Thursday, June 9, 2022 | Kaiser Health News

House Passes Tougher Gun Controls Following Spate Of Mass Shootings

Among the measures, the bill would prohibit people under 21 from purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and outlaw the sale of ammunition magazines over 15 rounds. The legislation, approved in a 223-204 vote Wednesday, is likely doomed in the Senate despite the latest mass tragedies from gun violence.

AP:
House Passes Gun Control Bill After Buffalo, Uvalde Attacks

The House passed a wide-ranging gun control bill Wednesday in response to recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, that would raise the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds. The legislation passed by a mostly party-line vote of 223-204. It has almost no chance of becoming law as the Senate pursues negotiations focused on improving mental health programs, bolstering school security and enhancing background checks. But the House bill does allow Democratic lawmakers a chance to frame for voters in November where they stand on policies that polls show are widely supported. (Freking, 6/9)

The Washington Post:
House Passes Tough New Gun Measures Hours After Wrenching Testimony 

The 223-to-204 vote took place just hours after a House committee heard searing testimony from a young survivor of the May 24 shooting in Uvalde, Tex., as well as the parents of a victim and a pediatrician who responded to the tragedy that left 19 elementary-schoolers and two teachers dead. Five Republicans joined most Democrats in backing the legislation. Two Democrats voted no. “Somewhere out there, there is a mom listening to our testimony, thinking, ‘I can’t even imagine their pain,’ not knowing that our reality will one day be hers, unless we act now,” said Kimberly Rubio, the mother of 10-year-old Lexi Rubio, who was killed in the attack. (DeBonis, 6/8)

The Wall Street Journal:
House Passes Democrats’ Gun Measures As Senate Talks Continue

The House gun bill, called the Protecting Our Kids Act, would raise the age for purchasing semiautomatic rifles and shotguns to 21 from 18. It also would require gun owners to store their guns so that minors can’t access them without permission, imposing as many as five years in prison if a child accesses an unsecured gun and kills or hurts someone. The bill would make it a federal crime to engage in straw purchases—the buying of a gun for someone else—or gun trafficking, which is the illegal trading of guns. It also would ban licensed dealers from selling guns with magazines that can hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition. And it would ban devices known as bump stocks, which make semiautomatic rifles shoot like rapid-fire machine guns, putting into law a regulatory ban. (Hughes, 6/8)

Who voted for the bill, and who didn’t —

The Hill:
Here Are The House Republicans Who Broke With The Party On Guns 

A handful of House Republicans bucked their party to vote for gun legislation on Wednesday, supporting measures that were introduced after the mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y. and Uvalde, Texas last month. (Schnell, 6/8)

The Hill:
These Four Democrats Voted Against Parts Of The Gun Package

Four Democrats broke from the party and objected to aspects of a sweeping gun package the House passed on Wednesday, which was introduced in the aftermath of last month’s mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y. and Uvalde, Texas. (Schnell, 6/8)

On late-night TV, President Biden pushes for gun control —

Politico:
Biden Urges Americans To Make Guns ‘a Voting Issue’ 

President Joe Biden on Wednesday said gun safety policy must become “a voting issue” as Americans head to the polls for midterms. “You’ve got to make sure that this becomes a voting issue,” the president said on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in his second appearance on a late-night show in his presidency and his first in person. “It’s got to be one of those issues where you decide your position on the issue of senator or candidate for House or Senate, on what we’re going to do with assault weapons … what you say on those things is going to determine how I vote for you. It should be one of those issues.” (Ward, 6/9)

Reuters:
Biden Says Republicans Bullied By Gun Lobby During Late-Night Show Visit 

U.S President Joe Biden on Wednesday blamed the lack of any progress on gun safety on intimidation by the gun lobby, and he called on voters to make it a deciding issue come November during his first in-person appearance on a late-night talk show. Biden told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel that the National Rifle Association has bullied Republicans into thinking that “if they vote for rational gun policy, they’re going to be primaried.” (Hunnicutt and Renshaw, 6/9)

11-Year-Old Survivor, Families Of Uvalde Victims Testify In Congress

News outlets report on the harrowing testimony of Miah Cerrillo, a survivor of the Uvalde mass shooting who made a 911 call for help using her dead teacher’s phone. The only pediatrician in the town also spoke before Congress, saying that to do nothing would be “neglectful” to his Hippocratic Oath.

NBC News:
Uvalde Victim’s Parents And A Student Who Survived Testify Before Congress

Miah Cerrillo, a fourth grader at Robb Elementary who survived the shooting after smearing her dead classmate’s blood on herself and pretending to be dead, shared her story with members of Congress Wednesday. “We were just watching a movie,” the 11-year-old testified in a prerecorded video, saying her teacher went to go lock the door of her classroom and made eye contact with the gunman.”She went back in the room and she told us, ‘Go hide,’ and then we went to go hide behind my teacher’s desk and behind the backpacks, and then he shot through the window.” Miah said she witnessed the gunman say “good night” and shoot their teacher in the head. “He shot some of my classmates and the whiteboard,” she said. Miah described how she put her friend’s blood all over herself, “stayed quiet” and retrieved her dead teacher’s phone to call 911. When asked if she feels safe at school after the massacre, Miah shook her head. “I don’t want it to happen again,” she said. (Shabad, 6/8)

The Washington Post:
Survivor Miah Cerillo Recounts Horror Of Uvalde School Shooting

Miah Cerrillo used to spend her days playing with her family’s dogs and making TikTok videos, relishing the simple joys of being an 11-year-old.After surviving the school shooting in Uvalde, Tex., last month, that little girl now startles at a dog bark, running to hide when one of the family pets gets too loud. “This is not our Miah. This is not our TikTok dancer. This is not our playful Miah, you know? This is not our Miah,” her father, Miguel Cerrillo, said in an interview moments after he briefly testified at the House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on gun violence Wednesday. “She’s outgoing, but it’s not … it’s not our daughter. It’s not daddy’s little girl anymore. It’s a whole different story. She’s way different now.” (Sotomayor, 6/8)

The Texas Tribune:
Uvalde Student Testifies That She Covered Herself In A Friend’s Blood To Survive 

Kimberly Rubio, a local newspaper reporter and the mother of 10-year-old Lexi Rubio, who died that day, described dropping her children off at the school and attending end-of-school-year awards ceremonies that morning. … She called for a ban on assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, raising the age to purchase certain guns, keeping guns out of the hands of people deemed to be a risk to themselves or others, stronger background checks and to repeal gun manufacturers’ immunity from liability. “We understand for some reason to some people, to people with money, to people who fund political campaigns, that guns are more important than children,” Rubio said. “So at this moment we ask for progress.” (Livingston, 6/8)

ABC News:
Uvalde Pediatrician Recalls Mass Shooting Horror 

Dr. Roy Guerrero, the only pediatrician in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 schoolchildren and two teachers were killed by a gunman on May 24, discussed the shooting, his thoughts on the Second Amendment and his testimony Wednesday before Congress in an exclusive interview with ABC News. Guerrero lost five of his young patients in the shooting, two of which he knew since they were 5 days old. Now “they’re gone,” he said. (Yamada, 6/8)

The Washington Post:
Mom Of Buffalo Shooting Victim Testifies, ‘This Is Exactly Who We Are’

The mother of a man who was among those shot during last month’s mass shooting at a Buffalo grocery store offered powerful testimony before Congress on Wednesday about how “America is inherently violent” and admonished lawmakers opposing stricter gun laws after a spate of shootings across the country. Zeneta Everhart [is] the mother of 21-year-old Zaire Goodman, who was wounded but survived the racially motivated attack on the Tops supermarket on May 14. … “To the lawmakers who feel that we do not need stricter gun laws, let me paint a picture for you: My son Zaire has a hole in the right side of his neck, two on his back and another on his left leg caused by an exploding bullet from an AR-15,” said Everhart, who paused in describing her son’s injuries. “As I clean his wounds, I can feel pieces of that bullet in his back. Shrapnel will be left inside of his body for the rest of his life. Now, I want you to picture that exact scenario for one of your children.” (Wang, Sotomayor and Bella, 6/8)

A survey finds that Texas teachers don’t want to be armed —

The Texas Tribune:
Texas Teachers Union Survey Finds That School Employees Don’t Want To Be Armed

A survey of nearly 4,000 K-12 teachers in Texas found that most do not want to be armed while in class or be expected to intercept a gunman at school, according to the state’s teachers union, which released its survey results Wednesday. The Texas American Federation of Teachers sent an online questionnaire to its 65,000 members, which include public school teachers, support personnel and higher education employees, a week after an 18-year-old gunman killed 21 people — including 19 children — at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Soon after the shooting, Texas Republicans said the solution could be arming teachers. (Lopez, 6/8)

More on AR-15-style rifles —

CNN:
Video: How AR-15 Style Guns Create ‘Explosion Inside The Body’

Researchers at Wayne State University use gelatin to demonstrate how AR-15 styles weapons create an “explosion inside the body” compared to handguns. CNN’s Josh Campbell reports. (6/9)

CNN:
Watch: Gun Owners Explain Their Love Of AR-15 Style Rifles

While AR-15 style rifles have a political and symbolic value for some gun owners, others say they are simply enjoyable to own. CNN’s Randi Kaye goes behind the reasons why. (6/9)

In state news —

The Hill:
Here Are Some Of The States With The Strictest And Weakest Gun Laws 

Gun laws have taken center stage amid a series of mass shootings across the country and a revived interest in reform efforts. While some states have stronger policies like strict background check requirements, others have weaker regulations like younger age restrictions on who can possess a firearm. Here’s a closer look at some of the states with the strongest and weakest gun laws in the U.S.  (Beals, 6/8)

Health News Florida:
New School Safety Law Requires Campus Cops To Complete Mental Health Crisis Training

Two weeks after a deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, reignited debates about gun violence and securing schools, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday that will require mental health crisis intervention training for on-campus officers. The measure also will make other school-safety changes, including giving the State Board of Education rulemaking authority over emergency drills. The Legislature formally sent the bill (HB 1421) to DeSantis a day after the May 24 shooting in Uvalde that left 19 children and two adults dead. DeSantis’ office announced the signing Tuesday in a news release without a public appearance. He also signed four other bills from the 2022 legislative session. (Dailey, 6/8)

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