What To Know Today

Inside New York City organizers’ push to curb gun violence. Last year, the city had over 1,500 shootings, nearly double 2019 and a particularly stark rise in a place that for years had one of the lowest homicide rates of any big city. In a new profile, The New Yorker reports on the educators and activists pushing the city’s young residents of color to organize around a message of nonviolence. “What we don’t know makes us afraid. People pick up guns because they feel afraid, and powerless,” says Shaina Harrison, of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, which developed a curriculum used in 19 of the city’s schools. “Being afraid is a part of life, and we can deal with it in better ways. And we are not powerless.” The profile talks to many of the young people Harrison taught. “I’ve been an activist since I was fourteen,” said Alliyah Logan, a member of the anti-violence group Youth Over Guns. “Everybody thought I was just weird. Now I can teach other kids that it’s an OK identity to have.”

Biden’s pace — and perspective — on gun violence prevention concerns some advocates. While the president has listed reform as a major priority, his suggestion that the administration would act when the timing was right has worried some pro-reform groups, NPR reports. In the aftermath of mass shootings in Atlanta and Colorado, which drew widespread attention and discussion, the leaders of Black- and Brown-led anti-violence groups are concerned about the scope of the policies being considered. “Trillions of dollars were given to businesses to bail them out, and we’re just saying put a fraction of that into our children’s lives,” said LIFE Camp founder Erica Ford. Her organization is part of Fund Peace, a coalition of largely Black-led community violence prevention groups calling for $5.3 billion in federal support. Funding community violence intervention programs is one of at least three policy areas the White House is reportedly considering addressing through executive action, but the administration has not released any concrete plans. 

A tough Senate path for background checks. Over the weekend, Democratic Senator Chris Murphy said that only a scaled-back version of the background check bill that passed the House could gather enough votes in the upper chamber after Senators Joe Manchin and Patrick Toomey poured cold water on the House measure. But Republican Senate staffers who spoke with the Washington Free Beacon said that while Manchin and Toomey would like to see a renewed version of their own more-moderate background check bill pass, they’re also wary of leading an effort that might not have the 60 votes necessary to pass legislation under the filibuster.

Washington State is on the verge of prohibiting open carry at protests and the Capitol. A measure that passed the state’s House on Sunday would apply to firearms in the Capitol complex and any permitted events statewide. The House version now goes back to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass and be signed by the Democratic governor. Armed protests were common in Washington last year, and two post-election demonstrations on the grounds of the Capitol in Olympia led to shootings

SCOTUS delays action on notable open carry case until at least Thursday. The high court plans to discuss then whether to hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett, which challenges a New York open carry regulation. The court has rejected previous chances to wade into the debate over whether there is a constitutional right to carry guns outside of the home. The court’s decision to relist the case for discussion at a later date increases the chances it will eventually be reviewed. 

Data Point

1 in 5 — the share of high school students in Colorado who said it was “sort of” or “very easy” to obtain a gun, according to a new study. [Pediatrics]