Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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Protesters gather near the site of a police shooting on August 23 in Kenosha, Wisconsin. [WDJT-TV via AP]

Daily Bulletin: New Police Shootings Spark Outrage in Two Cities

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New police shootings stoke protests. Police officers responding to reports of a man with a knife in Lafayette, Louisiana, fatally shot Trayford Pellerin, 31, at a gas station on Friday night. They had followed him for half a mile and first shot him with a taser, a police spokesperson said. A bystander said officers fired their guns 10 times. Pellerin’s mother said he suffered from anxiety. “Instead of giving him a helping hand they gave him bullets,” said civil rights attorney Ben Crump. Protesters gathered at the scene and blocked traffic and the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center are demanding an investigation. On Sunday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, officers shot and critically wounded Jacob Blake, 29, in front of his three young sons. Witnesses said he was trying to break up a fight between two women, and a video of the incident shows him walking away from police as they follow him to his car and shoot him in the back. Large crowds formed at the scene and marched downtown, where city and police vehicles were set on fire. State officials are investigating.

Far-right protesters clash with Black Lives Matter and left-wing activists in Portland, Oregon. Members of right-wing militias and the neo-fascist Proud Boys, some of them carrying assault-style rifles, assembled at a courthouse downtown under the guise of a pro-police rally and were met by counter-protesters. Police said the ensuing skirmishes met the definition of a riot, but officers did not intervene because they were outnumbered and “tired from responding to a much smaller and less volatile protest that was declared a riot the night before,” The Washington Post reported.

Gun dealers continue to confront inventory shortages. Retailers across the country are having trouble restocking ammunition as manufacturers struggle to keep up with increased demand. During an earnings call this month, the CEO of Vista Outdoor said the shortage may continue into next year, adding that “free time” during the pandemic “has given people more opportunities to recreate in real time” and burn through their ammo purchases more quickly than usual. Gun shop owners told The Trace’s Champe Barton that inventory slowed to a trickle beginning in May, preventing them from capitalizing on the biggest boom the industry has ever seen.

ICYMI: Will record gun sales shift how Americans vote? The National Rifle Association and like-minded groups have described the sales surge as a vindication of their message — and a turning point in the gun debate. But according to interviews Will Van Sant conducted with academics, several of whom are gun rights defenders or critics of what they consider the sometimes patronizing approach of gun safety advocates, the sales are unlikely to produce huge shifts in public opinion or voting patterns, partly because the country is already so polarized, and partly because only a very small share of gun owners become active in gun rights. Read the article.

An anti-violence advocate was killed in Louisville. Kimberly Jarboe, 49, was found shot to death on a street in the Kentucky city. A driver for the local transit authority, Jarboe got involved in gun violence prevention 10 years ago after the murder of her 15-year-old son. “What I’ve seen over the course of a decade is nothing but an unselfish person willing to lend themselves time and time again,” fellow activist Christopher 2X told The Courier Journal.

DATA POINT

At least 1,255 people have been shot in Philadelphia so far this year — surpassing full-year totals for both 2015 and 2017. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]