Libraries are bridges to information and knowledge.

In the past year there has been what appears to be a constant drumbeat, seemingly almost weekly and sometimes daily, of reports of mass shootings and deaths by firearms throughout the United States. There are also statistics. A recent study reported by the BBC indicates there has been a steady increase by year in the number of gun deaths in the U.S. between 2014 and 2021 with the exception of a small dip in 2020. Reliable published statistics for 2022 have been difficult to locate due to the fact that 2022 is the current year but according to the Gun Violence Archive there have been 225 mass shootings, 14 mass murders, and 19,350 total number of gun violence deaths (all causes) that have occurred as of June 11, 2022.

While there has long been an ebb and flow of general concerns regarding gun violence and mass shootings in America, the high level of recent reporting mentioned earlier raises the question: Has gun violence and particularly mass shootings in the United States increased to the point where it can now be reasonably asserted that this issue has now become a crisis in America?

The Congressional Research Service defines mass shootings as “multiple firearm homicide incidents involving four or more victims at one or more locations close to one another”. The FBI definition is essentially the same but in the United States there are several different, but common, other definitions of mass shootings. For a more extended discussion see Richard Berk’s analysis of this topic, What is Mass Shooting? What Can Be Done?, on the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Criminology website.

There are many ways to define mood, or national mood, but for this posting I have selected the following: the perceived emotional tone and general attitudes of the American people in 2022.

During my research, I found many references which discussed this topic but have pared down the list to the six items listed below. Some of the materials are primarily news articles and essays, some consist primarily of data derived from surveys, and others are a combination of the two. Looking at the materials through another lens, some of the articles emphasize politics, some economics, and others American society more generally. Finally, some of the articles examine the mood of American society primarily from within, while at least one article examines American moods and attitudes from an international perspective as viewed by others from throughout the world.

I will close by quoting from a 2018 New York Times Magazine article by Steven Hyden (IS THE NATIONAL MOOD THE ONE IN POLLS OR THE ONE ONLINE?, The New York Times Magazine, July 2, 2018).

March 27, 2018 /24-7PressRelease/ — Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present David Badertscher with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Badertscher celebrates many years’ experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

As a historian, former educator and retired principal law librarian for the New York Supreme Court Library, Mr. Badertscher understands the importance of keeping accurate and detailed records. Whether cataloguing materials or conducting research, he maintained a commitment to professional excellence that lasted the duration of his career. After earning a Bachelor of Science from Indiana State University in 1957, he went on to teach at Rockville High School in Indiana, Medinah Elementary School in Illinois and Beachwood High School in Ohio. He then began working in the Chicago Public Library system before becoming an assistant reference and circulation librarian at the University of Chicago Law School, where he laid the groundwork for the next portion of his professional life. He also obtained a MS from Indiana State University in Social Science and later an MALS in library and information science from Rosary College, now Dominican University.

In 1973, Mr. Badertscher left the Midwest for Washington, DC, where he served as Executive Law Librarian of Georgetown University Law Center until 1978. He briefly served as library director for the firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP before becoming a Principal Law Librarian of the State of New York Unified Court System a position he held from 1980 until 2012. While there, he also taught at Baruch College and for ten years was a member of the Board of Trustees of the New York Metropolitan Reference and Research Library Agency, now the Metropolitan New York Library Council where he served as chairman of the Board Personnel Committee. It was during his time working with the court system that he helped to introduce computer-assisted legal research in the trial courts, implemented a new method for handling transcripts, and developed blogging research services for the courts. These contributions, in addition to the experience he gained alongside a number of high-caliber professionals at the University of Chicago, have been the highlights of Mr. Badertscher’s impressive career.

Included below are my introductory remarks delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries on July 23, 2012 as part Program E-1 State Advocacy Strategies: Learning to Connect, Grow and Survive. The material below includes only my introductory remarks and a series of slides (see link below) not included as AALL handouts. See added explanation below.

David Badertscher

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS.

The people at The Jury Expert are excited about moving to a new platrorm, WordPress, where they can incorporate a new look and possibly some new features as well. Below is their e-mail announcing the change and providing links so you can see for yourselves. Take a look:

The e-mail:

We are too excited to wait until our next issue to get this announcement out! The Jury Expert has moved to a WordPress platform and we are ready for our close-up. We invite you to visit and see how much easier it is to find what you’re looking for on our new site. One of the benefits of our new platform is we can use categories (see the right-hand side of the webpage for the category drop-down menu) to help you find what you need.

To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to FindLaw.com. All summaries are produced by Findlaw
March 21-25, 2011.

United States First Circuit, 03/22/2011
US v. Werra, No. 09-1593
Conviction and sentencing of defendant is reversed because stop-and-frisk conducted on him after law enforcement officers forced their way into a house occupied by a group of unrelated individuals to execute an arrest warrant violated the Fourth Amendment rights of defendant, where he was not the subject of the warrant.

United States Fourth Circuit, 03/25/2011
US v. Masciandaro, No. 09-4839
Conviction and sentencing of defendant for carrying or possessing a loaded handgun in a motor vehicle, under 36 C.F.R. section 2.4(b), is affirmed where the general federal savings statute, 1 U.S.C. Section 109, denies defendants an automatic entitlement to the benefit of post-arrest changes in the law.

United States Ninth Circuit, 03/21/2011
Smith v. Almada, No. 09-55334
In an appeals arising out of the arrest and trial of the appellant for arson, summary judgment in favor of the appellee is affirmed where failure to disclose evidence during criminal trial did not prejudice appellant.
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TITLE: The Fear Within

SUBTITLE: Spies, Commies, and American Democracy on Trial AUTHOR: Scott Martelle PUBLICATION DATE: May 2011

PUBLISHER: Rutgers University Press PAGE COUNT: 320 pp.

Described by ARK Group USA a primary sponsor as a highly-interactive forum connecting law firms and their clients to advance the increasingly-important dialogue on gender diversity

June 8, 2011 ~ New York, NY CLE approved in most states!

Is the “business of law” itself a detriment to the retention and succession of women leadership? Gender-based discrimination that equates to marginalized access to resources and decision-making continues to plague women in law firms. There should be far more women serving as managing partners, executive and compensation committee members and filling additional critical leadership roles than there are today. Yet with increasing frustration, we continue to bring attention to the institutional impediments to women’s success and advancement…

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