What to Know Today
A Walmart worker killed at least six at a Walmart in Virginia. Officers responded to a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia, late on Tuesday night after receiving a report of an active shooter. Reports indicate the gunman was a former employee who began shooting in a break room less than an hour before the store was set to close. Police said six people were dead, and at least four remained hospitalized on Wednesday morning. The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot on the scene.
Thirty years ago, the death of a Japanese exchange student changed the U.S. gun debate. In 1992, Yoshihiro Hattori was fatally shot in Louisiana after he mistakenly knocked on the wrong door. His killing cast an international spotlight on America’s soaring gun violence, and helped unite Americans around a federal background check measure known as the Brady Bill. But as Yoshi’s death faded from public memory, The Trace’s Jennifer Mascia reports, his parents and host family say America has gone backward. Read Mascia’s full story here.
As damages for Sandy Hook families appeared imminent, Alex Jones transferred millions out of his company. Between August 2020 and November 2021, Jones’s media company, Free Speech System, signed $55 million in promissory notes to a company his father manages. This year, The Washington Post reports, the InfoWars host started paying his personal trainer $100,000 a week. These recent transactions put Jones’s company into bankruptcy in July — just before the rulings about damages, eventually totaling almost $1.5 billion, started rolling in.
The Colorado Springs shooting is the culmination of a year of political attacks on queer people. The first call about the mass shooting at Club Q came at 11:57 p.m. — just minutes before Trans Day of Remembrance would begin. For queer people across the country, David Mack writes in BuzzFeed News, the shooting felt inevitable: The right wing has in recent years resurfaced rhetoric portraying LGBTQ people as “predators,” resulting in a wave of anti-trans legislation and an escalation in threats and acts of violence against queer communities. More on the Club Q shooting:
- “I just knew I had to take him down”: An Army vet, whose wife and daughter were injured in the Club Q shooting, went into “combat mode” to disarm the gunman.
- Derrick Rump, a bartender at the nightclub who loved Britney Spears, was “what made Club Q.” Rump and four others — Daniel Aston, Ashley Paugh, Raymond Green Vance, and Kelly Loving — were killed at the club on Saturday night. The Washington Post has more on the victims.
- The shooting lasted six minutes. Here’s how it unfolded.
Tomorrow is the six-month anniversary of the Uvalde school shooting. Community members are still reeling from the loss of 19 children and two teachers. They’ve also taken up a fight for reform, Bekah McNeel wrote for The Trace — and the battle might span generations.
A growing list of Oregon sheriffs say they won’t enforce the state’s new gun restrictions. That’s despite not knowing how some aspects of the voter-approved law will work and not having a role in enforcing others, OPB reports. “Second Amendment sanctuary”: In Colorado Springs, local officials — including the El Paso County sheriff — loudly opposed the state’s red flag law.
University of Maryland opens Center for the Study and Practice of Violence Reduction. The VRC, led by UMD professor and prominent researcher Thomas Abt, will combine “rigorous research with real-world know-how” to find data-informed solutions to community-based violence. Stopping the bleeding: Americans don’t have to accept a status quo of daily shootings and killings, Abt wrote for The Trace in 2019. The first step toward change, he argued, is addressing urban gun violence.
Why did two white men fire at a group of migrants in West Texas? One person was killed and another injured in the September shooting that advocates and politicians call a hate crime. The accused are a 60-year-old former ICE warden and his twin brother, who say it was a hunting accident. For The Intercept, longtime immigration reporter Debbie Nathan examines the evidence in the case — and how attitudes toward immigration collide with Texas gun culture at the southern border.
57 percent — the share of U.S. adults who think gun laws should be more strict. That’s down from 66 percent in June, after the mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, but higher than the same period last year. (This poll was completed before high-profile shootings in Colorado Springs, Charlottesville, and St. Louis.) [Gallup]