What To Know Today
Hospital visits by children with gun injuries rose by almost 40 percent in 2020. That’s according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, which found there were more shooting-related patients treated last year than the previous three years, even as overall hospital admissions declined for people 18 and under. An unequal burden: The researchers found that Black kids had the highest rate of firearm injury, and that 49 percent of victims lived in neighborhoods with a very low Child Opportunity Index, a development indicator of economic opportunity. Researchers did not point to a specific cause of increased injuries. But lead author, Kelsey Gastineau, a pediatric hospital doctor at Vanderbilt, told The Washington Post that it “is absolutely imperative that we prioritize counseling parents and other guardians on safely storing firearms.” She added, “We also have to proactively promote crisis support and violence intervention resources to kids and adults alike.”
An alarming trend magnified in Louisville, Kentucky: More kids have died in homicides this year than all of 2020. Through August 11, there were 17 kids under 18 who died, all but one from shootings. Last year, there were 16 youth homicides, and a city record of 173 overall. Sixty-five minors have also been injured in shootings this year. The Courier-Journal notes that Louisville’s surrounding Jefferson County had a juvenile homicide rate of 4.7 per 100,000, more than twice the national rate from 2010 to 2019, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Our future is dying off,” said Lacy Hatfield, whose teenage nephew was one of the homicide victims this year.
Black and Hispanic victims made up almost all of the post-pandemic homicide surge in LA. From January 2020 through this June, the 266 Hispanic homicide victims marked an increase of 46 percent over the previous 18-month period, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis of police data. The 192 Black victims since the beginning of 2020 represented a 27 percent increase over the previous 18 months. The uptick for white victims in the same period was relatively negligible at 5 percent. “It speaks to the two Los Angeleses,” Jorja Leap, a UCLA professor, told the Times. “I am deeply concerned.”
Legislators target Ohio as the next permitless carry state. It’s been a banner year for laws eliminating licensing requirements for people going armed in public: Five states with Republican-controlled legislatures have enacted such policies. Lawmakers in Ohio have now introduced two permitless carry bills in the state House and Senate, and hope they can convince Republican Governor MIke DeWine to sign it.
Two school shootings in Albuquerque, and one family connected to both. A 13-year-old was arrested for fatally shooting a classmate at his middle school on Friday, allegedly using his father’s handgun. An eighth-grader memorialized the 13-year-old victim, Bennie Hargrove, who intervened in a dispute between the alleged perpetrator and a group of students: “He just wanted to make peace.” On Twitter, Albuquerque Journal staff writer Matthew Reisen recalled writing about the perpetrator’s father, who shot a parent in 2018 in a school pickup lane after a fight, an incident for which no charges were filed. “I’ve covered a lot of bad scenes in the past four years, but never have I had it told to me by mostly children,” Reisen tweeted after also writing the lead story about the latest incident. “I hope they get the counseling and resources they need and deserve.”
4 — the number of states that ban the open carry of handguns after South Carolina’s new law relaxing the restrictions went into effect yesterday. Three others prohibit openly carrying long guns, but not handguns. [Giffords]