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FDLE Seeks Millions From Florida Legislature To Fight Mass Shootings

Oct 2, 2019
http://swfpca.org

A project designed to detect “homegrown violent extremists and lone actors” before they attack is estimated to cost the Florida Department of Law Enforcement millions of dollars --- and agency officials want lawmakers to start paying for parts of it next year. 

Casey Chapter / WFSU

In a state with a painful history of gun violence, Florida lawmakers swiftly condemned shootings that claimed 31 lives earlier this summer in Texas and Ohio.

a walmart store front
Wikimedia Commons

Walmart says it will discontinue the sale of handgun ammunition and also publicly request that customers refrain from openly carrying firearms in stores even where state laws allow it.

With a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline for casting votes, the Republican-controlled Legislature overwhelmingly rejected a Democratic proposal to hold a special session to address gun violence. 

Bill Galvano
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

Florida House Democrats say they’ve rounded up more than enough support to require votes from both Republican-dominated chambers of the Legislature to determine if there is any appetite for a special session dealing with gun violence.

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, left, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman urged Congress to act on gun violence.
CITY OF TAMPA; FLICKR

More than 200 mayors, including two anguished by mass shootings in Texas and Ohio as well as Tampa’s Jane Castor and St. Petersburg’s Rick Kriseman, are urging the Senate to return to the Capitol to act on gun safety legislation amid criticism that Congress is failing to respond to back-to-back shootings that left 31 people dead.

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed to “recesses of the internet” where people can share “vile” views and a need to look at white nationalism -- along with other causes -- when asked Wednesday about tackling mass violence.

But he also said, after a Purple Heart dedication ceremony at Tallahassee National Cemetery, that it’s not productive to any gun-safety dialogue to focus on partisan politics, as Democrats continued to criticize President Donald Trump after two mass shootings over the weekend.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

President Trump visited survivors of the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday before heading to El Paso, Texas, the site of the weekend's other deadly violence. Trump remained out of public view during the Dayton stop.

On the ground in El Paso, Trump said, "We had an amazing day."

"The love, the respect, for the office of the presidency, it was — I wish you could have been in there to see it," he told reporters.

There were three high-profile shootings across the country in one week: The shooting in Gilroy, Calif., on July 28, and then the back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this past weekend.

That's no surprise, say scientists who study mass shootings. Research shows that these incidents usually occur in clusters and tend to be contagious. Intensive media coverage seems to drive the contagion, the researchers say.

a walmart store front
Wikimedia Commons

Like most retailers, Walmart is accustomed to the everyday dealings of shoplifters. Now, it's confronting a bigger threat: active shooters.

Three days after a man opened fire at one of its stores in El Paso, Texas, and left at least 22 dead , the nation's largest retailer is faced with how to make its workers and customers feel safe.

In his response Monday to mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump called for an expansion of state laws that temporarily prevent someone in crisis from buying or possessing a gun.

Bill Galvano
NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA

In the run-up to the 2020 legislative session, the Florida Senate will review acts of mass violence such as the deadly shootings this weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, along with factors such as white nationalism.

Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, on Monday directed Senate Infrastructure and Security Chairman Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa, to lead efforts to determine if any further action is needed after laws were enacted in the wake of the Feb. 14, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

A bill exempting recordings of mass shootings from public record cleared the Senate Wednesday. The House version is headed to that chamber’s floor.

The Broward County school board rejected a proposal from its newest member to fire Superintendent Robert Runcie, voting 6-3 against ending his contract after community members spoke for four hours in overwhelming support of his leadership.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Updated at 6:30 p.m. 1/24:

Investigators have found no obvious reason why a man accused of fatally shooting five women picked a small-town bank in Sebring as the place to carry out his attack, authorities said Thursday.

Five Dead In Sebring Bank Shooting

Jan 23, 2019
Google Maps

Authorities say they’ve arrested a man they say opened fire in Highlands County, killing five people.

Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund said officers responded to a SunTrust Bank branch about 90 miles southeast of Tampa Wednesday afternoon. They found five people dead after a SWAT team managed to get inside.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

A lone gunman carrying a .45-caliber pistol killed 12 people at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., late Wednesday, authorities say. When the shooting started, the Borderline Bar & Grill likely held hundreds of people, drawn by the weekly "College Country Night."

The dead include Sgt. Ron Helus, a 29-year veteran of law enforcement who went into the nightclub within minutes of receiving an emergency call. As many as 15 people inside the bar were injured, and one person had a minor gunshot wound.

Civil Rights Group Says Domestic Terrorism Is Rising

Nov 8, 2018

A civil rights group is highlighting the role of social media in the lives of people who commit acts of violence- like the shooting at a yoga studio in Tallahassee over the weekend. The gunman posted misogynistic videos, aligning himself with an online hate group that targets women.

WMFE

The Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016 was, at the time, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, leaving 49 dead.

What if more victims could have lived? This year a peer-reviewed study concluded 16 victims died with potentially survivable wounds.


Ryen Aleman had headphones on and a controller in his hand, playing the popular football video game Madden NFL at a tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., when there were loud pops behind him. Other competitors began bolting out of the room. Something was wrong, he thought. When he realized the jarring sound was gunfire, Aleman told his video game opponent and instructed him to follow his lead.

"Let's crawl down. Let's crawl to the restroom," he said.

FBI leaders and local law enforcement officials are studying shootings in schools to piece together trends and come up with ways to prevent future violence, officials said.

Updated at 2:39 p.m. ET

"I'm not a hero. I'm just a regular person," said James Shaw Jr., who police say saved lives by disarming a man who opened fire Sunday at a Waffle House in Tennessee. Shaw insists he acted only to save himself — but many others are calling him a hero for stopping the violence.

"I think anybody could've did what I did if they're just pushed in that kind of cage," Shaw said, "and you have to either react or you're going to, you know, fold."

Lee County Sheriff's Office

The man responsible for a shooting at a Florida Zombie-themed festival more than two years ago was arrested Monday, police said.

Following last week’s school massacre in Parkland, many are calling for increased gun regulation. But some are also citing mental health issues in America that need to be addressed. 

This month’s mass shooting at a Texas church has raised questions of whether the military does enough to help former service members with bad conduct discharges. They're not eligible for veterans' mental health care.  

The media shapes public perception about current events, but that doesn’t mean we all see or hear the same things. A team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a platform for “studying media ecosystems” that reveals how news events are framed by media outlets around the world.

Last weekend's massacre in Las Vegas is only the latest reminder of the persistent gun violence in the United States. And a new set of statistics on the rates of gun violence unrelated to conflict underscores just how outsize U.S. rates of gun deaths are compared with those in much of the rest of the world.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

While investigators try to figure out the motive of an Iraq war veteran accused of killing five travelers and wounding six others at a busy international airport in Fort Lauderdale, the suspected gunman was charged and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Esteban Santiago, 26, was charged with an act of violence at an international airport resulting in death — which carries a maximum punishment of execution — and weapons charges.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

Dan and Janice Kovacs and their two children were passing through airport security when the gunfire erupted. They were shoeless — with wallets, passports and carry-on items chugging along a conveyer belt — when they sprang into the mass of people running to safety.

Now they're among stranded travelers at Fort Lauderdale trying to recover what the airport director says are 25,000 pieces of luggage, cellphones and other belongings separated from their owners during Friday's shooting rampage.