Weaker Background Checks Leads to Spike in Gun Homicides

In 2007, Missouri repealed a law requiring gun buyers to obtain a license demonstrating they'd first passed a background check. In the years that followed, the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research tracked the results. In the forthcoming issue of Journal of Urban Health, the center will release it's findings: The law's repeal was associated with an additional 55 to 63 murders per year in Missouri between 2008 and 2012. For more on the report, Audie Cornish speaks with Daniel Webster, the director of the center. [Listen to the story]

Jeopardy Contestants Avoid Black History Like the Plague

Happy Black History Month, everyone, courtesy of last night's all-white College Jeopardy panel! In the second round of play, the contestants sailed through five of the categories—including "International Cinema Showcase," "Weather Verbs," and "Kiwi Fauna"—but avoided the sixth like the, ahem, black plague. That category was "African-American History."
In other words, these kids were more confident in their knowledge of weird animals in New Zealand than black human beings in America. [Read more]

The Bias Against Black Bodies

Charles Blow provide a good overview of the biases in the criminal justice system against blacks (among other things) here.


Violent Crime Continues to Decline

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday that violent crimes, including murders, fell by 5.4 percent in the first six months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, continuing a long reduction in violent crime across the country. [Read more]


How Inequality Hurts Marriage

The problem is not that poor people fail to appreciate the importance of marriage, nor is it that poor and wealthy Americans differ in which factors they believe are important in a good marriage. The problem is that the same trends that have exacerbated inequality since 1980 — unemployment, juggling multiple jobs and so on — have also made it increasingly difficult for less wealthy Americans to invest the time and other resources needed to sustain a strong marital bond. [Read more]


Crist: Race was a reason GOP panned Obama hug

Former Florida governor Charlie Crist cited three reasons the hug with President Obama was so devastating to his standing in the Republican Party: "The fact that Obama was in Florida to talk about his stimulus plan, the president's Democratic Party affiliation and his race." [See the video.]


Howard U. makes Peace Corps top college list

Howard University, a school that prides itself on a history of social engagement, on Tuesday landed on a national list of colleges that send the most volunteers to the Peace Corps.

The university in Northwest Washington ranked 16th among medium-size schools in the number of undergraduate alumni volunteers serving in the corps. [Read more]

President Obama to launch major new effort to help young men of color

Obama on Thursday will announce a new White House initiative called “My Brother’s Keeper,” which will bring foundations and companies together to test a range of strategies across the country to support young male minorities, taking steps to keep them in school and out of the criminal justice system, a White House official said. He will also announce that his administration will launch a more vigorous evaluation of what policies work best and publicize results to school systems and others across the country. [Read more]