Latest Morning Briefing Stories

In Era Of Mass Shootings, Workers Turn To Insect Spray, Homemade Panic Buttons And Hiding Spots As Contingency Plans

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“Sadly, we live in a world where you should always suspect the worst,” said Maricarmen Molina, a worker who has a mentally mapped exit plan in case an attacker comes into her building. Meanwhile, Amnesty International issues a warning to travelers over gun violence in America and mourners in both cities grieve as the political fireworks play out.

Routinely Blaming Mass Shootings On Mental Illness Is ‘Unfounded And Stigmatizing.’ So What Are The Risk Factors To Look For?

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Experts say that problems with self esteem and perceived social rejection are common characteristics among people who commit mass shootings, as is having experienced significant trauma over an extended period of time. “If you’re going to do screening, you need to screen for multiple things, and mental health is only one of them,” Dan Flannery, director of the Begun Center for Violence Prevention at Case Western University, told NBC News. “You need to understand what’s going on in and consider stress points — what’s happening at work, in domestic life and their social media activity. If someone belongs to a lot of hate groups on social media, that’s a red flag.”

Trump Champions Deeper Background Checks For Guns As GOP Rallies Around ‘Red Flag’ Laws Despite Flaws

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President Donald Trump raised concerns among his advisers and the NRA when he talked about the current political appetite for extensive background checks on guns, an idea that hasn’t been popular among his allies in the past. Meanwhile, Republicans see “red flag” laws as a way to address the public’s renewed calls for lawmakers to “do something.” But a look at previous shooting incidents show that those “red flags” often go unseen or unheeded even by those trained to spot them.

For Many Latinos, The Hatred-Driven El Paso Shooting Is ‘The Death Of The American Dream’

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Latinos, regardless of immigration status, across the country were shaken by the shootings — a lethal exhibition of the increased racism and vitriol directed toward them. “It’s really hard to be alive as an immigrant right now and to not be sick and exhausted,” said Karla Cornejo Villavicencio, 30. “It feels like being hunted.” Meanwhile, experts warn that mass shootings can come in clusters and be contagious. In other news from the shootings: a look into the El Paso medical center that handled the victims; President Donald Trump plans to visit the cities; experts question if the death penalty would really be a deterrent; and more.

Flurry Of States Passed Red Flag Laws, But There’s Little Research On Their Impact At Reducing Gun Violence

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President Donald Trump and other lawmakers are boosting the idea of red flag laws, which allow loved ones and law enforcement to take guns away from someone they suspect may hurt themselves or others. Although there’s strong evidence that they reduce suicides, beyond that little research has been done on such protection orders’ effectiveness. Furthermore, psychology experts say a significant number of mass shooters are in their late teens to early 20s, when signs of severe mental illness may not yet be observable.

Following Cries Of ‘Do Something,’ Ohio Governor To Lay Out Proposal On Gun Violence

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Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) said anything was on the table but that any changes must be consistent with the Second Amendment and must be able to pass the Republican-dominated legislature — which could be a tall order. Republican state lawmakers previously opposed former Gov. John Kasich’s attempt to pass a red flag law.

Calif. Governor Expands State Task Force To Deal With Extremism, Demands Gender Be A Part Of Gun Violence Conversation

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California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) is taking further action following the weekend shootings. Newsom also said that leaders must address the fact that most shooters are male while talking about prevention. Meanwhile, data show that California’s new ammo background check legislation blocked more than 100 illegal sales in July. Media outlets look at how gun violence is being addressed across the country in the wake of the attacks.

Experts Quick To Rebut Damaging But Popular Talking Point That It’s ‘Mental Illness That Pulls The Trigger’

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“The overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent and far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators of violence,” said the American Psychiatric Association. “Rhetoric that argues otherwise will further stigmatize and interfere with people accessing needed treatment.” But what does cause these shooters to lash out? Experts say it isn’t the video games that are also often blamed. There are contributing factors, like a radicalization of ideology, that can prove to be warning signs however.

Trump Blames Shootings On Video Games, Mental Illness, White Supremacy While Side-Stepping Accusations About Own Rhetoric

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President Donald Trump addressed the nation after two mass shootings over the weekend, pointing to internet bigotry, white supremacy and mental illness as root causes. “Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul,” he said. However, the president stopped short of endorsing any sweeping gun control measures, nor did he address charges that his own language and behavior contributes to the culture of racism and violence.

Advocates Fear That DHS Civil Rights Watchdog Has Little Authority To Act On Mistreatment Complaints

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In response to one complaint to the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, an attorney received the response: “Please be advised that our complaint process does not provide individuals with legal rights or remedies.” The letter bolstered fears among advocates that the office can do little to protect young detained immigrants.

Suicide Prevention Movement Is Often Driven By Family, Friends. But More And More Survivors Are Talking About Their Pasts.

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The emergence of suicide survivor-driven advocacy has changed the prevention landscape, where too often talking about past attempts changed how survivors thought they were perceived. “Survivors were seen as people to be studied, rather than partnered with,” said Ursula Whiteside, a researcher with the University of Washington. Now, the lived experience survivors bring to the table is being recognized as beneficial to the movement.