Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Gun rights advocates attend a rally on January 20, 2020, in Richmond, Virginia. [Zach Gibson/Getty Images]

Daily Bulletin: The ‘Boogaloo’ Is No Joke

Good morning, Bulletin readers. Two new studies on the power of grassroots organizing look at very different subjects — one tracks the spread of calls for far-right violence, the other the effectiveness of a community-led approach to reducing shootings. 

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

How a militant meme spilled into the real world. In a new report, a nonprofit that tracks hate groups looked at the online spread of the “boogaloo,” a once-fringe concept calling for a second Civil War that would pit rightwing militants against liberals and law enforcement. Use of the term on social media platforms has jumped 50 percent, and some marchers at the January 20 gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia, had the term emblazoned on their shirts. “When you have people talking about and planning sedition and violence against minorities, police and public officials, we need to take their words seriously,” said one homeland security expert.

“Cease-fire” weekends reduce shootings in Baltimore, researchers find. About six to 10 times a year, anti-violence advocates plead for a pause in the gunfire that scars some city neighborhood. A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health suggests the grassroots approach is working, with shootings dropping by an average of 52 percent during cease-fire weekends. Researchers found no evidence that the gunfire had migrated.

Biden continues to hammer Sanders over his past gun votes. In a speech focused on gun policy, the former vice president decried members of Congress “afraid” of the gun lobby and again singled out Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who sided with the National Rifle Association on significant gun safety legislation earlier in his career. Biden’s campaign also circulated a 2012 audio clip featuring Sanders voicing support for the firearm industry’s legal protections, which stem from a 2005 law that Sanders voted for. Sanders told The Trace in June that he now favors repealing it.

A Virginian prohibited from possession guns allegedly had President Trump on a “hit list.” The man had a history of mental health issues and was arrested last fall after illegally purchasing weapons, according to a search warrant obtained by The Informant. The case comes as Virginia lawmakers are about to pass universal background checks and red flag laws to disarm gun owners who pose acute threats.

The father of a slain journalist is fighting YouTube over videos showing the attack. Since 2015, footage filmed by the gunman who killed Virginia TV reporter Alison Parker and a cameraman during a live broadcast has been repeatedly uploaded to the platform — and repeatedly taken down. Now, her father has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, arguing that YouTube is deceiving consumers by continuing to host content that violates its own terms of service.

A waiting period for gun purchases advances in New Hampshire. The state House passed a measure mandating a three-day waiting period for gun purchases. Sponsors say the aim is to reduce suicides. The the state Senate is likely to approve the proposal. New Hampshire’s governor vetoed a similar but stronger bill last year.

DATA POINT

14 percent of the more than 1,100 people hospitalized for gunshot wounds in Philadelphia in 2016 and 2017 experienced some type of paralysis. The associated healthcare costs were about $41 million — more than three-fourths of it covered by Medicaid. Philadelphia Department of Public Health