Good morning, Bulletin readers. The latest episode of our podcast collaboration is now out. In it, a woman shares how she navigated the collision of grief and trauma that came with surviving the gunfire that killed her best friend. You’ll find the link, along with today’s top developments, below.
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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY
This weekend was the worst for gun violence so far in 2018, according to Gun Violence Archive. Between Friday and Monday, 98 people were killed by guns and 290 others injured. That’s the highest number of gun-related injuries in a 72-hour span this year to date. (The weekend of June 8 – 10 had the second-highest number, with 253 gun-related injuries.) In Chicago alone, at least 54 people were shot, nine fatally, over the weekend.
The founder of a popular dating app received threats after the platform banned gun photos. At an advertising conference yesterday, Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd disclosed that she had to have police stationed at the company’s offices following its March decision to prohibit images displaying firearms. “It pissed a lot of people off, but it was the right thing to do,” Herd said. “We have a lot of people on our team that are responsible gun owners. I’m from Texas … Our brand values are equality, empowerment, kindness, and accountability. Do guns fit that bill? No. The majority of women that die from domestic abuse a year is from guns. So why would we want to romanticize that?”
Gun reform advocates are investigating possible NRA retaliation against a bank. Last week, Senate Democrats launched an inquiry into whether a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission improperly pushed Citigroup to abandon its new gun-sale policies. On Monday, Everytown for Gun Safety filed a Freedom of Information Act request to determine whether the National Rifle Association played a role in influencing Republican Commissioner Michael Piwowar’s decision to privately chastise Citigroup for its position. (Through its 501c3, Everytown provides grant funding to The Trace.)
A Facebook post warned people to stay away from the arts festival where at least 22 people were wounded in a shooting on Sunday. “Please, please do not go to Art All Night! They will be shooting it up!” the post read. Reed Gusciora, mayor-elect of Trenton, New Jersey, told reporters that he believed police were aware of social media threats.
A ballot referendum mandating safe gun storage got the go-ahead in Oregon. In yesterday’s Bulletin, we noted a legal challenge brought by the NRA and local gun groups against the language of a ballot initiative that would require Oregonians to safely store their firearms, notify law enforcement when any are lost of stolen, and supervise children handling guns. The state’s Supreme Court has declined to hear those complaints. By certifying the ballot referendum, the court cleared sponsors to begin gathering the 88,000 signatures they need to collect by July 6.
Texas Republicans are backing a “constitutional carry” bill. A group of state lawmakers signed a pledge on Friday, vowing to support a bill that would eliminate the requirement for concealed handgun licenses. Context: At least 11 states have passed similar bills since 2010. North Dakota’s governor signed a “constitutional carry” bill into law in March 2017.
Meanwhile, extreme-risk protection orders have little support among Texas conservatives. The state’s Republican governor signaled support for a version of a red flag law, through which law enforcement can temporarily remove guns from dangerous people, in his school safety plan last month. But the idea has yet to catch on among his party members: Texas Republicans came out against the red flag measure in the updated platform they released over the weekend. Local rightwing groups have also attacked red flag proposals.
An assault weapons ban in Boulder, Colorado, is facing legal challenges. An NRA affiliate in Colorado filed a lawsuit on Thursday to block the measure, which is set to take effect this Friday. ICYMI: Last week, gun groups blocked an assault weapons ban in Deerfield, Illinois, when a judge granted the group’s temporary restraining order against the measure.
Police chiefs in Massachusetts were asked to pull gun permits from hundreds of people after the state’s Firearms License Review Board failed to disqualify them under federal rules. In a letter sent by the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services in late May, local law enforcement officers are encouraged to take action. Among those who could have their licenses stripped are several active-duty police officers.
AFTERMATH, EPISODE SIX
Two best friends were shot. One survived. Ra’Shauna Brown and Brishell Jones, best friends since middle school, were teenagers when they were both shot. The young women had gathered with their friends to mourn the death of another friend who’d been shot and killed the week before in their Washington, D.C., neighborhood when a gunman opened fire on the group. The incident was the climax to a series of retaliations that left a total of five young people dead and nine wounded over nine days. In today’s episode of Aftermath, Ra’Shauna shares how she’s worked to keep the memory of her best friend alive, while coming to terms with her own survival.