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Some Democratic state lawmakers want universal background checks for all people looking to own a firearm. They plan to introduce bills in the House and Senate.

red lockers in a close up shot
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In the wake of multiple mass school shootings in recent years, the question of how to reduce violence and make schools safer has become a pressing one. Answering that question will be the goal of a brand new national research and training center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Antwan Green

For victims of violence, the recovery process usually goes far beyond healing from physical wounds.

But many never get help dealing with trauma and its aftermath. And sometimes, victims are treated like criminals — especially if they’re young and black.


Rep Hank Vaupel headshot
Michigan House Republicans

The nation is in mourning after two mass shootings last weekend took more than 30 lives in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Many are looking to the lawmakers that represent them and demanding legislative action, including here in Michigan. 

assault rifle
Adobe Stock

Gun violence in the United States is a public health problem – and it needs to be treated that way. That’s according to Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, the Director of the Injury Prevention Center at the University of Michigan.

Cunningham said gun violence prevention should be explored in the same way drownings and car crashes are prevented. That means focusing on risk and prevention factors, and applying injury prevention science and tactics. For example, to prevent car crashes, people changed infrastructure and the way cars were made.

Young man playing video game
Sean Do / Unsplash

 


Two deadly mass shootings occurred within 24 hours of one another this weekend — one in El Paso, Texas and the other in Dayton, Ohio. Thirty-one people have died from their injuries so far. 

Some Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have argued that violent video games are partially to blame for the violence. 

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

A new study suggests gun violence tends to go down when abandoned buildings are demolished. The study focused on Detroit.

Researchers saw an 11% drop in gun-related violence in areas with more than six building demolitions. They found areas with six to 12 demolitions had the greatest reduction in gun violence.

The University of Michigan and Harvard University team used pre-existing data from the state. Marc Zimmerman of the University of Michigan was part of the study.

Interim Police Chief David Kiddle standing at podium in the park
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids officials and community members spoke out against recent uptick in shootings around the city at a press conference Friday.

There have been ten shootings resulting in six people being injured in the city this week. City officials are in talks with neighborhood associations and community activists to find solutions to the violence.

David Kiddle, the interim Chief of Police for the Grand Rapids Police Department, says there has been one arrest made so far in connection to the shootings.

Lavora Barnes in a gray suit in front of the Michigan capitol building
Lavora Barnes for MDP Chair campaign photo

Today on Stateside, what you need to know about the thousands of white-collar GM workers losing their jobs today. Plus, a recent study finds that firearms are the second leading cause of death among children and teens in the United States, killing eight young people every day. 

Public Domain

Eight children and teens die by firearms every day in the United States. 

That's according to a recently-published study examining the leading causes of child and teen death in the country. 

The Caliber Collection

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is working to decrease shootings in the city by route of decreasing guns in the city.

A gun buyback program is being offered in Detroit from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at Oak Grove AME Church in Detroit. For every unloaded gun brought, a $50 gift card will be exchanged. No questions will be asked about the gun, although there is a three weapon limit per person.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

June is national Gun Violence Awareness Month, and people from across metro Detroit kicked it off with a “Wear Orange” rally in front of the Spirit of Detroit statue today.

A gun lying on a table with bullets around it.
Daniel Weber / Flickr

Councilwoman Mary Sheffield says a rally will be held in downtown Detroit to address a rash of gun violence throughout the city.

Sheffield says Friday's 10 a.m. "call to action" at the Spirit of Detroit statue also will bring attention to Gun Violence Awareness month in June.

A man and woman were shot to death early Wednesday by two men who forced their way into a west side home. Early Tuesday, four people were wounded after an argument downtown.

Handguns.
user Ben Re / Flickr

Republican state Senator Rick Jones says he’s working on bills to make it more difficult to rent hand guns at shooting ranges, and add some reporting requirements if a person trying to buy guns fails a background check.

Chiefly, Jones wants gun rentals to require a background check.  

Two signs side by side. One says "Stronger Together" and the other says "Protect Kids Not Guns"
Brian Wybenga

Marches for stricter gun laws happened all across Michigan and the U.S. today.

Thousands of people gathered in Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, and several other Michigan cities.

In Lansing, about 2,000 people walked from the Hall of Justice to the State Capitol, carrying signs and chanting.

Another view of the guns and schools debate

Mar 19, 2018

Thousands of students in Michigan walked out of their classrooms last week to protest gun violence. They don’t want guns in schools, and they especially want assault rifles banned.

Personally, I would probably go even farther. I don’t think anyone should be allowed to own an assault rifle, except if it were kept under lock and key at a shooting range.

But the tragedy of the student protests is this:

Nobody wants to say this, but they aren’t going to go anywhere. The lobbyists of the NRA can count votes. They are mostly silent now, except for the stupidest among them.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s retirement system has sold off the last of its holdings related to the gun industry.

The State of Michigan Retirement systems (SMRS) recently sold off two million dollars’ worth of stock in a Mississippi chemical company. The Olin Corporation also owns gun manufacturer Winchester. 

Gun laws across the country are under the microscope at state capitols. And Michigan is no exception. But the reality is, we’re not seeing a re-thinking of gun policy. Instead, everyone’s just returned to their corners.

There’s increasing pressure for Lansing to do something following the school shootings in Parkland, Florida.

John Auchter / Michigan Radio

There was a punk rock band called The Dead Milkmen that had a fun little run of popularity in the late 1980s. They were goofy and sardonic and unapologetically without polish.

One of their songs was called "Bleach Boys," in which the singer extols the supposed virtues of his buddies all drinking bleach (as opposed to indulging in alcohol or other drugs). It's hilarious.

A national teachers’ strike?

Feb 19, 2018
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

It’s been five days since the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Florida; the 17 dead are being buried, and the story is easing out of the headlines.

This weekend, writing a newspaper column, I started to refer to this as “our nation’s latest school shooting,” and caught myself. Better not say that, I realized.

Yes, it is about guns — and our own madness.

Feb 16, 2018

Someday, a shooter will walk into a school, probably a suburban school, somewhere in Michigan, and blow teachers and students away, most likely with a weapon no civilian should be allowed to own. When that happens, don’t give me any credit for prophecy.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Some Grand Rapids community members want the city to adopt a national violence prevention program.

Cure Violence is a program used to combat gun violence in several major cities like Chicago, Baltimore and New York.

The idea is simple, people in communities affected by gun violence mediate issues between people within their community.

Charlie Ransford, Director of Science and Policy with Cure Violence, says the program views gun violence as a health crisis instead of a crime problem.

So, what do we do about guns?

Nov 6, 2017
Fliker User: Fuzzy Gerdes

Several listeners wrote to me after yesterday’s shooting in Texas to ask if I was going to talk about it today. I had no intention of doing so.

Long ago, and certainly after the massacre of the elementary students in Sandy Hook, it became clear to me that our society doesn’t care enough to do anything about this.

True, the money and the power of the National Rifle Association over our elected representatives has been enough to thwart the mildest and most sensible gun safety measures.And we also seem so attached to a distorted and wrong-headed view of the Second Amendment that a mass murder or two a month, and losing thousands of people every year in senseless shootings, seems normal.

flowers in tree with police tape
WMUK

One year ago today, Kalamazoo found itself in the cross hairs of gun violence. Jason Dalton is charged with the shooting spree that left six people dead and two badly wounded.

Tonight, the city will remember those victims and survivors with a candlelight vigil.

Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby Hopewell joined Stateside to talk about how the city of Kalamazoo is doing and how the shootings changed the people who live there. 

MORGUEFILE

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Grand Rapids Police will deploy more patrol units and plainclothes officers in targeted areas of the city this weekend as it reacts to an increase in gun violence over the last two months.

Chief David Rahinsky said Friday the initiative called Operation Safe Streets also will include foot and bicycle patrols at times and the deployment of a mobile command post.

He's asking residents to support police responding to crimes and to report crimes they see being committed.

A mural in the Hope District of Detroit.
Zak Rosen / Michigan Radio

Turn on the TV news in metro Detroit, and you're bound to catch the latest story about a shooting, a stabbing, or some other tragic story about another lost life in the city.

Violent crime is something every major urban center struggles with, and Detroit is no exception.

Courtesy of Kevin Fitzgerald / www.conductorkfitz.com

On Sunday, there will be more than 300 concerts being held across the United States as part of the event "Concert Across America to End Gun Violence." One of those concerts will be held in Ann Arbor. 

Kevin Fitzgerald is conducting roughly 40 Michigan-based musicians in the show. The goal is to raise awareness and continue a conversation about gun violence in hopes of ultimately finding solutions to what he calls a "major crisis" in our country. 

Students rally in Lansing
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The Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence held a so-called "die in" Wednesday at the Capitol in Lansing, calling on the Legislature to craft stronger gun laws. 

Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas joined us to talk about the demonstration, and how much of an effect protests like this really have on the way our lawmakers think.

Prison bars
powelli / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A Detroit man is going to prison for 25 to 50 years, after his 9-year-old son was accidentally shot by a sibling.

It's one of several cases where prosecutors are going after adults for leaving guns where kids can find them.

On November 9, the 9-year-old boy and his then-10 year old sister were playing in their dad's bedroom and acting out a video game.

Student performers at the Detroit NAACP Freedom Fund dinner.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Hillary Clinton’s campaign for President took her through Detroit this weekend.

Clinton was the keynote speaker at the Detroit NAACP’s annual Freedom Fund dinner.

She said the kind of suffering seen in cities like Detroit and Flint are symbolic of communities across the country that are being “left out and left behind.”

Clinton, who has been vocal about the Flint water crisis since it started drawing national attention, called it “unacceptable.” But she also said there are “too many Flints in America.”

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