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We were two of the 200+ student journalists who powered Since Parkland, a collaborative launched in February by The Trace, The Miami Herald, and McClatchy newspapers. Together, our network of teen reporters documented nearly 1,200 young lives lost to guns in the year following the Parkland shooting, aiming to tell the stories that are often lost in conversations about gun violence.

But at the end of that project, the stories of more than 100 of those children and teens — sons and daughters, siblings and friends — were still incomplete, partially due to a lack of media coverage of their deaths. We called these profiles the “Stories Left to Tell.” 

This summer and early fall, that’s what we set out to do. A group of 10 of us recruited from the original team dug deeper into who these young people were. We called police stations and tracked down funeral homes for leads, crowdsourced details from community Facebook pages, and parsed hundreds of social media profiles. 

It was harrowing work. In the stories we collected, we see reflections of our friends, our classmates, and ourselves. But we persisted, because the lives of these victims deserve more than a place and time of death to commemorate the whole of their existence. 

Gun violence may not discriminate, but news coverage of its victims sometimes does. Black and brown youth are disproportionately impacted by shootings. They were also the most likely to fall on our list of stories left to tell. 

Even when their deaths did make the news, many were treated like the subject of a crime blotter, with little to nothing on their personalities, passions, and dreams. When these children and teens were fatally shot, they left behind friends, siblings, partners, and even children of their own. They left behind mothers retroactively begging for the life of their child — begging for someone, anyone, to listen or care — who were skeptical of reporters, fearful we might assume the worst in their child because of their skin color or zip code. 

As journalists, our job is to search for, and elevate, the truth. We wanted to do justice to the stories of communities often neglected. We wanted to make sure they mattered just as much. 

We hope you will take the time to read the profiles here.
Madison Hahamy and Sarah Emily Baum

Abaas Mohamed was just one of 85 new profiles. All that was known about him with the launch of Since Parkland was that he was shot in front of an apartment complex in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Now, we know he was a college-bound senior and devoted family member, who sold some of his possessions to give money to his mother.
Following our reporting, officials confirmed Thursday that the Santa Clarita school shooter used a homemade, unserialized pistol, sometimes known as a ghost gun. At 16-years-old, the perpetrator could not legally purchase a firearm in California. [The Trace]

NRA leader Wayne LaPierre got a 57 percent pay raise in 2018, bumping his total compensation to $2.15 million. [The Wall Street Journal] That’s from the gun group’s 990 filings, a copy of which we obtained and posted online. Other takeaways: The NRA spent $25 million on legal expenses in 2018. More than half — $14 million — went to the firm of William Brewer, the NRA’s outside counsel. In July, we documented alarm by some at the NRA about Brewer’s conduct and pay. 

The moderators of the 5th Democratic primary debate did not ask the candidates to address how they plan to reduce shootings. Senator Elizabeth Warren highlighted the omission in her closing statement, saying: “We should have talked about gun violence.” [The Washington Post]

Gunshot victims disproportionately experience unemployment, alcohol and drug abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The effects persisted even for those with minor injuries. [JAMA Surgery]

A DOJ-funded analysis found that ShotSpottter, a gunshot detection technology, was generally associated with faster response times by police in Denver, Milwaukee, and Richmond. The impact on violent crime rates was less clear, with notable reductions found only in Richmond. [The Urban Institute]

Democratic senators wrote a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission urging the agency to impose tougher controls on toy guns. The letter follows reporting from The Trace about how replica guns have gotten children killed by the police. [Office of Senator Bob Menendez]

A gunman killed 2 people in the parking lot of an Oklahoma Walmart on Monday, before turning the gun on himself. Police investigators said the shooting followed a domestic dispute. [CNN]

A local TV station’s investigation found that Facebook users are still sidestepping the platform’s ban on gun sales by advertising the weapons as empty gun cases. [ABC11 Durham]
Despite his criminal record, Cody Wilson is back in the 3D-printed gun business. The self-described anarchist and face of the 3D-printed gun movement led investigators on an international manhunt last year before being arrested and charged with having sex with a minor. In August, he struck a deal with Travis County prosecutors in Texas, pleading guilty to injury to a child, which is a felony. The charge prohibits Wilson from carrying a handgun in public, and from buying and selling weapons at gun stores. But a loophole of sorts in the plea deal leaves alive a narrow possibility that the state wipes his felony charge. And while on probation, Texas does not view him as prohibited from gun ownership. Alain Stephens has the story, in partnership with KUT in Austin. 
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This New York Times feature following the 88-day recovery of an El Paso shooting victim. Thirty-three-year-old Luis Calvillo was standing outside of Walmart selling snacks with his girls soccer team, the El Paso Fusion, when the first bullet hit. Four more bullets would cut through his left leg and back before the gunfire stopped. Ambulances rushed him to the hospital, and as national news shifted to other topics in the following weeks, Times reporters Manny Fernandez and Tamir Kalifa stayed by Calvillo’s bedside, chronicling his recovery, the trauma faced by his family, and how the Fusion ultimately helped pull him into the next day, and the next after that.

This Washington Post elegy of the aftermath of a shooting at a high school football game. Gunshots cut short a playoff game between Pleasantville High School and Camden High School in New Jersey last Friday night. A gunman opened fire in the crowd in the middle of the third quarter, wounding three. Among the victims was a fifth-grader, Micah Tennant, who died on Wednesday from his injuries, hours before Pleasantville and Camden resumed their game in an empty Philadelphia Eagles stadium. Post reporter Roman Stubbs attended the game, and shares the story of a playoff win weighed down by tragedy. “After his team had won, 22-0, and stormed the field, [Camden defensive back Dameir] Burns tried not to think about Friday night. ‘Memories come back,’ he said, shaking his head. He didn’t want to talk about his big play, either — just about who he wanted to dedicate it too. ‘I just feel bad for that little boy. Prayers up to him. I balled out for that little boy,’ he said of Tennant. ‘I did it for him.’”

This analysis from Bloomberg Opinion looking at the legal risks for gunmaker Remington. Last week, the Supreme Court declined to hear the North-Carolina-based gun manufacturer's challenge to a suit brought by families of the Sandy Hook shooting victims, allowing the state case to continue. Going to trial has potentially huge implications for the gun industry, which is shielded from most legal claims by a 2005 federal law. Legal scholar Noah Feldman argues that the suit presents a thorny legal question for Remington: Should it settle, and risk inviting a slew of copy-cat suits across the country? Or should it push on, and risk a legal precedent undermining the industry’s immunity?
“I think physicians are realizing that we can’t save all the gunshot wound victims…And the best way to save patients is to prevent them from being shot in the first place.”

-Dr. Mark Seamon, a University of Pennsylvania trauma surgeon, on the importance of doctors participating in gun violence research, to The Washington Post.
The Canon is compiled by Jennifer Mascia.

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