Also: Where is “the Midwest” anyway? And how police respond to white vs. black suspects.

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What We’re Following

Dropping in: President Trump is visiting Dayton and El Paso today after the mass shootings in those cities. As with so many things related to this administration, these presidential appearances in sites of tragedy are unusually fraught. Trump’s arrival in the Ohio city on Wednesday met resistance from many residents and local leaders, with Mayor Nan Whaley encouraging protests of the president’s visit. “I think people should stand up and say they’re not happy if they’re not happy he’s coming,” she said Tuesday (WaPo). Before heading to Dayton, Trump told reporters there is “no political appetite” for a ban on assault weapons. Instead, Republicans in Congress have offered to pass “red flag” laws to restrict gun access for people deemed a threat to themselves or others (Pacific Standard).

At the local level, efforts to stiffen gun regulations have often run up against all kinds of barriers. In Ohio, state regulators have nullified local gun control ordinances in court, and for about 12 years the state has had a preemption law barring such restrictions (Cleveland). Texas already has some of the nation’s most lax limits on gun use and ownership; next month, new state laws are set to make it even easier to buy semi-automatic weapons and carry them in public, curbing local laws further (USA Today). From the CityLab archives: A Lawyer’s Playbook to Fight State Preemption

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

Brentin Mock

The River of ‘Trash Juice’ Casablanca Blames on an American Company

A landfill of nearly 200 acres of trash grows daily and torments residents on the outskirts of Morocco’s largest city. No one knows quite what to do about it.

Chris Dillon

What Micro-Mapping a City's Density Reveals

Exploring density by the square kilometer reveals as much variation within cities as between them—and shows that raw statistics can be deceptive.

Garrett Dash Nelson

My Quixotic Quest for Quiet in New York City

In a booming city, the din of new construction and traffic can be intolerable. Enter Hush City, an app to map the sounds of silence.   

John Surico


Map It Out

(David Montgomery/CityLab)

Fighting about the geographical and metaphysical boundaries of “the Midwest” is an American tradition. CityLab data reporter David Montgomery wants to know: Do you define where you live as the Midwest? He has set up a simple two-question survey that asks you to put in your zip code and say whether or not you think you’re in the Midwest. Once we crunch the numbers, we’ll have a better sense of where Americans draw the lines around their massive midsection. Whether or not you think you live in the Midwest, we invite you to take the survey.


What We’re Reading

America has a terrible digital divide. Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that. (Vox)

LADOT is stenciling sidewalks to curb scooter scofflaws (LAist)

Uber wants to sell you train tickets. And be your bus service, too (New York Times)

Homelessness is already a crisis—but climate change makes it much worse (Fast Company)

El Paso has been slow to respond to the campaign against its immigrant community. That may finally change. (Slate)


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