Rounds

News and notes on guns in America

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[Tyler LaRiviere/Chicago Sun-Times via AP]

Daily Bulletin: Outside a Chicago Funeral Home, 15 More People Shot

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WHAT TO KNOW TODAY

Mass shooting at a Chicago funeral home leaves at least 15 wounded. The Tuesday evening attack was “among the bloodiest single incidents of violence in modern Chicago history,” reports the Sun-Times. It occurred around 6:30 p.m. as people in a car fired on mourners leaving a service that was reportedly for a 31-year-old man fatally shot last week. Some in attendance returned fire. The wounded were treated at five area hospitals, with conditions ranging from serious to critical. Police recovered 60 shell casings and have taken one person of interest into custody.

The incident comes as community leaders warily eye President Trump’s plan to send federal agents to the city. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she had received assurances that federal agents reportedly on their way to Chicago would come from the FBI, DEA, and ATF and “help manage and suppress violent crime in our city.” But she and some local advocates rejected any increased federal presence if it mirrored a crackdown in Portland that saw camouflaged federal agents detaining protesters.

Effort to curb flow of military-grade weapons to local police falls short in the Senate. A Democratic amendment would have curtailed 1033 Program, through which the Department of Defense transfers surplus military wares including assault rifles, vehicles, and rubber bullets to police forces around the country. The rider received majority support but fell short of the necessary 60-vote threshold. The 1033 Program has disbursed over $7 billion in combat-grade gear to departments since its creation in the 1990s. Because the amendment was part of a must-pass defense bill, The New York Times notes the vote likely ensures that Congress will pass no major police reforms this year as bipartisan bills have stalled.

Hotter than expected days may mean more mass shootings. Previous research has linked hotter weather with more violence, either because warm days mean more people outdoors and accessible to perpetrators, or because heat can lead to irritability and from there to aggression. A new study published in The Journal of Primary Prevention accounts for seasonal weather swings by looking at the difference between the expected and actual temperature on a given day. When temps are hotter than usual, multi-victim shooters are more frequent, the authors found; add in the higher incidence of crime recorded on weekends and holidays and “these effects would render an unusually hot weekend Independence Day an order of magnitude riskier than a typical summer weekday.” The authors hope their work can help cities anticipate days when more gun violence prevention resources may be needed.

St. Louis expands Cure Violence operation. The city’s first Cure Violence site went live earlier this summer, the culmination of a years-long effort by activists in the city to enlist the national violence prevention organization that deploys outreach workers to de-escalate street conflicts. The St. Louis mayor has now selected two additional sites for Cure Violence operations, which will begin August 1. Officials hope the program can help fight one of the nation’s worst gun violence problems, which is surging toward a new record this year.

Bronx community leaders launch resident-driven gun violence prevention group. Spurred by a shooting uptick in New York City, the Save Our Sons and Sisters initiative will organize anti-gun violence marches and raise awareness about street outreach efforts. The group has rallies planned for Thursday and Friday of this week. “A lot of parents, mothers, fathers, are going through the same thing I’m going through, we have to speak out,” said a Bronx mother involved in the effort who recently lost her 17-year-old son to a fatal shooting.

DATA POINT

Fifty-nine percent of Black Americans support “reducing funding for police departments and spending that money on social services instead” — compared to 37 percent opposed. The support was the highest of any group polled. Overall, 40 percent of Americans support cutting police funding. [Washington Post-ABC News poll]