Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Daily Bulletin: Americans Say Mass Shootings Were the 2nd Most Important News Event of the Year

Good morning, Bulletin readers. We’ve released an entirely overhauled version of our interactive map of gun violence, which shows the location of a half-decade worth of incidents recorded in the Gun Violence Archive. Enter an address with meaning to you, and the map will display how shootings have marked your corner of the country. You’ll find a link, plus a sweep of today’s stories of note, after the jump.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

NEW from THE TRACE: Five years of shootings, mapped. Trace graphics and data editor Daniel Nass used data from Gun Violence Archive, which compiles incidents of gun violence from media and law enforcement reports, to build an interactive atlas of gun violence in America. From January 1, 2014 through December 13, 2018, there have been more than 150,000 shootings in the United States, not counting the firearms suicides that are the leading type of gun death. Enter an address at the prompt and see how many have occurred near the places you care about.

Americans regarded mass shootings as the second most important news event of the year. According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 19 percent of American adults said gun rampages like the ones in Parkland and Pittsburgh were the most important news story of 2018. More than a third of respondents ranked mass shootings in the top two, alongside the economy.

The federal school safety commission formed in response to Parkland plans to rescind an Obama-era discipline policy. According to documents obtained by The New York Times, the commission, led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, is retracting a set of policies from 2014 that aim to ensure minority students aren’t disproportionately punished. The commission has eschewed gun reform in favor of scrutinizing Obama-era policies, though “none of the most high-profile school shootings were perpetrated by black students,” The Times noted.

Philadelphia’s murder rate is on track to hit an 11-year high… As of Friday, the city recorded 326 homicides, a 9 percent jump from the same period last year, and the highest number since 2007. That works out to about one murder a day.

…While homicides in New Orleans have dropped to their lowest point in nearly a half-century. So far this year there have been 137 homicides in the city, down 9 percent from the same time last year. If current trends hold, New Orleans will see 144 homicides this year, the lowest number since 1971. Shootings are also down 30 percent. While experts caution against drawing broad conclusions from single-year swings, New Orleans’s police superintendent is crediting the increased use of public surveillance cameras and a focus on arresting repeat offenders.

As America’s leading gun makers struggle to keep up with demand for AR-15s, boutique rifle manufacturers are thriving. A former machine shop in Kentucky sold 454,000 assault-style rifles in 2016 — or 57,000 more than Smith & Wesson. More than two dozen other small gun makers produced 10,000 or more rifles that year, U.S. News reports, mainly because larger manufacturers had trouble meeting a spike in demand. The rise of these smaller manufacturers has gone largely unnoticed by gun reform activists, who have applied shareholder pressure to “big three” gun makers Remington, Ruger, and American Outdoor.

ONE LAST THING

Black women are more likely to be killed by their intimate partners than women of nearly every other race. HuffPost’s examination of the fatal shooting of a pregnant woman in Texas in September comes with a reminder of a grim fact: Black women are four times more likely than their white peers to be murdered by a dating partner, and twice as likely to be killed by a spouse. In the article, journalist Melissa Jeltsen looks at reasons black women are vulnerable to intimate partner violence: Economic hardships leave some unable to break ties with abusive partners, and over-policing of black communities dissuades others from seeking help from a criminal justice system they do not trust to treat them and their children fairly.