What you need to know today
NEW from THE TRACE: What you need to know about congressional negotiations on gun reform. Yesterday we wrote about some of the key points of the framework agreement a bipartisan group of senators struck Sunday. Chip Brownlee, The Trace’s federal correspondent, goes further, writing dispatches about the talks, adding context and fact-checking lawmakers’ claims about the policies to be discussed. One thing to note about investments in mental health services: The agreement would fund an expansion of community behavioral health centers, suicide prevention and mental health programs, and school-based mental health services. In particular, community-based violence intervention programs would also be eligible for funding, a congressional aide familiar with the negotiations told Chip. You can Read the full song herewhich contains a much more detailed breakdown of the current trading settings and will be updated throughout the week.
Neighborhoods with high rates of gun violence have much higher rates of functional disability. This is one of the main conclusions of a new study led by Rutgers sociologist Daniel Semenza who compared shooting and functional disability rates at the census tract level from 2014 to 2018. Focusing on New York, Newark, Philadelphia and Cincinnati, the study found that disabilities functional violence were much more prevalent in neighborhoods with high rates of gun violence than in those with low rates. The researchers also found that non-fatal shootings correlated with higher rates of community disability in young men, but not in older men. Takeaway key: “Our findings highlight a critical need to reduce gun violence in order to potentially reduce the prevalence of functional disability among young men living in disadvantaged communities,” the authors write. They argue that solving the problem requires strategies such as street outreach or hospital-based intervention against violence, but acknowledge that community-based interventions require more rigorous evaluation and funding.
Ohio Governor signs bill making it easier for school personnel to carry guns. The law project allow school districts wishing to participate allow non-police armed personnel into schools. The bill lowers the training threshold for an armed school staff member to a maximum of 24 hours, down over 700 hours training for teachers today.
Homicides have also increased in rural America during the pandemic. CDC data shows homicides are up 25% nationally in rural areas, almost as much as in urban areas. The Wall Street Journal looks how prosecutors and sheriffs in small towns are struggling to keep up, and how hard the outbreak has hit rural communities. Although the reasons are complex, many experts point to the common thread of a pandemic that has disrupted and disconnected communities, much like it has in urban America. “There are parts of our county that don’t even have internet service,” said Tammy Erwin, a victims’ attorney at a rural sheriff’s office in South Carolina. “So it’s not like everyone can just jump on Zoom.”
Meanwhile, some perspective on New York’s surge during the pandemic. Bloomberg Opinion Columnist justin fox crunches the numbers on violent crime in America’s largest city. Homicides in New York have skyrocketed during the pandemic — by 47% in 2020 and around 4% last year. But the city’s homicide rate is still the lowest among America’s largest cities — Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Phoenix — and significantly lower than medium-sized and small metropolitan and rural areas.
28 — the number of states that allow non-security personnel to carry weapons on school property, while nine states explicitly refer to arming school employees. [National Conference of State Legislatures]