What To Know Today
Support dips for tighter gun laws, but still finds majority approval. Fifty-seven percent of Americans support more restrictions on firearms — down 7 points from last year and the lowest level measured by Gallup pollsters since 2016. Thirty-four percent of respondents want to maintain the status quo, and 9 percent want gun laws to be less strict. Record low support among Republicans (22 percent, down 14 points from last year) helped fuel the overall decline in backing for stronger firearm restrictions. The survey results indicated that the constituency for further relaxing gun laws, however, remains small: Only 16 percent of GOP respondents and 17 percent of gun owners said firearm laws should be less strict.
Trump rallies in Washington D.C. were marked by tension, street brawls, and recovered guns. The Saturday demonstrations in the city’s downtown drew an estimated 10,000 people, many seeking to amplify the president’s false claims of election fraud. (Another common refrain: Hardline gun rights. Some marchers carried signs reading “Come and Take It” and chanted pro-gun slogans.) The attendees — many unmasked — included members of right-wing militia groups like the Oathkeepers and hate groups such as the Proud Boys, Patriot Front, and American Guard. A heavy police presence helped to stave off day-time clashes between the rallygoers and a smaller contingent of anti-racism and anti-fascist counter demonstrators. But as darkness set in, some violent confrontations broke out; one person was stabbed, according to the police. Of the 21 people arrested, five were charged with gun offenses and police recovered at least eight firearms, The Washington Post reported. —Champe Barton, reporter
Lawyer claiming to represent NRA members asks judge to pause NY AG’s case, bounce gun group’s outside counsel. In a November 11 letter to a New York state judge, Alabama attorney George C. Douglas argued that Letitia James is legally obligated to notify NRA members of her lawsuit seeking to dissolve the gun group before the case can proceed. Douglas also wants NRA lawyer Bill Brewer dismissed from the case due to an array of alleged conflicts, including Brewer’s representation of NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre and the NRA itself in other litigation. Should the court mandate notification of NRA members, Douglas writes, “It is reasonably likely that many NRA members would seek disqualification of the Brewer firm and an order directing the NRA to retain independent counsel in this action before it proceeds.” Douglas’s letter got Judge Joel Cohen’s attention: He has has ordered the parties to respond in writing by November 19. —Will Van Sant, staff writer
ICYMI: Ending cycles of violence, with toothpaste and socks. The Trace’s J. Brian Charles profiles David Ross, a licensed social worker in Baltimore at the University of Maryland’s Medical Center Violence Intervention Program. In the VIP model, after shooting victims leave a trauma unit, programs like Ross’s tend to their emotional and social healing, trying to prevent them from falling back into circumstances that could lead to them getting shot again. To encourage survivors to follow through with counseling, Ross and his colleagues eagerly field and fulfill requests for even more basic needs, like toiletries, transit fare, or warm clothes to get through the winter. Says Ross: “It’s a recipe for continuing a meaningful relationship, and that is going to have an impact on…mitigating violence.”
“There’s no war going on, but if you count up the body count … you might think there was.” In a new series, the St. Louis-Dispatch partnered with the Missouri Gun Violence Project to examine dimensions of gun violence in the city, where homicides are on pace to break an annual record. Concentrated violence and deadlier weapons: The paper shines a light on the 20 St. Louis neighborhoods that make up a quarter of homicides in the entire state, despite being home to just 1.5 percent of the population. Separately, gun violence researchers and the police say the growing prevalence of crime guns with large-capacity magazines has made shootings deadlier. Read on: Articles in the series also look at how the twin fires of gun violence and a pandemic are straining the public health system, and promising but underfunded community-led violence interruption models.
The New York Police Department reduced or rejected recommendations for disciplining officers in 71 percent of 6,900 serious misconduct charges during the last two decades. [The New York Times]