gun violence

Brandon Towns for Illinois Newsroom

For many families and young adults living in Peoria’s South Side, gun violence is too often a part of life and something they’ve been fighting against — with few resources.

Part of the challenge, according to researchers, is getting the broader community to examine a part of itself and confront the barriers that keep families, predominantly minorities, from moving out of poverty.

Peoria’s South Side neighborhood presents an unusual case because part of the isolation has to do with its geography. It’s located at the bottom of a hill.  

“Never Forget”

Suicide Is A Driver Of Gun Deaths In Rural America

May 16, 2018
U.S. Military File Photo

The national conversation around gun violence generally centers around mass shootings, school shootings and gang activity. These problems need to be addressed, but may overshadow the largest group affected: suicide victims.

The majority of suicides are carried out with guns. And the rate of suicide has been steadily increasing for years.

In rural Illinois, more than 80 percent of gun-related deaths between 2012 and 2016 were suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide, suicide makes up nearly 60 percent of gun-related deaths.

How Schools Can Help Kids Traumatized By Gun Violence

May 15, 2018
Lee V. Gaines / Illinois Newsroom

Last month, about a dozen people gathered in the basement of a church in Champaign, Ill., to learn how traumatic experiences affect the lives of children and young adults, and what they can do to mitigate its effects.

Karen Simms, a mental health counselor and trauma expert, led the presentation, which was part of a free 40-hour training called “Healing Solutions.”

Most of the adults who attended Simm’s training were educators who say they’re worried about their students.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner has a track record of handing the toughest topics to small bipartisan panels of legislators. These “working groups” have been tasked with solving budget and pension problems, plus criminal justice reform. And weeks after the Florida mass shooting, Rauner formed a working group on public safety. Like the others, that group meets in private.

Speaking after today's meeting, State Rep. Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) said it's probably meant to prevent politicians from grandstanding.

Chase Cavanaugh / WNIJ

Gun violence was the subject of a large Town Hall gathering at Rockford’s East High School Wednesday.  

The event was organized by students from several local high schools to discuss  gun violence in schools and the Rockford area.  Panelists included members of the Rockford Police Department, city officials, and members of the General Assembly.  Megan Larson is a Senior from Lutheran. She was pleased with the conversation but said this isn’t the end of her group’s activism.

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