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gun violence

As Texas debates what, if any, steps should be taken to prevent mass shootings in the state, we asked our audience what questions they had about guns in schools.

February's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 dead and 17 more wounded, horrified people across the country, spurring student walkouts and marches in support of stricter gun control laws, including universal, comprehensive background checks and a ban on assault weapons. But gun debates in the United States have proven to be contentious and intractable.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

Dallas City Hall Plaza had plenty of foot traffic Saturday, first from students and gun reform advocates in the morning — and later from counter-protesters in the early afternoon.

Both demonstrations were planned in light of the National Rifle Association's annual meeting, held across the street at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

Carlos Morales
KRTS Marfa Public Radio

Thousands of Texas students — from Dallas to El Paso to Houston — walked out of class last week to protest gun violence. The National School Walkout was the latest anti-gun violence protest since February, when 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. 

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

Students in North Texas participated in a national walkout in protest of gun violence on Friday, which marked the anniversary of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

Government health agencies have spent more than two decades shying away from gun violence research, but some say the new spending bill, signed by President Trump on Friday, will change that.

That is because, in agency instructions that accompany the bill, there is a sentence noting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the authority to conduct research on the causes of gun violence.

Courtesy photo

Students across the country will be protesting gun violence as part of "March For Our Lives" Saturday. Sophie Conde, a junior at Centennial High in Frisco, is helping lead the march in downtown Dallas. 

In our Friday Conversation, she told KERA's Rick Holter that student organizers plan to keep the momentum going after the march ends.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

At South High School in Columbus, Ohio, students stepped outside in frigid weather and said 17 names, releasing a balloon for each one.

In Orange County, Fla., 17 empty desks sat in the Wekiva High School courtyard. Students sang — "Heal the world, make it a better place."

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

The Air Force says a mistake allowed Devin Patrick Kelley to buy guns. On Sunday Kelley opened fire on a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The former airman had an assault-style rifle and two handguns — all purchased by him, according to federal officials — when he shot and killed 26 people.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

A horrific shooting in Las Vegas is prompting fresh calls from Democrats on Capitol Hill to pass stricter gun laws, but the Republican majority has made clear that cracking down on gun rights is not on the agenda.

Want To Reduce Gun Violence? Look At The Numbers

Aug 16, 2016
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National headlines on gun violence tend to focus on mass shootings and terrorism. Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths in the U.S., though, are suicides. Today on Think, Krys Boyd explored these numbers with Ben Casselman who’s reported on gun deaths for the website FiveThirtyEight.com.

Briscoe Center for American History

On Monday, the University of Texas marks 50 years since sniper Charles Whitman gunned down 16 people before police killed him. Thirty-two others were hurt.

TrishZatx / Flickr Creative Commons

In 1966, Charles Whitman killed 16 people and wounded 32 others at UT Austin. Gun violence and mental health have been intertwined ever since. 

Updated 3:20 a.m. ET: House approves $1.1 billion in Zika funding and adjourns

Despite a sit-in by House Democrats that has lasted 15 hours, Republicans passed a funding measure for Zika and left for the July 4 recess. The House will convene in a pro forma session Friday morning but no business will be conducted until July 5.

Cornyn Gun Measure Fails In U.S. Senate

Jun 21, 2016
Abby Livingston / The Texas Tribune

A week after the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history, the U.S. Senate on Monday voted down four competing gun control measures largely along party lines, including one put forward by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn that sought to block the sales of weapons to people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list.

 

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET with Senate votes

To virtually no one's surprise, the Senate failed to advance any of the four gun control proposals — two offered by Democrats, and two by Republicans — that came in response to last week's mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Here are the results:

Days after the deadly mass shooting in Orlando, Fla., the American Medical Association says it is adopting a policy calling gun violence in the U.S. "a public health crisis," and it says it will actively lobby Congress to overturn 20-year-old legislation blocking research on gun violence by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The Orlando nightclub shooting has prompted businesses across the country and in North Texas to boost security. In Dallas, police are working with the FBI to watch over entertainment districts, like gay-friendly Oak Lawn. But some national security experts argue ramping up security in everyday spots may not be the most effective solution.

How America Fell In Love With Guns

Jun 13, 2016
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As the county reels from Sunday morning’s events in Orlando, America’s complicated relationship with guns is once again a public conversation. Earlier this month on Think, Krys Boyd explored the topic with Pamela Haag, author of, “The Gunning of America: Business and the Making of American Gun Culture.”

Editor's note, June 16: An earlier version of this story said Omar Mateen carried an AR-15, based on comments from Orlando Police Chief John Mina, who said Sunday that the gun was an "AR-15-assault-type rifle." Law enforcement officials subsequently told NPR that the gun was a Sig Sauer MCX, a rifle similar to an AR-15 but also different in fundamental ways. This story reflects the change.

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, Hillary Clinton told NPR that in order to counter "self-radicalization," she wanted to create a team "exclusively dedicated to detecting and preventing lone wolf attacks" and possibly even expand terrorist watch lists.

She also called for creating more "integrated intelligence use" among local, state and national law enforcement; "strengthening communication" with other countries; and working with Silicon Valley to "prevent online radicalization."

A gunman opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday morning, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history before being shot dead by police.

At first, they say, it seemed like just part of the music.

It was a Saturday night and the dance tracks had been pounding at the Pulse Orlando nightclub, which calls itself the city's hottest gay bar. A sharp, staccato sound, arriving shortly after 2 a.m. ET, didn't seem out of place.

"I thought it was a Ying Yang Twins song or something," club-goer Christopher Hansen told reporters. "It went with the beat almost."

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

As a shaken Orlando tries to come to grips with the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, here are five ways KERA has explored the gun issue on radio and television in recent months.

In what has become an all-too-familiar ritual in the United States, President Obama said the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday morning was an "act of terror and an act of hate."

"This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American ... is an attack on all of us," Obama said during remarks from the White House briefing room. "No act of hate or terror will ever change who we are as Americans."

Obama also said that this shooting is a reminder of "how easy it to let people get their hands on a weapon" that will let them open fire on a place like a school.

The attack in San Bernardino that left 16 people dead, including the shooters, came just five days after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

Three years ago, in July 2012, journalist Mark Follman heard about the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting rampage that left 12 people dead and felt compelled to learn more — not just about that incident, but about all the mass shootings that were occurring in America.

Follman, the national affairs editor of Mother Jones, began looking for information online, but it soon became evident that no good databases about the subject existed.

Singer Christina Grimmie, a former contestant on The Voice, was shot by a gunman after a concert in Orlando, Fla., police say, and later died of her wounds.

Orlando Police have identified Grimmie's killer as 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl.

Courtney Collins / KERA news

More than 50,000 people from across the globe are streaming into the Dallas Convention Center. It’s the granddaddy of all outdoor expos: the Dallas Safari Club’s annual convention. 

White House/YouTube

President Barack Obama says that contrary to the claims of some GOP presidential candidates, he's not plotting to take away everyone's guns.

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