THE NEWS:

It has been an especially deadly year. Already, there have been 29 murders in the District. There were two fatal shootings on Sunday, one of which involved 13 year-old Malachi Lukeswho was murdered four days before his birthday.

Malachi is the fifth teenager who was killed two months into the new year. Malachi’s story is especially devastating. In June, transit police handcuffed him and another boy in the U Street Metro station. The incident went viral after another man intervened and was tased by an officer. 

“He was a very proud boy,” Malachi’s mother, Melissa Laws, tells the Washington Post. “It was hard to get him to open up. He didn’t want anyone to see him as weak. The incident kind of broke him. . . . It made him really closed. He lost all respect for authority, to the point where you really couldn’t touch him.”

Meanwhile, local lawmakers have struggled to respond to the rising homicide count. “We are spending a lot of time talking about what we could do to reduce gun violence and this incident just reminds us the urgency to reduce gun violence,” said D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson in reaction to Malachi’s death during a press briefing on Monday.  

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, on behalf of Mayor Muriel Bowser, is introducing emergency legislation that aims to curb the availability of illegal guns on Tuesday. (The executive has been devoting a lot of attention to illegal guns to mitigate the violence.) Specifically, the bill seeks to outlaw ghost guns, DIY firearms that are assembled through kits or made by 3D printers. D.C. recovered at least 115 ghost guns in 2019, up from 25 in 2018. These types of guns were used in three homicides in 2019. 

A near-identical bill was first introduced in January 2019. David Pucino, with Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, cautioned that that bill defined “ghost gun” in a limiting way and did not outlaw every type of DIY gun. The bill introduced on Tuesday is stronger now. 

“This emergency legislation would strike at the heart of the ghost gun problem by prohibiting unfinished frames and receivers, which are the building blocks of ghost guns. It is a strong response to the grave and growing threat that ghost guns pose to public safety,” Pucino tells me via email. —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez:

  • For D.C.’s street medicine practitioners, health care and housing are linked. [WCP]

  • Virginia votes along with 13 other states on Super Tuesday. [WTOP, NYT]

  • “Luxury” amenities do not explain why housing is so expensive in D.C. [WAMU]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals(tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser is in Arlington supporting Mike Bloomberg on Super Tuesday. [Twitter]

  • Bloomberg/Bidensplit could give Bernie Sanders the edge in Virginia. [WAMU]

  • Emergency bike lane bill set for a vote today. [DCist]

  • Jack Evans’ legal defense fund continues to take in contributions. The total is up to $21,700. [OCF]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • D.C.’s stoner food critic is “inhaling America” one Michelin-star meal at a time. [WCP]

  • Georgetown gains a gourmet butcher shop. [Washingtonian]

  • Local entrepreneur Seth Goldman teams up with Chef Spike Mendelsohn to open PLNT Burger. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Rock & Roll Hotel suddenly closes. [WCP]

  • Netflix is producing Janet, a film about the Janet Cookecontroversy at the Washington Post. [Washingtonian]

  • Here’s where you can get jazzy in March. [DCist]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Maryland’s Ashley Owusu won the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award for women’s basketball, one of a program-record six players to receive all-conference honors a day after the team became co-Big Ten champions. Senior guard Kaila Charles was named First Team All-Big Ten. [bigten.org, The Diamondback]

  • Prompted by an encounter with three young neighbors, Todd Dybas, NBC Sports Washington’s Nationals beat writer, asked listeners and readers to send him basketballs so he could donate them to kids. He came home from spring training to find dozens of them. [Post]

  • Bradley Beal has been unstoppable on the court since his All-Star snub. He recently set a franchise record for most games (18) with at least 25 points. [ESPN]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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