gun violence

Florida Matters: Surviving Gun Violence

Feb 15, 2017

You'll often hear the news of young people tragically dying from gun violence. But what about those who live?


A bill making changes to Florida’s Stand Your Ground law is now headed to the Senate floor, after passing its last committee Thursday. One of its ardent supporters is Marissa Alexander—the Jacksonville woman who faced 60 years in prison for firing a warning shot in an alleged domestic dispute.

After several Duval students were caught with guns at school over the last two weeks, the School Board and the superintendent said Tuesday they’re working on an intervention plan.

Board Chair Paula Wright said board members have met with groups of students at each of the eight schools where guns have turned up this year.

WLRN

“I'm tired of operating on 14-year-olds,” says trauma surgeon Dr. Tanya Zakrison of the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

She’s one of the surgeons who’s operated on the more than 850 children and teenagers with gunshot wounds who came through the trauma center in the past decade.

What got them there and what happened to them afterwards—those are questions Zakrison would like answered. But she was initially advised by mentors and research advisors that she should avoid focusing on gun-related trauma.

Will a Stand Your Ground-related bill starting to move through the legislature have a disproportionate impact on minorities? While opponents of the bill appear to think so, supporters insist the bill is “color blind.”

A new bill under consideration by the Florida Legislature would make it easier for defendants to use the "Stand Your Ground" defense when faced with use of force charges. 

For years, Florida laws have  had provisions for self-defense immunity, protecting people who use force in self-defense from being prosecuted. There are certain restrictions on where and when you are justified in using various kind of force in self-defense.

WLRN

When children and teenagers survive gun violence it can have an impact on their mental health.

In a series that started this week, Health News Florida partner station WLRN is exploring what the trauma of shootings can do to the mental health of children and families.

Prosecutors will have to prove their case against defendants under a Stand Your Ground bill approved Tuesday in its first legislative committee. Currently, if the defendant proves their claim during a pre-trial immunity hearing, they can avoid a trial.

When Florida lawmakers come back to Tallahassee this week, the mother of slain teen Jordan Davis is set to come as well. She’ll be speaking against a Stand Your Ground-related measure that’s slated to get its first committee hearing Tuesday.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association study

Researchers are now saying Florida’s “stand your ground” law coincided with big increases in the homicide by firearm rate.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Every year in the U.S., more than 30,000 people die from things related to guns.

That puts guns ahead of HIV, Parkinson's disease, malnutrition, hypertension, intestinal infection, peptic ulcer, anemia, viral hepatitis, biliary tract disease, atherosclerosis and fires. Yet, the funding for research on gun violence lags far behind other leading causes of death, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gun violence prevention advocates, victims of gun violence, and their relatives in Orlando and other cities say FedEx is helping the National Rifle Association grow its membership. A handful of organizers protested Wednesday afternoon outside a FedEx downtown.

The protest was one of several taking place nationwide at the height of the holiday season when millions of customers are using the global shipping company to send gifts to loved ones.

Over the summer, the Pulse Nightclub tragedy garnered national attention as the worst mass shooting in modern American history. And, while it’s certainly influenced the lives affected by the massacre, the incident is also influencing legislative issues for the 2017 session.

Florida’s gun deaths have gone up 31 percent since Stand Your Ground has been on the books. An international research team published the findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The relatives of two people killed by firearms say they’re disappointed gun control legislation they supported failed to get enough votes in the Republican-led U.S. Senate.

The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence is calling for a special legislative session to implement new gun restrictions after this month’s mass shooting in Orlando.

WMFE

Ivy Hernandez promotes Latin Night at Orlando’s Parliament House, so she knows the LGBT Latino community.

She was not at the Pulse nightclub Sunday night; she was working at Parliament House on the other side of town. But she got a phone call as it happened.

Keeping guns away from those with serious mental illness could help reduce gun suicides.

NPR

PBS is bringing a nationally syndicated town hall on rising gun violence to central Florida tonight. Northland Church in Longwood will be the scene for the “Armed in America” series.

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez unveiled a new plan he hopes will prevent shooting deaths of children.

More than 100 children in the county have been killed by gun violence over past three years.

Mass shootings and police shootings have spurred calls for authorities to take action to reduce the violence. But policymakers may be stymied by the dearth of public health research into both gun violence and deaths that involve the police. One big obstacle: congressional restrictions on funding of such research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Right now, the CDC studies all kinds of violence. There's a program on child abuse and youth violence, and the public health agency collects data on suicides and sexual assaults.

AP

The nation's chief doctor said he doesn't regret saying gun violence is a public health issue, calling his difficult confirmation process a consequence of speaking out.

Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said Saturday that the backlash from his gun-control statement was disappointing but not a surprise.

He was confirmed in December in the face of opposition from the National Rifle Association, which was a rare defeat for the powerful gun lobby.

Court Upholds Ban On Openly Carrying Guns

Feb 19, 2015

  In what judges described as a first-of-its-kind case, an appeals court Wednesday upheld a Florida law that prevents people from openly carrying firearms, finding that the restriction does not violate constitutional rights to bear arms.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal stemmed from the 2012 arrest in Fort Pierce of Dale Norman, who was openly carrying a gun in a holster. A jury found Norman guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor charge, leading to the appeal on constitutional grounds.

A Florida lawmaker has filed a bill that would allow concealed weapons on college campuses, the News Service of Florida reports. State Rep. Gary Steube, R-Sarasota said he had already planned to sponsor the bill before last month’s shooting incident at Florida State University. According to the News Service, an attempt to allow concealed weapons on campus was also filed in 2011, but the measure was defeated.

School Shootings Need Ebola-Like Attention

Nov 17, 2014

Dear Editor,

I am a  heartbroken mother, grandmother , aunt, teacher, and member of my community, because of school shootings; the mass murder of our future hopes and dreams, and our nation’s lack of outrage and a moral fiber  to stop the sociopathic  national quality that doesn’t know or care enough to stop wholesale slaughter of our beloved babies.

 USF's School of Public Affairs and Nielsen's latest results on their annual Sunshine State Survey was released today, asking how Floridians feel about crime and environmental issues.

USF Political Scientist Dr. Susan MacManus said 46 percent of Floridians are in favor of making current gun laws more restrictive, while a slight majority see no reason to do so.

"This question really reflects racial, ethnic, gender and age divide in the state," she said.

Not Guns OR Mental Health; It's Both

Jun 1, 2014

The American tragedy continues with six collegians killed in the sleepy college town of Isla Vista, California.  The deranged murderer then took his own life after a shooting and stabbing rampage.  A victim’s distraught father lashed out at the NRA, politicians and all those who would impede gun restrictions.  In Florida, bullets sent people scurrying for cover in Clearwater Beach.  Myrtle Beach suffered three shot dead in shooting rampage recently.  The carnage continues.

House Expected to Pass Warning Shot Bill

Mar 20, 2014

The Republican-controlled Florida House is expected today to pass the first significant revisions to the state's self-defense laws since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Legislators are expected to vote for a bill that would let people fire warning shots and avoid the state's strict mandatory minimum sentences for using a gun.

The Rev. Al Sharpton and the mothers of two unarmed black youths shot to death in Florida led protesters in Tallahassee Monday, as lawmakers in the House considered revamping gun laws.

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