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News and notes on guns in America

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Daily Bulletin: Sheriff Asks Armed Parents to Not ‘Self-Deploy’ to School Lockdowns

Hello, readers. After another week that ended with still another school shooting, the issue continues to reverberate within sometimes unexpected corners of corporate America, while reformers keep up the pressure and contemplate a bold new action. Those themes and more round out today’s briefing as we all get back down to business following the holiday weekend. Plus: episode three of our podcast partnership is now live.

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Details emerged on the middle school shooting in Indiana, where a seventh-grade science teacher cut short the rampage. When the teenage gunman entered his classroom on Friday morning, Jason Seaman threw a basketball at the student and ran toward him as bullets flew. He was shot as he tackled the assailant. “My actions on that day, in my mind, were the only acceptable actions I could have done given the circumstances,” Seaman, a former college football player, said of his response. He was released from the hospital on Sunday. A 13-year-old student who was also shot remains in critical but stable condition.

A sheriff’s department pleads with gun-owning parents: “Do not self-deploy” to school lockdowns. Law enforcement in Bannock County, Idaho, issued the statement after parents toting AR-15s and unholstered pistols joined the 20 deputies who descended on a high school placed on lockdown last week. (A student had pistol whipped his sister, who feared what he might do next.) “It’s best to let us take care of incidents like this,” said Sheriff Lorin Nielsen. “Because if you respond you will be more of a hindrance, you could be harmed, and you’re going to make it tougher for us to protect the kids.” Related: Law enforcement criticized a Texas man who showed his “support” by open-carrying a handgun near the scene of the Santa Fe, Texas, school shooting.

Some insurers are balking at covering school districts that allow armed teachers or staff. Per the Washington Post: “The reaction of insurance companies is notable because they are supposed to evaluate dangers through the dry eye of actuarial science, largely avoiding the heated emotions of the nation’s gun debate.” For some companies, the risks (or the shortage of data thereon) increase liability to financially unpalatable levels.

Publix grocery stores are suspending donations to an NRA-backed candidate after student activists staged “die-ins” at its stores. March for Our Lives activist David Hogg organized the protests on Friday to urge the company to end its support of Adam Putnam, a Republican candidate for governor who has called himself a “proud NRA sellout.” Publix had donated more than $650,000 to Putnam since last year.

Arne Duncan repeats his call for a school boycott over federal inaction on gun violence. In a commentary segment on CBS Sunday Morning, the former secretary of education elaborated on an idea he endorsed earlier this month: “I am proposing families across this country come together and boycott schools for a few days this fall to send a message to Congress that enough is enough.” Read his full remarks here.

A 2-year-old in Utah accidentally shot himself in the head with his father’s gun. The 27-year-old father, who said he had fallen asleep with his two young sons, has been charged with manslaughter after telling police he kept a loaded handgun with the safety off within arm’s reach. The toddler is not expected to survive. Meanwhile, in Louisiana: A 14-year-old was fatally shot in the chest at a sleepover on Saturday, when his friend was playing with a gun that he didn’t know was loaded. Context: Last week, we reported on a study finding that 4.6 million children live in homes where guns are loaded and unlocked.  

At least eight people were fatally shot and 30 were wounded in Chicago over the holiday weekend. The number of fatalities tracks with past Memorial Day weekends, but the wounded count is lower: In 2017, seven people were killed and 45 were injured and in 2016, eight were killed and 57 were wounded. For the first months of 2018, gun violence in Chicago had been lower than last year, but spiked during the first week of May.

After a gunman began shooting at an Oklahoma restaurant, two patrons shot back, killing him. The 28-year-old gunman, a legal gun owner who was known to police, opened fire from the doorway of an Oklahoma City restaurant on Thursday night, injuring three before fleeing. Two men — one a former police officer, the other a National Guardsman — retrieved guns from the trunks of their cars and engaged the shooter, who was killed in the confrontation. A police captain said the two bystanders will likely be shielded from charges by Good Samaritan laws.

ONE LAST THING

A 19-year-old and his mother remember the day he was shot — by a suspect who still lives down the street. Michael and LaShaunda’s interview with The Trace’s Elizabeth Van Brocklin and the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Amber Hunt is the third segment of a podcast produced by a partnership between our two news organizations. The first two installments were released last week.