Americans Told Us How Their Lives Have Been Torn Apart By Gun Violence

As the U.S. was still reeling from back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, we started asking Americans from different generations and walks of life how gun violence in the country has impacted them personally.

Then, on Wednesday night, an armed man shot six police officers in north Philadelphia during an eight-hour standoff.

“When Columbine happened, I felt like ‘What’s going to happen now? Are they going to change the gun laws?’ But nothing happened. Then Sandy Hook happened and I thought ‘Now they’re really going to do something about it’ and nothing happened,” Diana Torres, 42, said. “At this point, I feel like what else has to happen for this to change?”

America’s rate of murder or manslaughter by firearm is the highest in the developed world.

“It’s really been normalized that gun violence is a part of my everyday life,” said Jolie Simone Barga, 14. “We don’t feel safe at school. We don’t feel safe going to the movie theater. We don’t go and feel safe at a store.”

Every day, 100 Americans are killed with guns, and hundreds more are injured, according to Everytown research. Families, friends, colleagues, and communities are left with the loss of loved ones and with persistent fear about the next mass shooting.

“This isn’t just a problem that happened in El Paso or a problem that happened in Dayton, Ohio. It can happen anywhere,” Barga said. “Just because it was in those places the other day, [doesn’t mean] that it can be in your hometown the next.”
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Philly DA: Suspect shouldn’t have been on streets

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner says the suspected gunman in an hourslong standoff that left six police wounded “should not have been on the streets,” adding law enforcement did not have a “crystal ball” to predict his behavior. (August 15)

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AP Top Stories August 15 A

Here’s the latest for Thursday August 15th: Philadelphia shooting suspect caught; El Paso vigil; Trump suggests holding off China trade talks; Source tells AP Hickenlooper to drop out of presidential race.

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Philadelphia gunman in custody after standoff

A gunman who opened fire on police Wednesday as they were serving a drug warrant in Philadelphia, wounding six officers and triggering a standoff that extended into the night, is in police custody, authorities said. (Aug. 15)

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Chief: Philly gunman ignores calls to surrender

At least one gunman opened fire on police Wednesday as they were serving a drug warrant in a Philadelphia neighborhood, wounding six officers and triggering a standoff that extended into the evening, including a potential hostage situation. (August 14)

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6 officers shot in Philly standoff

At least one gunman opened fire on Philadelphia police Wednesday afternoon, wounding at least six officers in a standoff that extended into the evening. (August 14)

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3 killed when small plane crashes in PA backyard

A small plane has crashed in the backyard of an eastern Pennsylvania home, killing three people aboard the aircraft. The single-engine plane went down around 6:20 a.m. Thursday in Willow Grove, a town some 30 miles north of Philadelphia. (August 8)

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Get Outta Here! Podcast: A Visit to the Primaries

Presidential candidates go to a lot of trouble to court voters in the critical early primary states. But not everyone they encounter on the trail in New Hampshire or South Carolina is a New Hampshire or South Carolina voter. Visitors come from near and far to see the show in person, rather than on TV. For some, it’s the contemporary version of visiting the birth-of-the-Republic sites in Philadelphia.

And on My Favorite Trip: Taking a 12-year old to the New Hampshire primary.

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Meek Mill launches label with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation

Meek Mill is in a Jay-Z state of mind: The Philadelphia rapper-turned-entrepreneur is launching a new record label in a joint venture with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. (July 24)

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