‘The Trace’ — Tracking The Latest News On America’s Gun Epidemic

The Trace (10/18/18)

Support for gun laws remains near a two-decade high despite a dip. And a sustained loss of advertising on a Fox News program shows the power of activist-led boycotts. Those stories and more, below. —Beatrix Lockwood, contributor

Six in 10 Americans support stricter gun laws, a Gallup poll published Wednesday found. The share is down 6 percent since the month after the Parkland shooting but remains near a two-decade high. Among Democrats, support for tighter regulations is at 87 percent, compared to 31 percent of Republicans. 

Did the NRA influence the government’s decision to put education funds toward guns? That’s the central question behind a lawsuit filed Wednesday by a coalition of teacher and advocacy groups, including the American Federation of Teachers, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The groups are requesting documents from the Department of Education related to its decision to allow schools to use federal funds to arm teachers. The records “will shed light on whether lobbyists associated with the firearms industry or gun-lobby groups including the National Rifle Association were involved in the Department’s decision,” the lawsuit reads.

Advertisers are still steering clear of a Fox News show months after student-led boycotts. After Fox News host Laura Ingraham mocked Parkland survivor David Hogg on Twitter, teen gun reform activists pushed for an advertiser boycott. Six months later, a number of major brands have not returned to with her program, even as its ratings have increased.

Chicago’s Mayor wants to clean up the city’s most violent neighborhoods. This week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel proposed a $2 million investment toward a neighborhood beautification program that would employ formerly incarcerated people to clean up areas of the city most affected by gun violence. Some research has shown a possible link between urban greening, public health, and crime: Earlier this year, a division of the federal Forest Service found that improvements to abandoned buildings and vacant lots can reduce the frequency of firearm assaults.

A man shot at police and firefighters responding to a fire in Oregon, then shot himself. First responders at a house fire in Springfield, Oregon, Wednesday morning were shot at by a 60-year-old man who was later found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Multiple homes were destroyed in the fire.

A man shot his daughter and his stepson with a single round. The man was reportedly arguing with his adult stepson at a home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when the man’s daughter stepped in to intervene. That’s when he fired his weapon, hitting his daughter in the hand and chest before the bullet made its way into his stepson’s leg. The daughter’s condition is not known. The man claimed self-defense and was released after questioning by law enforcement.

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