What to Know Today
Representative Jamie Raskin says the Second Amendment does not protect a right to overthrow the government. In a New York Times op-ed, the January 6 committee member notes that none of the Capitol rioters charged with crimes related to the insurrection have had their cases dismissed on Second Amendment grounds. Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, argues that rhetoric from his Republican colleagues purporting that the Second Amendment gives people the right to armed rebellion “courts disaster,” and that the amendment’s “reference to a ‘well-regulated militia’ means well-regulated by the government.” Raskin has long been a proponent of stricter gun regulations; as a state senator, he sponsored assault weapons bans for several years, according to WAMU.
“Predictable and preventable”: Highland Park victims sue Smith & Wesson over marketing practices. The civil suits, filed by families of victims and survivors of the Fourth of July massacre, allege that the gunmaker violated Illinois consumer fraud laws by marketing its assault rifles to “young, impulsive men by appealing to their propensity for risk and excitement,” The Chicago Sun-Times reports. Families of victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting sued Remington Arms on similar grounds, ultimately accepting a $73 million settlement that allowed the gunmaker to avoid releasing documents on its marketing practices beyond the initial trove that was shared in discovery. In the Highland Park case, families and victims are also suing two gun stores, the shooter, and the shooter’s father.
Shooting at a high school in Oakland, California, injures six. Two adult students and four school workers were shot Wednesday at the King Estate campus on the city’s east side, the The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Two were transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Police are searching for two shooters, and the city’s police chief told reporters on Thursday that one or both of them had likely used handguns with large-capacity magazines, which are illegal in California. It was the second shooting at an East Oakland school in the past month, the Chronicle reported, amid a wave of violence across the city: Oakland recorded eight homicides last week alone.
A violence prevention program in New York is running low on money — and more may not be coming. This summer, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office awarded 10 $20,000 grants to community-based organizations in an effort to curb youth gun violence. The groups are using the money to pay young people to participate in restorative justice programs, tech classes, and healing circles, among others; the grants also fund beautification projects in parts of the city where gun violence is concentrated. But only about 15 percent of the $250 million allotted for the grant program remains, Gothamist reported this week, and the DA’s Office hasn’t said whether it will allocate more. Uncertainty at a federal level: As The Trace’s Chip Brownlee reported in August, for smaller organizations, getting access to federal money earmarked by the Biden administration for community violence intervention can be a challenge.
On the campaign trail, Texas lieutenant governor promises to pass 10-year mandatory minimum for “anyone convicted of using a gun while committing a crime.” Republican Dan Patrick, who as lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate, has not said how legislation would define what constitutes “using” a gun during a crime or whether possession of a gun would count, The Texas Tribune reports. The two-term incumbent has made curbing violent crime a significant part of his reelection bid, and is leading his Democratic challenger by 7 points, according to the latest poll by the Texas Politics Project.
115 percent — the increase in the number of young people killed in gun homicides annually in Virginia since 2012. [VPM News]