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Members of the Oath Keepers, a right-wing extremist militia that believes the government is conspiring to strip citizens of their rights, are beginning to remobilize after a brief disarray following their leader’s seditious conspiracy conviction. They’re returning to an old brand-building tactic: Organizing natural disaster relief before the federal agencies arrive to crisis zones, to reinforce the militia’s core tenet that the government is not to be trusted. [Grist and HuffPost]

From Our Team

To many people living on the East Side of Buffalo, New York, the racist attack on a Tops Friendly Market last year underscored the area’s living history of segregation. Prejudicial housing policies, food apartheid, and disproportionate policing have long disenfranchised the community. There’s another story of the neighborhood, says Jillian Hanesworth, one of community, love, and fortitude. That neighborhood resilience was on display when Tops — which residents fought throughout the 1990s to establish —  reopened two months after the attack.

But the supermarket itself, writes Camalot Todd, is also a symbol of tension in the East Side: between young people who fear living in the shadow of the shooting for the rest of their lives, and the older generation for whom the Tops represents a hard-won victory; and between community members who have spent the past year responding to the shooting by fighting the structural racism that generated the attack, and people who showed up briefly, only to silently disappear alongside the news trucks. Read more from The Trace →

What to Know Today

The Supreme Court declined to issue an emergency injunction against Illinois’ assault weapons ban. It will likely remain in effect while the challenge against it plays out in a federal appeals court. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Every state has a program to provide financial aid to victims of violent crime. But many states disproportionately deny Black victims and their families compensation, for reasons experts say are rooted in institutional racial bias. [Associated Press]

Young Americans are dying at alarming rates — the highest in nearly 15 years — driven in large part by homicides and suicides. Researchers say greater access to firearms, among other things, helped push up death rates. [The Wall Street Journal]

YouTube’s suggested videos algorithm is recommending violent and graphic gun-related videos to children as young as 9, oftentimes in violation of its own policies, according to a study by the Tech Transparency Project. [Associated Press]

Who gets to count as a victim of a mass shooting? [Undark]

Maryland Governor Wes Moore signed bills into law that limit where people can carry concealed firearms — including prohibiting them at schools, health care facilities, and bars — and expand disqualifying factors for obtaining a concealed carry permit. The NRA immediately sued over the measures in federal court. [The Baltimore Banner/The Washington Post]

A new California law was supposed to hold police accountable when an officer kills someone who isn’t armed. But state Justice Department investigations are dragging on, with some shooting reviews stretching past 18 months — and some victims’ family members have lost faith in the process. [CalMatters]

Texas public safety officials confirmed that the mass shooter who killed eight people — most or all of whom were people of color, and four of Asian descent — at a mall in a Dallas suburb had neo-Nazi tattoos and paraphernalia. Media reports also show he made racist and extremist social media posts. Why isn’t the shooting being investigated as a hate crime? [KUT]


The Gun Doesn’t Have to Go Off for It to Be a Hate Crime: An analysis of federal data reveals a pattern of intimidation-by-firearm. (August 2015)