What To Know Today
NEW from THE TRACE: Biden’s $5 billion pledge to community gun violence prevention. Proposed funding from the American Jobs Plan would be the federal government’s largest potential outlay for anti-violence work in history. How the money would be allocated is still unclear. Susan Rice, director of President Joe Biden’s domestic policy council, said the administration is considering a variety of funding streams and largely wants the investments to go to local groups with proven track records. But by including the money in a jobs bill — as opposed to, say, a crime bill — Biden seems to be linking the costs of community gun violence to the nation’s economic health. “There is a direct correlation between gun violence and the impacts on our economy, the impacts on jobs in our country,” said Greg Jackson, of the Community Justice Action Fund, which pushed for the funding. Jennifer Mascia has more on the plan here.
Five people were shot in D.C. on Wednesday, two fatally, hours before a California shooting that drew extensive national coverage. The incident in Washington, D.C., received a smattering of mostly local coverage, though the daytime incident was no less devastating to the community where it occurred. The deceased were identified as George Evans III, 25, and Keosha Ferguson, 28, a young mother. “Honestly, this is brutally toxic. Traumatized. Heartbroken,” said Shekita McBroom, the head of neighborhood’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission. “I’m just saddened,” added Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White. “My heart is troubled, I just think we as a community have to do better.” Police are still investigating. Later Wednesday evening, across the country: A shooting that drew widespread initial and day-two national coverage (including here) in the city of Orange saw five people shot, four fatally. Police say the suspect had business and personal ties with victims, which included a 9-year-old boy. The way we think about mass shootings ignores many victims: Last week, Champe Barton wrote about how high-casualty shootings didn’t disappear during the pandemic — they nearly doubled.
Philadelphia to unveil new gun violence prevention plan. Mayor Jim Kenney said that later this month he will release an updated version of Philadelphia’s Roadmap to Safer Communities, his 2019 anti-violence strategy. He also said the cash-strapped city will receive $1.4 billion in federal aid as a result of the American Rescue Plan. The promise of a new approach comes as the city faces a sustained surge in violence this year on top of 2020’s already brutal spike. The violence has fallen particularly hard on children, with at least 48 people under 18 being shot and 15 dying in homicides.
The gun buying surge continues. Americans purchased another 1.63 million guns last month. The seasonally adjusted figure includes more than 990,000 handguns and 640,000 rifles and shotguns. That’s down 18 percent from March 2020, but still the 12th-highest month on record. You can follow the historic gun sales boom with our tracker, which also provides a snapshot of the numbers for your state.
67 percent — the share of students who plotted school shootings who had “potential access to one or more firearms,” according to a report looking at nearly 70 planned K-12 attacks from 2006 to 2018. [United States Secret Service]