Wednesday, February 23, 2022 |  Kaiser Health News

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

Senate Gun Talks At Pivotal Point But Quick Action Unlikely

Some lawmakers say they are encouraged that negotiations could yield new gun measures. Yet, as the players shift, a compromise is still far off. And others worry that the limited proposals that could pass wouldn’t do enough to curb the spate of violence.

Reuters: US Senate Democrats Say Getting Closer To Gun-Violence Compromised

Democrats in the US Senate said on Tuesday they were encouraged by talks with Republicans on firearms legislation, but warned that any compromise would fall well short of all the steps they say are needed to curb gun violence. “Every day we get closer to an agreement, not farther away,” said Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who is working with Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas on a possible deal. (Cowan and Sullivan, 6/7)

The Washington Post: After Uvalde, Hopes For Quick Gun Legislation Fade; Senate Negotiators Plead For Patience

Senators buckled down Tuesday for days of additional negotiations on a response to recent high-profile mass shootings, retreating from earlier calls for quick action even as they expressed optimism that a long-elusive deal to address gun violence might eventually be possible. The calls for patience came as a small bipartisan group of senators continues delicate talks on a legislative package that could include the first significant new federal gun restrictions in three decades, along with provisions dealing with school security and mental health. But they are fighting a tide of recent history demonstrating that Congress’s appetite for action tends to quickly fade as tragedies such as the killings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Tex., last month fade from the headlines. (DeBonis, 6/7)

NBC News: John Cornyn, ‘Linchpin’ Of A Gun Safety Deal, Seeks To Tame GOP Fears On Gun Rights

As bipartisan talks on legislation to tackle gun violence heat up, the chief Senate Republican negotiator, John Cornyn of Texas, has found himself in a familiar place: swatting away unfounded claims that the Senate is scheming to trample the Second Amendment. “I want to be clear, though: We are not talking about restricting the rights of current law-abiding gun owners or citizens,” Cornyn said Monday in a floor speech. “What I’m interested in is keeping guns out of the hands of those who, by current law, are not supposed to have them: people with mental health problems, people who have criminal records.” (Kapur, 6/8)

Oklahoman: Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole Signals House GOP Opposition To Gun Bills

US Rep. Tom Cole signaled House Republican opposition on Tuesday to a package of gun bills headed for a House vote after a string of mass shootings, saying the legislation was “deeply misguided.” Cole, of Moore, the top Republican on the House Rules Committee, said he understood “the outrage, the anger and the frustration that emerges” after shootings like the recent ones in Uvalde, Buffalo and Tulsa. But he said the proposed “red flag” law could deny due-process rights, while legislation banning high-capacity magazines and raising the age to buy some semi-automatic firearms could deny Second Amendment rights. Cole said the country was “in the midst of a widespread mental health crisis.” (Casteel, 6/7)

CNN: Conservative Wyoming Senator Rethinking Gun Legislation After Constituents Flood Her Office With Calls Urging Action

In the immediate aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting, which left 19 children and two teachers dead, Republican Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming said she doubted that ideas being weighed in Congress to curb gun violence would be welcomed in her very pro-gun state. … But two weeks later, Lummis signaled a fresh openness Tuesday to find legislative solutions to gun violence after she was “surprised” that her office was flooded with calls from constituents expressing a deep desire to do something to stop the spate of mass shootings across the country. (Barrett, 6/7)

NBC News: Lucy McBath, Who Lost Her Son To Gun Violence, Plans To Introduce Red Flag Law To Congress

Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., lost her 17-year-old son, Jordan Davis, after a man complaining about loud music opened fire on a car of teens at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station in 2012. … The life -altering loss of her son turned the former flight attendant into an advocate, one who subsequently assumed public roles with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, McBath joined fellow Black mothers who’ve lost children to violence as one of the Mothers of the Movement. (Owens, 6/8)

On gun violence and its effect on mental health —

CNN: Student Who Survived Uvalde Shooting And Others Testify On Gun Violence At House Hearing On Wednesday

A House committee will hear testimony on gun violence at a hearing on Wednesday, including from a fourth-grade student who survived the horrific mass shooting last month at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that shocked the nation. Eleven-year-old Miah Cerrillo spoke with CNN recently about her experience and described in chilling detail how she had been afraid the gunman would kill her so she had smeared herself with a friend’s blood and played dead. Wednesday’s hearing will provide a high-profile platform for Cerrillo and others directly impacted by gun violence to tell their harrowing stories to the American public. It is rare for Congress to hear testimony from someone as young as Cerrillo on a subject as sensitive and disturbing as gun violence. (Foran, 6/8)

Houston Chronicle: Santa Fe School Shooting Survivors Feel Betrayed By Texas

After Santa Fe, lawmakers put together nearly $100 million for mental health resources for teens and children. Only about an eighth of districts across the state used any of the funds for mental health support, according to the School Safety Center’s report. A state task force later discovered the Texas Education Agency wasn’t actually measuring the impact of those programs, and couldn’t even count the number of students served or “any standard outcomes” they measure. In the days after the Uvalde massacre, Abbott issued a slew of press releases. During a news conference in Uvalde, he said he considered the work of the 2019 legislative session “one of the most profound” lawmaking efforts not just in Texas, but “in any state” to address school shootings. (Barned-Smith and Dexheimer, 6/7)

The Guardian: ‘They Had No Empathy’: For Gun Violence Survivors, Police Response Can Be Retraumatizing

For Americans who have lost family members to gun violence, the scene outside Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, was all too familiar. The yellow caution tape. The distraught parents shouting at law enforcement officials and begging them for action or answers. And the officers’ response: reports and footage of relatives being restrained and allegations that some parents were even handcuffed or Tasered. “They had no empathy,” Yvonne Trice, an activist from California whose son was killed in 2015, said of the police treatment of relatives in Uvalde. (Beckett, 6/6)

Also —

ABC News: Yubo App Allegedly Used By Uvalde Gunman Adds New ‘Safety Features’ Following Shooting

Representatives of the social media app Yubo said on Tuesday that the platform is adding new safety features and updating its usage guidelines following news that the accused Robb Elementary School gunman allegedly used the app to send disturbing messages that appear to have gone unnoticed in the days leading up to the deadly shooting. … Yubo representatives said that since the Uvalde shooting, they have updated the app’s risk-detection policy, enhanced its user-reporting capabilities, and introduced audio-moderation technology for live streams that they say will allow for “comprehensive automatic moderation across the platform.” (Steakin, 6/7)

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