Sunday, January 23, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

Retooling MN Gun-Violence Prevention for 2022

Play

Monday, January 10, 2022   

Gun-violence prevention in Minnesota is likely to see some different approaches in 2022. That's according to a statewide group, which says one priority involves firearm fatalities that don't garner as many headlines.

The group Protect Minnesota says when deadly shootings in cities such Minneapolis get a lot of attention, it's easy to forget that suicide by firearm still accounts for nearly 70% of gun deaths across the state.

Executive director Rashmi Seneviratne said it's especially a problem in rural areas. This year, her group hopes to work closely with communities in safely getting firearms out of the hands of those dealing with mental-health issues such as depression.

"Is there a way we can create conversations with family members and friends, just to say - 'Hey, I know you're not in a good place. Let me hold onto your firearm for you,'" said Seneviratne.

She said this can be done with the involvement of churches because of their close connections with local residents.

The group adds this type of approach can get around the thorny issue of Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

As for urban areas, Protect Minnesota hopes to see legislation adopted that would boost funding for violence-intervention groups and after-school programs.

Seneviratne said no matter the type of gun violence a city or town is dealing with, lack of resources is a problem. When it comes to some of the waves of shootings that surface in larger cities, she said it's important to get to the root of the problem, as opposed to focusing on tougher punishments.

"I very much understand people's need to be safe and to have that immediate action, right?" said Seneviratne. "Like, 'Oh, let's just lock them up and now we're safe.' But you're not safe."

Seneviratne also has worked as a lawyer in the criminal-defense world and said a body of research suggests longer prison sentences can be counterproductive.

She said those who are incarcerated are still surrounded by violence and criminal activity, putting them at risk to commit another offense after they're released.

Some police leaders in Hennepin County recently called for more aggressive prosecution in light of violent-crime concerns.




get more stories like this via email
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Social Issues

Healthcare workers at an Oregon hospital have achieved what they say is a "win" after several strikes in recent months. Nearly 300 workers and …


Pennsylvania has over 300 million square feet of big-box building rooftops, which new research suggests could provide almost half the electricity that these buildings consume if they were outfitted with solar panels. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Over the course of the pandemic, North Dakota has received more than $350 million in federal aid to help struggling renters, but says it has sent back roughly 40% of that money unspent. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, and groups working …

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021