gun violence

Parents, County Clash In Court Over Parkland Shootings

Aug 29, 2019

Parents whose children were killed or wounded during last year's Parkland high school massacre asked the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday to rule that each pull of the trigger was a separate occurrence for which the Broward County School Board should be held liable.

But a lawyer for the school board told the court the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was one "unfortunate" incident that left 17 students and staff dead and 17 people injured.

Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

With a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline for casting votes, the Republican-controlled Legislature overwhelmingly rejected a Democratic proposal to hold a special session to address gun violence. 

Longshot Bid For Special Session On Guns Falls Short

Aug 26, 2019
Flickr

House Republicans have killed an effort by their Democratic colleagues to call the state Legislature to Tallahassee to address gun violence in a special session. 

WLRN is looking at the impact of children and teens killed by guns in South Florida through the voices of some of the people who are most affected.

You can find the entire series at wlrn.org/ownwords

Noricia Talabert was dropping friends off at home in Florida City when someone started shooting. The 17-year old, just a few months shy of her high school graduation, was killed.

Noricia had just celebrated her mom's birthday, Regina Talabert, the day before. 

There were three high-profile shootings across the country in one week: The shooting in Gilroy, Calif., on July 28, and then the back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.

That's no surprise, say scientists who study mass shootings. Research shows that these incidents usually occur in clusters and tend to be contagious. Intensive media coverage seems to drive the contagion, the researchers say.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried was among a number of Florida lawmakers who called for national gun control measures after two mass shootings this weekend left at least 32 people dead and many more wounded.

Fried and others, including Senate President Bill Galvano and U.S. Represenattive Charlie Crist, took to Twitter Sunday to voice their dissatisfaction with the background checks currently in place. 

Trump Claims He Wants Stronger Gun Measures, Doesn’t Say How

Aug 5, 2019
Gage Skidmore (Flickr)

President Donald Trump claimed Monday he wanted Washington to “come together” after two weekend mass shootings on legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users, but he provided no details and has reneged on previous promises to strengthen gun laws.

Trump, who will make remarks to the nation later Monday, tweeted about the weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio that left 29 dead and dozens wounded . He said: “We can never forget them, and those many who came before them.”

A member of Florida’s public school oversight board is taking a stand against arming teachers. In Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting Michael Olenick called the move “wrong”. 

This is the first time Sirena Saul is meeting Jason Louis in person. They’ve only been in touch by phone.

Louis, a high school senior at Miami Norland, gives Saul a tight hug and they get to work—shopping for a prom suit at Harrell’s Fine Fashions and Tuxedo Central in Lauderhill. 

Saul tells him she’s paying for everything: his suit, shoes, tickets to prom and a photographer.

Psychologist John Van Dreal has spent almost 30 years working with troubled kids. Still, it's always unsettling to get the kind of phone call he received one morning eight years ago as he was on his way to a meeting.

"I got a call from the assistant principal at North [Salem] High, reporting that a student had made some threats on the Internet," remembers Van Dreal, the director of safety and risk management for Salem-Keizer Public Schools in Salem, Ore.

Threats of violence in a Facebook post

A local political organization is trying to show people there are things they can do to keep their community safer from gun violence.

As neighbors in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood lit up the sky with celebratory fireworks in the early evening hours of New Year’s Day, families streamed into Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist church for what has become an annual tradition for parents who lost their children to gun violence. 

 

Gun violence has become a part of everyday life in America and of the work lives of doctors, nurses and first responders, too.

After the National Rifle Association told doctors to "stay in their lane" in response to a policy proposal from the American College of Physicians for reducing gun-related injuries and deaths, there was a backlash. Health care professionals shared heart-wrenching stories about treating people harmed by firearms.

It's been a little over eight months since the shooting that took 17 people’s lives in Parkland. 

At a roundtable in Coral Springs City Hall on Wednesday, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and South Florida Congressman Ted Deutch met with grieving alumni, parents and students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. 

For Shiva Ghaed, the outdoor Route 91 Harvest country music festival one year ago was to be the capstone of a fun girlfriends' weekend in Las Vegas. But it became a struggle for survival when automatic weapons fire on the crowd began killing concertgoers.

In the days after the shooting, Ghaed, a clinical psychologist whose work includes treating veterans with PTSD, realized there were few services available for survivors dealing with the trauma of a mass shooting. So one week after the shooting, she began leading a support group for survivors.

Andy Teo (Flickr)

Gun deaths worldwide total about 250,000 yearly and the United States is among just six countries that make up half of those fatalities, a study found.

NPR

With frustration mounting over lawmakers' inaction on gun control, the American Medical Association on Tuesday pressed for a ban on assault weapons and came out against arming teachers as a way to fight what it calls a public health crisis.

A group of activists marked Gun Violence Prevention Day over the weekend with an annual speaking and voter registration event at The Portico in Downtown Tampa.

A group of teenagers formed a circle in the middle of a former school library turned community meeting space in Liberty City on a recent Saturday afternoon.

Aliyah Blackmon, a junior at Miami Norland,  is standing in the middle reading from a sheet of paper. 

“Step up if you haven’t been sleeping due to the recent gun violence in our neighborhood,” she said.

A few teens step up.

“Step up if you feel numb or over it. “

Nearly all of the teens stepped forward.

Christopher Powell was pretty sheltered growing up in Coral Springs.

“I didn’t wake up worrying, like many others across the country, about losing my life in school to gun violence,” the 17-year-old high school junior said during a town hall meeting on gun control and school safety on Thursday night.

Then he survived the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

“After the shooting on Feb. 14, I now have a different sense of security,” Powell said.

Updated on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. ET

Hundreds of thousands of students, teachers, parents and victims rallied in Washington, D.C., and across the country on Saturday to demand tougher gun control measures, part of a wave of political activism among students and others impacted by school shootings.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hosted a roundtable on Monday to discuss how to keep the momentum for gun control going long after this coming Saturday's "March For Our Lives," organized by Parkland students with support from their peers around the country. 

JESSICA BAKEMAN / WLRN

Students from the Florida high school where 17 people were fatally shot last month expect more than 1 million participants in upcoming marches in Washington and elsewhere calling for gun regulations, students said Monday.

Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church is sandwiched between a police station and a housing project in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood. Dozens of families over the years have filed into the church’s sanctuary to say tear-filled goodbyes to children and teens killed by gun violence.

A piece of legislation under consideration in Florida this week has received a lot of attention because of a controversial provision that would allow some teachers to have guns in schools. But the proposed law would also designate an influx of cash for mental health services.

Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz discussed gun control at a roundtable Monday alongside students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

In the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting at the school that killed 17 people, Wasserman Shultz said state and federal legislators must act.

“We have to ban semi-automatic assault rifles. We have to ban high-capacity magazines. And we have to make sure that background checks are universal,” said Wasserman Schultz.

In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, politicians and activists have discussed funding more gun injury research.

When a family loses a loved one, Lori Hadley-Davis walks them through the delicate and detailed process of preparing for the funeral.

Will the family choose a burial or cremation? What about flowers or a poem for the  funeral program? And when the deceased was killed by gun violence, it usually prompts an unasked question: “Do we need the police there?”

Hadley-Davis, a mortician and owner of  Hadley Davis Funeral homes, says for nearly all of the funerals she’s planned for homicide victims in recent years, that answer is yes.  

When U.S. officials feared an outbreak of the Zika virus last year, the Department of Health and Human Services and state officials kicked into high gear.

They tested mosquitoes neighborhood by neighborhood in Miami and other hot Gulf Coast communities where the virus was likely to flourish. They launched outreach campaigns to encourage people to use bug spray. And they pushed the development of a vaccine.

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