From Our Team

Gun Violence Has Shaped Their Lives. These Philly Teens Made a Documentary Series About It. Over the last few years, as Philadelphians endured an increase in gun violence, Shameka Sawyer was contending with a loss of her own — and she felt like she had to do something. So Sawyer took matters into her own hands. The result was Bout Mine I Matter, an arts-centered program designed to deter the city’s youth from picking up guns. Afea Tucker, The Trace’s Philadelphia engagement reporter, has the story.

The Newswomen’s Club of New York awarded The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia a Front Page Award for her work on Ask The Trace, a series driven by readers to bring facts to the surface of the gun debate. Do you have questions about guns or gun violence in America? Submit your question here, and see the latest installment in the series here.

What to Know Today

Documents: Oxford shooter’s parents never “refused” to take him home from school. Depositions obtained by the Detroit Free Press show that officials did not insist that the gunman be immediately removed from the Michigan school, and that the counselor dealing with the soon-to-be mass shooter thought it was in the student’s best interest to remain at school. Officials didn’t ask the parents if their son had access to a gun, nor did they search his backpack, where the gun was located.

People with guns have been killing children at elementary schools for more than 40 years. Elementary schools are rarely the site of shootings, but thousands of American kids have experienced gun violence at their learning place. Just before the 10-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, The Washington Post spoke to four survivors of elementary school shootings, ages 52 to 10, about how the shootings shaped their lives. Fighting for life: The Sandy Hook parents who waded into the gun debate in 2012 have been a key political force ever since.

The number of guns involved in Texas domestic violence calls almost doubled between 2019 and 2021. A report by the Texas Council on Family Violence showed that the number of calls that police responded to involving guns increased by 92.4 percent in the period. Texas prohibits most people subject to protective orders from possessing firearms, KERA reports, but many places in the state don’t have gun transfer programs.

The obscure law that lets people ban guns from themselves. Since 2019, residents of Washington State have been able to voluntarily give up their gun rights, and ask a court to restore them later. But the law, billed as a suicide prevention measure, isn’t used much, and there are no penalties for violating it.

Data Point

127 — the number of Texas women murdered by a male partner with a firearm in 2021. That’s three-quarters of all domestic violence-related murders committed by men against women. [The Texas Tribune]