Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson listens to representatives speak on the last day of the legislative session.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies go guestless, so to speak, to analyze the lay of the land before the Missouri General Assembly’s veto session.

When lawmakers return to the Capitol for the Wednesday afternoon session, the two biggest bills will be a multi-faceted gun bill and legislation implementing a photo identification requirement to vote. But even though they haven’t attracted as much attention, nearly two dozen other bills could potentially receive veto override attempts.

State Rep. Stacey Newman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome back state Rep. Stacey Newman to talk about the legislature’s upcoming veto session – and the November election.

Newman is a Richmond Heights Democrat who entered the legislature in 2010 after a special election. With the exception of a zany Democratic primary in 2012, Newman’s subsequent elections have been relatively easy. For instance: She was completely unopposed this cycle, meaning she will return to the Missouri House for her final term.

Four hand guns on a red cloth.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook

The St. Clair County Sheriff’s office is melting down at least a hundred illegal firearms it collected over the weekend at a gun buyback in East St. Louis.

$10,000 in Wal-Mart gift cards were handed out in 39 minutes Saturday in exchange for the guns.

Kenrich Henderson gazes at a portrait of her daughter Jamyla Bolden. The painting is a gift from St. Louis artist Jane Martin and an organization called Faces Not Forgotten that produces portraits of children killed by gun violence.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Kendric Henderson was lying on the bed with her daughter Jamyla Bolden, doing homework, when bullets burst through the window of their Ferguson home. The gunshots killed the 9-year-old and wounded her mother.

Nearly a year later, the pain is still agonizing. But local artists are trying to help keep the good memories alive for Jamyla’s loved ones. They're also helping dozens of other families around the country.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, left, and Kansas City Mayor Sly James were the keynote speakers to the Missouri delegation at the Democratic National Convention.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

PHILADELPHIA – For Kansas City, Mo.,  Mayor Sly James, gun violence isn’t a philosophical exercise or a buzzword.

The Democratic official told members of the Missouri delegation at the Democratic National Convention that he often goes to crime scenes where a person has used a gun to kill someone. Often, James said he sees people who are “prostrate on the ground because they’re so grief-stricken.”

Jacob and Jahede Parker picked out almost identical gray camo coats at the Back-to-School Store. Jacob's had a bright yellow lining, while Jahede's lining was white.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Eight-year-old Jahede Parker has brand new red sneakers and a gray camo coat to start his new school year at Patrick Henry Downtown Academy in St. Louis.

His twin brother Jacob picked out an almost identical coat Sunday, when the two joined more than a thousand other local elementary kids shopping at the free back-to-school fair sponsored by the St. Louis chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women.

Brandon Reid takes part in a video project that aims to deliver messages of support and solidarity to the LGBT community in the wake of this past weekend's Orlando shooting.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For decades, many LGBT people could only talk freely about their lives, hold hands with a partner or feel completely safe in one kind of place: a gay bar. Some would say that's still true today.

But the horrific mass shooting at an Orlando club has stripped away the idea of safety.

Early Sunday morning, the shooter surprised a lively crowd with a spray of bullets that killed 49 people and injured 50. Across the nation, people in the LGBT community said it was a painful reminder that they can be targets of hate and violence.

A St. Louis social work student has launched a project to help people in St. Louis and Orlando begin to heal.

Brian Munzlinger GOP Sen. 18th NE corner of state
Provided by Mr. Munzlinger's office

A Senate committee is considering a bill (SB 731) to allow students to carry concealed weapons on college campuses in Missouri.

The bill, proposed by state Sen. Brian Munzlinger,  R-Williamstown, drew a strong reaction from both supporters and opponents during a hearing today.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

For a long time, physicians at the major trauma centers in St. Louis say they have cared for an alarming number of people with gunshot wounds — including many children.

“Some weeks we’ll operate more on gunshot wounds than we will for simple things like appendicitis,” said Dr. Pamela Choi, a surgery resident at Washington University.

In 2015, on average there is more than one mass shooting per day in the United States—and the impact of that is felt across the country. From the terror attacks in Charleston, Paris, Colorado Springs and San Bernardino to shootings closer to home, it is hard for the topic to stay off the minds of Americans these days.

St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Amid an increasing tide of gun violence throughout St. Louis, the president of the Board of Aldermen is trying to organize a gun buyback program.

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Lewis Reed told St. Louis Public Radio earlier this week that he’s setting up a gun buyback program through a crowd-funded site known as Gun by Gun. While the site isn’t operational yet, the idea is to get St. Louis residents to trade in their guns for money received from crowd-funding.

(via Flickr/kcds)

Ask Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton why the school is embarking on a year-long effort to determine causes and solutions to gun violence, and he has a host of statistics and academic rationales to make his case:

  • The cost to the nation of $174 billion each year.
  • More than 11,000 U.S. homicides and nearly twice that number of suicides from firearms in 2013.
  • Missouri’s ranking of fourth in the nation for killings with guns.

But Wrighton's wife, Risa Zwerling Wrighton, has a far more emotional argument, one that moves her to tears.

James Clark of Better Family Life speaks at a news conference in the mayor's office on March 19, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is increasing its funding for a local agency’s initiative to shift the culture of St. Louis’s most dangerous blocks away from violence.

Better Family Life is getting a total of $55,000 from the city’s public safety fund for its Neighborhood Alliance program, which puts outreach specialists and case managers in the neighborhoods to connect families to resources and teach conflict resolution.

Dr. Duru Sakhrani, left, and Valerie Carter-Thomas talk to "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh on March 11, 2015 at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Violence affects all of us. But for children, violence can be particularly difficult to cope with and understand.

Compounding the issue, there’s not a specific type or source of violence to address.

“It’s violence in the home; violence in the streets. It’s exposure to violence, the length of exposure, the amount of exposure, the pervasiveness of exposure,” Dr. Duru Sakhrani, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Mercy Children’s Hospital St. Louis, told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday.

Several local gun stores are reporting an increased demand for tactical weapons and training.
(via Flickr/Foxtongue)

Several St. Louis area gun shops are reporting a spike in sales, and some are attributing it, in part, to preparations ahead of an expected grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case.

About two-thirds of the local gun stores St. Louis Public Radio spoke with report increased sales. Two stores, Marco Polo Outfitters in Chesterfield and Butterfield Gun Works in Ballwin, said they haven't seen a significant jump in sales.

Other stores said it's typical to see more sales at this time of year, thanks to deer season and the start of holiday shopping.

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

A grandmother walking home from the store with her grandchildren. An Ethiopian refugee who worked as a convenience store clerk. A brother and a sister, killed three hours apart.

With a little more than two months left in the year, the city of St. Louis has already reached 120 homicides, the total number of murders reported in all of 2013.

That’s 120 victim’s families, assailant’s families, and neighborhood blocks that will never be the same, said James Clark.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson listens as state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed announces her plans to introduce legislation mandating 10 years in prison for gun crimes in Missouri.
Rachel Lippmann I St. Louis Public Radio.

A state senator from the city of St. Louis wants individuals who commit gun crimes in Missouri to face what she sees as an appropriate punishment.

"Those with violent crimes and those with gun crimes - they will serve 10 years in prison if we can pass this legislation," state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed said Tuesday at a press conference with Mayor Francis Slay and police chief Sam Dotson. "What we're saying is enough is enough."

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House and Senate each spent the waning minutes of the legislative session embroiled in debate over a bill to nullify most federal gun laws.

But afterward, it was Gov. Jay Nixon who fired off the first post-session shots. His target was the General Assembly’s final-day spending spree.

Free gun locks will be given out Friday at City Hall in St. Louis
M Glasgow | Flickr

Just hours before adjournment, the Missouri General Assembly has approved a bill that lowers the state’s legal age for carrying concealed weapons to 19 and allows the open carrying of firearms by any person with a valid concealed-carry permit.

The bill also allows schools to designate teachers or administrators as "school protection officers" who can carry a concealed firearm or self-defense spray device. But school districts authorizing the armed officers are required to hold a public hearing on the matter.

(via Flickr/kcds)

Differences between the Missouri House and Senate may once again kill an effort to nullify federal gun laws.

The Missouri House voted Tuesday evening by a veto-proof margin, 109-42, to approve a conference committee’s proposed final version of the bill, officially known as the “Second Amendment Preservation Act.”

But the chief Senate sponsor, state Sen. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, declined to sign the panel’s compromise and told reporters that he may not bring up the version for a final Senate vote before this session ends on Friday. The result would be to kill the bill.

(via Flickr/kcdsTM)

Every year more than 20,000 children ages 0 to 19 are injured by guns, said Dr. David Jaffe, the medical director of emergency services at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Every day, seven of those injuries are fatal. 

Jaffe's hospital treats an average of 70 kids a year with gunshot wounds.

In late March, an 11-year-old boy was killed in his home in south St. Louis when he was hit by bullets fired at his house. Less than a week later, an 11-year-old girl was shot and critically injured as she was coming home from a fast food restaurant with her father, he said.

(via Flickr/kcds)

The Newtown massacre has been seared in our collective memory. Gun violence involving teens in St. Louis, especially teens of color, is among the highest in the country.  The emotion in Roxana, Ill., after an April Fool’s prank this week put local focus on the issue. 


From school shootings to drive-bys to suicide, the level of exposure children in America today have to gun violence is in the news and on the minds of many. Because of this prevalence, some health care professionals contend that it has become a public health issue.  Among them:

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Some years ago at a scientific meeting in Sweden, a conversation with a local resident veered toward gun policy in the United States. You have tens of thousands of gun deaths annually, my companion intoned, and the trend is to make guns easier to access so more people can have them!

This was not a casual assertion that U.S. gun policy is imperfect. It was not an invitation to explore alternatives.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.  

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

There could be an effort next year to change the law allowing Missouri lawmakers and others to carry guns at the State Capitol. A loaded handgun was found by police in the basement of the Capitol last week.  It had been left in a men's bathroom on top of a toilet paper dispenser.  Police discovered that it belonged to a staff member of Republican House Speaker Tim Jones, and that the staffer does have a conceal-carry permit.  Jacob Hummel, the top Democrat in the Missouri House, says only law enforcement officers should be allowed to carry arms at the State Capitol.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, says he decided to become last week’s pivotal vote against the bill nullifying federal gun laws when it became clear to him that the legislation had too many poorly drafted provisions.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Beacon.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

On this week's show, Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey joins us to give a post-mortem of last week's veto session. The Republican goes into great detail on why he voted against the much-covered gun nullification bill, as well as what we can expect out of next year's session.

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

(via Flickr/robertnelson)

Updated at 4:55 with reaction from chief Sam Dotson.

A proposal that would have had two judges handling most crimes involving firearms in the city of St. Louis has been rejected by the judges themselves.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The House sponsor of a pro-gun bill that came within one vote of becoming Missouri law during this week's veto session is pledging to work with the two fellow Republicans in the state Senate who killed the bill – Senate leaders Tom Dempsey and Ron Richard – to come up with a compromise version to be considered next year.