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gun violence

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.

Grand Rapids Police Department
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.

File photo: A makeshift memorial near one of the shooting scenes in Kalamazoo, a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
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
Fflickr user swskeptic/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

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.”

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio


If you’re a police officer in the United Kingdom, chances are you don’t carry a gun.

In fact, you might go through your entire career and never fire a weapon, a stark contrast to police on this side of the Atlantic.

Michael Matthews is a police constable with the London Metropolitan Police and is now attached to Scotland Yard. He’s just spent time shadowing Detroit police officers, conducting research for a book Matthews is writing about the Detroit Police Department.

Can a Detroit start-up curb gun violence?

Dec 16, 2015
After three years in development, the smart gun lock should be ready for distribution in early 2016, says Identilock inventor Omer Kiyani.
Courtesy of Identilock

The Next Idea

How do we keep guns out of the wrong hands?

No matter where you stand on the gun issue, we can all agree that’s an important issue to address.

It’s also the question driving the Identilock, a smart gun lock that uses fingerprint identification to make sure a gun can only be used by its owner.

Omer Kiyani is the founder and CEO of Sentinl, the Detroit-based company behind Identilock.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Gunshot-sensing technology is the launching pad for a new community-building effort in one northeast Detroit neighborhood.

“Operation ShotSpotter” takes advantage of the sensors that Detroit Police are testing in some city neighborhoods right now.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Around 75 people marched in Grand Rapids Saturday afternoon, calling for an end to gun violence.

“We’re trying to get the message out, that anybody can be a victim. We've got the kids in the streets killing each other, we've got people getting killed going into shopping malls, court houses, movie theaters,” Theresa Ward, one of the march's organizers said.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of teenagers fanned out across Flint today to help clean up the city.   Many hope by doing so they can also help clean up the city’s battered image.

Teens spent hours picking up trash, hauling away brush and painting boarded up homes.

Today marks a significant historical anniversary that is likely to go largely unnoticed. World War II really began 75 years ago today, when Great Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany for attacking Poland.

For the next six years, humans violently murdered each other at the rate of about 10 million a year. 

This anniversary is likely to get little notice because so much else is going on – and because historians are busy commemorating the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.

Now here is a little Michigan news story that isn’t likely to get much notice either. According to Livingston County police, a 69-year-old man was driving a pickup truck yesterday afternoon, when he passed a 43-year-old man driving a smaller vehicle.

They then both were stopped at a traffic light. The younger man got out of his car and approached the truck. And the truck driver shot him to death. Police say they were both from Howell, but didn’t know each other, that this was just a case of road rage.

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

"Children deserve to feel safe wherever they live, play and learn."

Those words came from the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics just a few days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and they sum up the feelings of some physicians from coast to coast.

There's a new group in Michigan trying to bring attention to gun violence. The group is made up of doctors.

Stateside's Cynthia Canty recently spoke with Dr. Jerry Walden, a family practice physician who was named "Family Physician of the Year" by the Michigan Academy of Family Practice.

Dr. Andy Zweifler, an internist and an emeritus professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School is also a member of the group Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence.

They joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Family photo

The Dearborn Heights homeowner who shot an unarmed teenager on his front porch has been bound over for trial.

Theodore Wafer will face trial for second-degree murder, manslaughter, and a felony firearms charge in 19-year-old Renisha McBride’s death.

Dearborn Heights judge David Turfe ruled Thursday the case can proceed after nearly two days of expert and witness testimony.

"Innovation" - it's what many say Michigan needs to become a player in the global economy. On today's show, we took a look at the most-innovative companies in our state. What are they doing differently in a post-Great-Recession economy?

And, we traveled to Muskegon - a community that continues to be plagued by gun violence. Dustin Dwyer of Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project reported on a gun battle that happened last month.

And, the Detroit Public Schools bond offering is tomorrow. Why should investors be interested?

Also, the guide to canoeing Michigan’s rivers just got an update. We spoke with one of the authors about the new edition.

First on the show, donations to Governor Snyder’s civic fund decreased last year by a lot. The 501 c-4 known as The New Energy to Reinvent and Diversity Fund – or “NERD Fund” for short – received $1.3 million in 2011, but in 2012 , the number was $368,000.

As Jonathan Oosting, a reporter for MLive.com, reports, “the NERD fund earns tax-exempt status by purporting to promote charitable causes including lessening the financial burdens of government in the state of Michigan.”

Jonathan Oosting joined us today.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

The video above comes from a march to end violence organized by the Muskegon YMCA last weekend. The man speaking is Zawdie Abiade, who happens to be running for mayor of Muskegon. He also happens to be a former gang member. 

"The gang was the only community I felt understood me," Abiade says. "What we need is somebody and people who understand what it is to be isolated, to be rejected, to be discriminated against, to be misunderstood."

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