gun violence

We could start this story as we usually do with reminding of you of all the recent school shootings — including one just Thursday night at Tennessee State University — reporting how many people were killed, what inspired the shooter. We could hear local leaders condemning the acts of violence.

But this narrative is so much a part of our culture and our politics right now that we don't need to remind you how we got here.

Instead, let's meet a couple of people who have dedicated much of their professional lives to preventing this kind of violence.

A jury today ordered a Milwaukee gun store to pay nearly $6 million to two city police officers who were shot in the face with a weapon bought at the shop. The jurors agreed with the officers, whose lawsuit accused Badger Guns of selling the gun despite signs that the buyer was acquiring it for someone who couldn't buy it legally.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

Some southwest Oregon gun owners say they're worried that the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg will spur lawmakers to pass more gun laws.

Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, reopened Monday for the first time since a student opened fire there and killed nine people on Thursday.

Authorities in Oregon released the names of the nine people killed during a mass shooting at a community college in Roseburg, Ore.

John Hanlin, the Douglas County sheriff, read the names during a news conference Friday afternoon:

The victims ranged in age from 18 to 67. One of them was an 18-year-old soccer player, another had just enrolled at the college at 34 years old. Another 18-year-old was just about to take his brown belt test.

John Locher / AP

There's still no known motive for the gunman who opened fire at a community college Thursday in southern Oregon. The city of Roseburg was rocked by news that ten people died in a shooting at nearby Umpqua Community College. 


Cities across the Puget Sound area are paying more attention to gun violence. In Seattle, a federal grant worth half-a-million dollars is designed to help law enforcement trace guns used in crimes, and pay for more prosecution. And in Tacoma, the city is holding “Gun Safe T Awareness Week.”

Brennan Linsley / AP Photo

People who survive gunshot wounds have a high risk of being the victim of a firearm again, according to a study conducted by the University of Washington. Researchers also found the victims were more likely to commit crimes and more likely to ultimately die from gunshot wounds.

Paula Wissel / KPLU

Children who live in homes with an unlocked gun are nine times more likely to commit suicide, according to data compiled by Public Health – Seattle & King County between 1999 and 2012. The same data, released Monday, shows more than 5,000 of the county’s children live in homes with an unlocked firearm.

In response to the new findings, King County has launched the Safe Storage Saves Lives campaign through which ten local and national retailers will offer discounts on secure lockboxes, the county announced Monday.

<a href="">treehouse1977</a> / Flickr

Researchers who study injuries at Harborview Medical Center are asking the Seattle City Council to take on the federal government's role -- and fund an investigation into gun violence. They say gun-related injuries are a solvable problem, from a public health perspective.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gun control advocates in Washington are banding together to turn up the heat on state lawmakers. In the coming days, they plan to announce the formation of a new grassroots lobbying coalition. Their first target is passage of universal background check legislation.

The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has seed money from Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer. Other founders are Seattle city councilwoman Sally Bagshaw, former council member Tina Podlodowski and Seattle writer and activist Eric Liu.

Divine Harvester / Flickr

The debate over gun control may be focused on the nation’s capital, but one local official says King County will soon take measures of its own.

About 125 people die each year of gun violence in King County. Executive Dow Constantine says the way a county government can chip away at that number is through a public health approach. He announced in his state of the county address that he is directing the health department to collect new data on gun deaths and injuries.

Joshua Trujillo / AP

Seven hundred and sixteen guns were collected at Saturday’s gun buyback program in Seattle. But officials say they are disturbed by the large number of private gun buyers the event attracted.

Mayor Mike McGinn says he was shocked by what he describes as the “gaggles” of private gun buyers who showed up to tempt people away from the long lines and gift cards and offer them cash for their weapons.

“We had a gun bazaar break out of the streets of Seattle outside of a gun buyback. That was just insane."

SPD Photo Lab.

With 20 fatal shootings so far, just over half way into the year, Seattle’s murder toll has already topped the number of homicides for all of last year.

The city is stepping up police patrols in crime hot spots they’ve identified and getting officers out of their cars more to increase visibility. 

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

Local and U.S. officials say they’re getting more aggressive about prosecuting gun crimes in Seattle, funneling more offenders into the stricter federal system. Law enforcement officials hope the threat of longer sentences and tougher prisons will deter more crimes. U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said it’s a proven strategy.

Zoren Deneu / Flickr

Sex offenders have to register when they get out of prison in Washington. So why shouldn’t people who commit a violent crime with a gun have to do the same?

It’s an idea being floated by the Seattle Police Department.