19 days after she and six of her fellow officers were shot. Farrah Turner, a seven-year veteran of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, was the second officer to die as a result of an ambush earlier this month. The suspect, who was arrested, was found with nearly 130 weapons in his home, all of which appear to have been obtained legally, police say.
ONE LAST THING
A portrait of Chicago communities living in fear. More than 400 people have been killed by bullets in Chicago so far this year, and more than a thousand others were wounded. In the neighborhoods where the epidemic is most severe, shootings happen almost daily. But the violence doesn’t just affect those killed or injured; its impact shapes everyday life, as a photo essay for the web magazine Topic evocatively captures.