Another Weekend Of Gun Violence In America | Crooked Media
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June 05, 2022
What A Day
Another Weekend Of Gun Violence In America

In This Episode

  • There were at least five mass shootings this weekend in a matter of 27 hours, according to the Gun Violence Archive. This slate of recent mass shootings, which include Buffalo and Uvalde, has compelled Congressional lawmakers to try to take action on gun control. A group of bipartisan senators may present a package on gun restrictions as early as this week.
  • For parents who lost children in the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas, there are few legal avenues for them to pursue accountability or ensure that a tragedy like this doesn’t happen again. However, some may try a strategy used by the Sandy Hook victims’ families — going after the gun manufacturers in court.
  • And in headlines: a Catholic church in Nigeria was attacked, a series of Russian airstrikes hit Kyiv, and there’s a staffing shortage of lifeguards in the U.S.

 

Show Notes:

 

 

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Transcript

 

Tre’vell Anderson: It’s Monday, June 6th. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: And I’m Josie Duffy Rice, and this is What A Day, congratulating vaccinated tennis star Rafael Nadal on winning the French Open this weekend.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: He also became the oldest person to win the French Open.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Oh my God.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: At 36 years old. So shout out to him.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Wait a second. Does this mean I’m never going to win the French Open?

 

Tre’vell Anderson: On today’s show, Britain celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign this weekend. Plus, the parents of one child killed in Uvalde Texas might soon take a gun maker to court.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: But first, another weekend, another mass shooting. And actually, according to the gun violence archive, there were at least five mass shootings this weekend, and in a matter of 27 hours, no less. So let’s start in Philadelphia, Tre’vell. Walk us through what happened there.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So at the time of our recording Sunday night, authorities say three people were killed and 11 others were injured Saturday night in a shooting in downtown Philadelphia. Reports say it was just before midnight at a busy intersection on South Street where, according to the police department, hundreds of people were, you know, simply living their best lives. Then, quote, “several active shooters” started shooting. The Philadelphia Inquirer corroborated speculation from Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw that the shooting started during a physical altercation between two people and a third person, including one of the people killed in the incident. Outlaw also said that an officer responding to gunshots in the area witnessed a man firing into the crowd and that the officer attempted to detain him by shooting at the gunman three times before losing him in the crowd. Police recovered two guns from the scene, including one with an extended magazine. And they say they collected shell casings from at least five different caliber guns.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Oh, my God. Just awful. So what do we know about the victims at this point?

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So information is still coming out about them, but they were 34-year old Gregory Japan Jackson, 27-year old Alexis Quinn, and Khristopher Minners, who was 22 and a resident adviser at Girard College. The other 11 wounded ranged in age from 17 to 69.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Then there was another shooting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, early Sunday morning. This would be the city’s second mass shooting for the second weekend in a row. What happened there?

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Officials say the shooting happened just before 3 a.m. outside a bar in downtown Chattanooga. At the time of our recording, they say there were likely multiple shooters, although details are still unfolding. They have no one in custody, but in terms of the victims, the incident left three dead and at least 14 others injured. Two people died from gunshot wounds and a third died after being hit by a car that was trying to leave the scene. Three of the other 14 injured were also hit by vehicles fleeing the scene. And this shooting, as you mentioned, came after there was another one last weekend in which six teens were shot.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: That’s just unbelievable. I mean, in other countries, you can go to a bar without worrying that six people will be killed. That’s just two of the five mass shootings this weekend, unbelievably. So what are the other three places where there were shootings?

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah. So a 14-year old girl was fatally shot in a Phoenix, Arizona incident that injured at least eight others over the weekend. Then in Mesa, Arizona, two men were killed and two others wounded outside a bar there. And in Socorro, Texas, a suburb of El Paso, five teens were shot and wounded Saturday night at a graduation party.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Now, this slate of recent mass shootings, which include Buffalo and Uvalde, has reignited conversations about gun control. And we might have some movement on this in Congress this week. So what can you tell us about that?

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, it looks like Republicans and Democrats in the Senate might finally be coming to a consensus of sorts on what federal action to take. Democratic Senator Chris Murphy from Connecticut has been working with Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn on a bipartisan package that can pass the Senate. Here’s Murphy on CNN’s State of the Union yesterday explaining what could be in it:

 

[clip of Sen. Chris Murphy] We are talking about a meaningful change in our gun laws, a major investment in mental health, perhaps some money for school security that would make a difference. On the table is red flag laws, changes to our background check system to improve the existing system, a handful of other items that will make a difference. Can we get there by the end of next week, as Senator Schumer has requested? I don’t know. But as late as last night, we were engaged in conversations about trying to put a package together, because I think Republicans realize how scared parents and kids are across this country–that it’s frankly a test of democracy, it’s a test of the federal government as to whether we can deliver at a moment of just fierce anxiety among the American public. So we’re closer than ever before. Let’s see if we land it.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: One of the things I found interesting from that interview is that Murphy was clear to note that the focus is on putting together a plan that will get the necessary 60 votes to pass, meaning that more progressive ideas like a ban on assault weapons, for example, will likely not be part of the plan. So that’s something to watch for this week. On top of house democrats trying to advance gun control legislation as well. But speaking of Uvalde, Josie, there is information about a potential lawsuit. What can you tell us there?

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Well, Tre’vell, as we know, thanks to the second amendment and our government’s insistence on the broadest possible reading of ‘well-regulated militia’–meaning not regulated at all-it’s very difficult to impart any meaningful safeguards around who can purchase firearms and when, noting what you just said, which is that banning assault weapons is a progressive idea–which is crazy. You know, for parents who have lost children and Uvalde, there are very few legal avenues for them to pursue accountability, or better yet, ensure that this tragedy doesn’t happen again. However, one of those possible legal strategies which has been used before is going after the gun manufacturers in court. And it looks like that’s what some Uvalde parents might do.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: All right. Got you. So now what does a lawsuit against the gun manufacturer even look like?

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Well, at this early stage, it looks like gathering information. A teacher from Robb Elementary, as well as the parents of Amerie Jo Garza, one of the children who was killed, have filed what’s called in Texas, a pre-suit deposition, which is a request to get information from Daniel Defense. And that’s the company that manufactured the AR15 that the gunman used to kill 21 people, including 19 kids.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: All right. So now what kind of information are they looking for?

 

Josie Duffy Rice: They’re looking for a lot of stuff. So, one, they’re looking for any communication the company had with the shooter, as well as information about marketing and lobbying efforts, information about NRA donations, sales data, and any details the company has on how many deaths have been caused by its guns in the past decade. They’re also looking at what the company did in response to the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017. You may remember that one, where hundreds of people were injured and dozens killed when a shooter fired onto the crowd of a music festival from his hotel room. The shooter in that case also possessed multiple Daniel Defense-manufactured AR-15s. So they’re kind of trying to see what the company did after that. What’s really interesting is that the parents and teachers want to know, quote, “facts surrounding Daniel Defense’s pattern of marketing its products in a manner associating firearms and minors by posting on social media.” So they’re asking for this because since the shooting, the defense has been accused of trying to aim their marketing to young people, including a pretty serious Instagram presence, right? That’s according to NPR. And as you know, the Uvalde shooter was just 18. So they’re kind of trying to see why he chose this manufactured gun to do this.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Right. So they asked for this information. What’s next?

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Well, there’s very little expectation that Daniel Defense is just going to hand over this information, right? Nobody thinks they’re going to be, Our bad, and give them all the documents. Either way, I think the expectation is that a lawsuit will be filed and the plaintiffs probably have to fight to get that information turned over before they can proceed with the lawsuit.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Gotcha. So now you said that suing gun manufacturers in situations like this has actually happened before. What happened in those cases?

 

Josie Duffy Rice: It’s really one main case and it’s the Sandy Hook. So after Sandy Hook, nine families sued Remington Arms. That was the manufacturer of the AR-15 used in that shooting. And just this past February, those families settled with the company for $73 million. And also, Remington Arms is now bankrupt. So it has happened before, though those victories–if you can call them victories because it’s not really a victory if your kids already been killed in their classroom, right–but those wins have been few and far between. But the good news is that the lawyer in the Sandy Hook case is now representing the parents and teacher in the Uvalde case. So there is hope. And that is the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads.

 

[ad break]

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Now let’s wrap up with some headline.

 

[sung] Headlines.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: The southwestern Nigerian city of Owo is in mourning after multiple gunmen opened fire and detonated bombs in a Catholic church on Sunday, killing worshipers. The exact death toll of the massacre has yet to be confirmed as we go to record this, but officials say that at least 50 people are dead, many of which were children gathering with their families for Pentecost. It’s unknown why the church was targeted, and no group has taken responsibility for the attack, nor have any suspects been identified. But the tragedy has reawakened residents outrage toward Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, whose government has been widely criticized for its inaction on the country’s long-standing security crisis. Kidnappings and killings are regular occurrences in Nigeria, though the region where yesterday’s attack occurred is considered to be relatively peaceful. The governor of Ondo, the state where Owo is located, said of Sunday’s attack, quote, “Our peace and tranquility have been attacked by the enemies of the people.”

 

Josie Duffy Rice: A series of Russian airstrikes hit Kiev on Sunday, injuring at least one person and destroying multiple buildings. This is the first time Ukraine’s capital has been attacked in over a month, and the attack comes days after the war in Ukraine entered its 100th day. On Friday, many Kievites who fled the city in the earlier days of Russia’s invasion were planning to return home after Russian forces withdrew from the region, but Vitali Klitschko, the mayor of Kiev, urged them to stay where they are yesterday, saying, quote, “Please do not ignore the air alarms.” Moscow claims that Sunday’s attack destroyed tanks that were donated to Ukraine by the West, but journalists on the ground in Kiev say there were no weapons or tanks in the affected areas. Either way, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a threat to the West yesterday, warning that Moscow would hit, quote, “objects that we haven’t yet struck” if it supplied Ukraine with more long-range missiles. So that’s not the best.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Not at all.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: No.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Concerns over Queen Elizabeth’s mobility issues were outweighed by her endless desire to party, and she made one final appearance at her Platinum Jubilee yesterday after skipping the festivities on Friday and Saturday. For a refresher, Jubilee is the United Kingdom’s periodic celebration of a monarch’s tenure on the throne. The Platinum Jubilee signifies 70 years of back breaking royal labor, and at 96-years old, Queen Elizabeth is the only person in British history to qualify for the honor. The Queen made her showing yesterday from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, flanked by her heirs, including Prince Charles and Prince William. Harry and Meghan were notably absent, having renounced their royal status to become podcast royalty. Below, a crowd gathered as the Royal Marine Band played Britain’s national anthem, God Save the Queen, and then Disco’s national anthem, “Dancing Queen”. For the event that the Queen wasn’t able to attend, the organizers of Jubilee worked hard to make up for it. During a pageant, they projected a hologram of her from her day of Coronation in 1953 on to the window of a gilded gold stagecoach. That created the illusion that the Queen was not only healthy enough to participate, but had also become 27 again by magic. Organizers also pre-produced a video of the Queen having tea with icon of British film and literature, Paddington Bear, and used that video to kick off the Jubilee big concert. Here is an excerpt from that video which shows the Queen pulling a sandwich out of her purse:

 

[clip of Paddington Bear] Perhaps you would like a marmalade sandwich. I always keep one for emergencies.

 

[clip of Queen Elizabeth] So do I. I keep mine in here. For later.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: But far be it for me to defend the monarchy, but I do want to say that not showing up to a celebration for you two days in a row that the entire country’s participating in and then pulling a sandwich out of your purse is the kind of energy I hope to bring into my nineties, you know?

 

Tre’vell Anderson: It truly is icon behavior if we’re being honest.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: It really is. It really is. There’s a staffing shortage of maybe the least controversial kind of first responder: lifeguards. According to the American Lifeguard Association, about one third of public pools around the U.S. are affected, with many of them unable to open or forced to shorten their hours. The factors leading this country’s towering white chairs to sit unoccupied are numerous. The pandemic is an obvious one, having sidelined many lifeguards over the last two years and made them miss out on opportunities to train and get certified. Additionally, despite all the opportunities it provides to show off your pecs, lifeguarding might not be a desirable job for the college and high school students who often get hired given the hours of unpaid training it requires, paired with wages that max out around $16 an hour in most cities. Lastly, and this is just us guessing here at WAD, but it can’t help the lifeguard crisis with the Baywatch reboot from 2017 was bad. Also, I can’t believe that was 2017. I would have guessed that was last year. Time is a construct. If in spite of all of this, you want to step up and answer the zinc oxide’s call, here’s what it takes to be a lifeguard, according to a parks director from North Carolina. Quote, “You have to be able to swim 300 yards without stopping. You have to be able to tread water for 2 minutes with just your legs. And you need to be able to pull a 10-pound object from the bottom of the pool.” I am out of the running for lifeguarding, immediately.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: I’m just surprised that no one mentioned that maybe people don’t want to do like CPR on folks in the middle of a pandemic. That seems like an important, you know, thing to me. I don’t know.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Yes. Also, you can’t be on your phone and I feel like that’s going to keep out a large part of–

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Gen Z is not having it.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: They’re not having it. But I will say that I did recently hear that in California, in some places you can make up to $300-$500,000 lifeguarding a year. But on the ocean.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Real water.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Real water, not like the pool. Okay. Like I don’t know if I want that job even with that money, I’m not trying to, like, deal with sharks, you know?

 

Tre’vell Anderson: Yeah, I would need to learn how to swim first. And those are the headlines. That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe, leave a review, pull a 10-pound object from the bottom of the pool, and tell your friends to listen.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: And if you are into reading, and not just a job application to be a lifeguard like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Josie Duffy Rice.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: I’m Tre’vell Anderson.

 

[together] And God Save the Queen and Paddington Bear!

 

Tre’vell Anderson: They are both icons for our time and they deserve to be preserved.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Right. I do feel like Paddington has colonized less people, so I’m kind of like Team Paddington more, I’m going to say.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: So God save Paddington Bear.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Yes.

 

Tre’vell Anderson: And do what you will with the Queen.

 

Josie Duffy Rice: Do what you are. She’s 96. Be nice, you know.

 

Gideon Resnick: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Jazzy Marine and Raven Yamamoto are our associate producers. Our head writer is Jon Millstein, and our executive producers are Leo Duran and me, Gideon Resnick. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.