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News and notes on guns in America

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[Gabriel Safety Network/YouTube]

Daily Bulletin: A Startup Is Selling Panic Buttons for Mass Shootings

Good morning, Bulletin readers. In today’s roundup: Another loss for gun-rights extremists at the Supreme Court, urgent relief for Parkland survivors, and a provocative idea from current Columbine students.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

The Supreme Court refused to hear a second challenge to the Trump administration’s bump stock ban. The appeal was led by the hard-line Gun Owners of America. The high court rebuffed a separate challenge earlier this week. With the ban having taken effect on Tuesday, possession of the devices subjects violators to federal charges carrying up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A Parkland dad used the moment to urge further federal action. “Please don’t get confused,” Jeff Kasky, father of activist Cameron Kasky, told CNN, “and think that banning bump stocks solves anything more than just a very, very small Band-Aid on a gaping wound.”

A mental health center opened this week near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The suicides of two Parkland survivors within a week of each other prompted local leaders to move up the opening of the New Eagles’ Haven Wellness Center by a month. The center, funded by a Department of Justice grant, offers free counseling and activities, like kickboxing and yoga, for the MSD community. “It’s not, ‘Let’s go to therapy,’” said a junior who survived the shooting. “It’s, ‘Let’s relax and have fun.’”

A Kansas school district admitted that it squelched students’ discussion of gun violence prevention. As part of a settlement agreement, the Shawnee Mission School District admitted it tried to prevent students from discussing gun reform ahead of the post-Parkland nationwide school walkouts, steering them instead to the broader topic of “school safety.”

Three high school students from the same North Carolina county have been fatally shot in less than a month. On Sunday night, James David Currie, 17, a college-bound senior at Dudley High School in Greensboro, was killed in a shooting, details about which were scarce. Six days earlier, Currie’s classmate, James Murray Jr., 18, was shot to death during a dispute between two groups in a crowded park in High Point. On March 2, Sincere Davis, 18, a football player and AP student at Page High School, was shot in front of an apartment complex in Greensboro. He died 10 days later.

The perpetrator of a 2012 gun rampage at a Northern California college has died in prison. One Goh, 50, who fatally shot seven people and wounded three others at Oikos University, a private Christian college in Oakland, died in a prison in Sacramento on March 20. The cause of death was not revealed. Goh, a former student at the school, opened fire in a nursing class. He was sentenced to seven consecutive life sentences plus 271 years in 2017.

A startup is selling mass shooting panic buttons. The first buyers of the fire alarm-style sensors being marketed by Gabriel, an Israeli company, were Jewish community centers in Detroit, The Guardian reports. Slamming a hand on the wall-mounted button alerts security and transmits images and sound to police. A “starter pack” containing 10 buttons costs $10,000. “We’ve been successful at educating a generation on how to deal with fires,” Gabriel’s founder said. “Unfortunately, the challenges that our children today have to deal with are things like active shooter situations and terror attacks.”

ONE LAST THING

A group of Columbine students is advocating for the publication of crime scene photos from mass shootings. A group of current students at the Colorado high school is spearheading the project, which they’re calling “My Last Shot.” They’re asking classmates to put a sticker on the back of their driver’s licenses indicating that they want photos of their bodies made public if they were to ever die in a mass shooting. Journalistic standards generally preclude the publication of graphic images of crime victims. The campaign’s organizers argue that those standards haven’t served public safety, and say they want to “save lives with images of lives lost.” On Wednesday, they tweeted: “When it comes to gun violence ignorance isn’t bliss. So whatever you do, don’t look away.”