What To Know Today

NEW from THE TRACE: A new face of American gun ownership. Many stories have observed the trend that Black women are one of the fastest growing groups of American gun owners. While conclusive proof for that theory remains elusive, many of the more than a dozen gun owners who spoke to Agya K. Aning for our latest story say it aligns with what they’re seeing. It’s also supported by the gender breakdown of the more than 40,000 members of the National African American Gun Association, a majority of whom are women. Today, surveys show that two out of three Americans own guns mainly for self-protection. Many of the Black women Aning interviewed called out personal safety as a reason why they’d armed themselves. Black women are three times as likely as white women to be murdered and almost twice as likely to be fatally shot by an intimate partner. But Black women are arming themselves for another reason rarely captured by research, and that is to foster a sense of community. Read more about these dynamics — and why some experts push back on the idea that gun ownership makes women and their families safer — in the full story, published in partnership with The Cut.

Gun deaths are increasing among young people — and the racial disparity is widening. Gun injury mortality of people aged 0 to 19 went from 3.6 per 100,000 in 2001 to 4.2 per 100,000 in 2019, according to a new study of CDC data. As the overall rates increased, the racial gap in victims of gun violence widened as well, accounting for an extra 0.55 deaths for Black young people over their white peers per year beginning in 2014. By 2019, Black youth had a gun mortality rate 4.3 times higher than white youth and a gun homicide rate more than 14 times higher. “There is no biologic plausibility for these disparities but rather they are a reflection of racist systems and policies that perpetuate inequities in violent injuries and death,” the authors wrote.

A Somali refugee escaped his war zone. Now he must confront American gun violence. Like many other Somali people who found refuge in America, Abdinajib Dirir ended up in Kansas City, Missouri. But Dirir and many other Somali refugees are concentrated in a part of the city with one of the highest homicides rates, and Dirir’s son ended up getting shot in 2020. “The reason we left over there — it is the violence, it is the guns, it is the war — that’s what people run away from … and now you find your kids and yourself in danger,” Dirir tells the Kansas City Star in a somber must-read. “Sometimes you question whether it was worth all that.”

Georgia Senate passes permitless carry. The bill, which removes licensing requirements for people to carry handguns in public, was passed on a party-line basis. The measure now goes to the House, where it is expected to pass and be signed into law by the Republican governor. A similar bill in Indiana failed last week, though supporters plan to tuck it into another piece of legislation that can still pass this session. Ohio’s version of permitless carry is making its way through the Legislature, and a House committee is set to have a hearing on it later this morning. Similar bills passed in six states last year.  

Brooklyn DA thinks his fellow progressive prosecutors have a messaging problem. “It’s my job to care about quality of life. What I am responsible for is safety — I am also a steward of public trust in our justice system,” Eric Gonzalez tells The New York Times. “Those are all things progressives have not gotten right in their messaging.” While sharing many of the same ideas of his progressive brethren, Gonzalez has avoided much of the criticisms and bad press others have received, like Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner and Cook County’s Kim Foxx in Illinois. “His strategy boils down to this,” the Times says, summarizing the assessment of Gonzalez from his peers and observers. “Listen to the community. Work with the police. Do not speak in absolutes or make promises you cannot keep. Work quietly and steadily, making change case by case.”

Data Point

120 — the number of murder-suicides so far this year, according to Gun Violence Archive. In the latest tragic case, a father with a restraining order against him walked into a Sacramento church and killed three of his own children and another adult before killing himself during what appeared to be a supervised visit. [Gun Violence Archive]