gun violence

When he was running for Congress, Rochester City Councilman Adam McFadden said that young people do not value life the way they should. He said that addressing violence is more complex than simply passing new laws.

We talk to him about trauma-informed care, and the complex solutions to violence in our community.

Organizers of a new anti-gun violence initiative say they hope educating people about the causes and effects of gun violence will help make the community safer.

Councilmember Willie Lightfoot announced the #ThinkAboutItCampaign Tuesday at City Hall. He says he hasn't seen conversations about curbing violence happening consistently in the community. He joins local anti-gun violence advocates to discuss the campaign and the changes they hope it will generate.

In studio:

New campaign against gun violence launches in Rochester

Jul 17, 2018
Brett Dahlberg / WXXI News

Rochester city officials announced the launch of a new campaign to eradicate gun violence Tuesday.

Mayor Lovely Warren and Councilmember Willie Lightfoot stood flanked by city and county law enforcement officials as they spoke about the creation of the #ThinkAboutIt campaign.

A coalition that Lightfoot formed last month, ROC Against Violence, will spearhead the campaign, he said.

The story of a Rochester police officer advising a man to break into the home of his estranged girlfriend has raised a number of questions about women’s safety, gun rights, and allegations of domestic violence. The boyfriend showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s house, looking for some of his possessions. When she refused to let him in and the police arrived, an officer told the boyfriend that if he had lived there – which he had – it was his legal right to break in. That’s when the girlfriend pointed a firearm out the window. She said she had been a victim of domestic violence, and was afraid of the boyfriend.

This hour, our panel discusses the bigger picture issues raised by this case:  the safety of women and their right to use firearms to protect themselves in their own homes, plus, how to respond to women who are making allegations that they have been victims of physical altercations. Our guests:

Yet another mass shooting has happened at an American school. The shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday is one of the deadliest school shootings in modern U.S. history. The 19-year-old gunman killed 17 students and staff members when he carried an AR-15 rifle into the building. What will it take to stop these shootings? And what will and should schools do in response?

We’re joined by local superintendents who share the steps they’re taking in their districts, and how they talk to students about these incidents. We also discuss the language we use when we talk about our children. The conversation comes after a senator referred to children as “valuable assets” and recommended schools improve their security measures.

Our panelists share their insight, and we take your questions and comments. Our guests:

  • Patrick Blanchfield, freelance journalist and academic, and associate faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research
  • Trina Newton, superintendent of the Geneva Central School District
  • Kimberle Ward, superintendent of Gates Chili Central School District
  • David Inzana, director of safety and security at the Hilton Central School District

A new documentary explores the aftermath of the 2015 mass shooting at the Boys and Girls Club in Rochester. Raekwon Manigault, Jonah Barley and Johnny Johnson Junior were killed during the shooting, which took place during a Stop the Violence basketball tournament. In Move, first-time filmmaker Tam Little speaks with the victims' families and with community members who came together to reduce the violence in their neighborhoods. The film will be screened at The Little Theatre on December 12 and December 15. It's part of the One Take Documentary Series and the Black Cinema Series. The screening on December 15 is sponsored in part by the Association of Black Journalists. 

Little joins us to share what she learned, and we'll hear from the victims' mothers about how they are carrying on their sons' legacies. Our guests:

  • Tameakia Little, filmmaker
  • Anita Barley, mother of Jonah Barley 
  • Lentory Johnson, mother of Johnny Johnson
  • Tammy Burnett, mother of Raekwon Manigault

Jeremy Richman is a neuro-pharmacologist, but after his six-year-old daughter, Avielle, was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he and his wife shifted their focus to preventing violence and building compassion through brain research and education.

He is a guest of St. John Fisher College, but first, we talk to him on Connections about the impact of mass shootings on communities. Our guests:

On Sunday night, a gunman holed up in a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip opened fire on thousands of people attending a country music concert. At least 58 people are dead and more than 500 are injured. The shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. 

This hour, we discuss what we know about the ongoing situation in Las Vegas, and we cover broader themes like gun policy, gun control, what that means, and what the evidence says. Our guests:

What are the impacts of gun violence? Writing for Open Mic Rochester, Tianna Manon offered an extensive look at the issue, from family stories to statistical analysis. We asked Tianna to join us and explain what her work uncovered. Our guests:

  • Tianna Manon, editor-in-chief of Open Mic Roc
  • Michele Ashlee, photographer for Open Mic Roc
  • Sirena Cotton, founder of Roc the Peace, who lost her son to gun violence in 2007
  • Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association of Rochester

We hear the remarkable story of Irshad Altheimer, a criminal justice professor at RIT.

Altheimer can never forget the impact of gun violence in his own life: in 1997, a gang member opened fire on the car Altheimer was riding in. One of Irshad's friends was killed. Altheimer was struck by three of the 24 bullets that hit the car.

He explains how that tragic night changed him, and how it informs his work today.