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The statistics are shocking.
Nearly 80 percent of young people in Pittsburgh's urban neighborhoods have had family or friends wounded or killed by gun violence.

And while intentional shootings are more common in urban communities, rural children are as likely to die by gunshot as kids in our biggest cities, often by accident or suicide.

With support from The Pittsburgh Foundation, WQED presents this multiple platform project encompassing television, interactive, social media and civic engagement. We are telling the stories of people impacted by gun violence, as well as those who are working for positive change.

Please make your voice heard.
Please share your story here.




Tom H.
A day of fun and family turned into an evening of terror and tragedy for the Hackey family. Tom Hackey retells the story of what happened that night and how he lost one of the youngest members of his family.

Gun Violence: Voices and Victims for Change


Episode One: The Victims

Michael Bartley reports on people whose lives were forever changed by gun violence.

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Episode Two: The Voices

Tonia Caruso examines the complexities of the gun control debate.

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Episode Three: A Community Forum on Gun Violence

Michael Bartley, Tonia Caruso and Chris Moore host this forum featuring a panel of guests with different backgrounds, views and experiences on gun violence.

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Through the years, WQED has produced powerful, award-winning features and documentaries about people affected by gun violence.
These are some of their stories.


Debra Germany

After losing her child to a brutal murder, Debra Germany chose not to drown in personal pain. Instead, she launched a Christian mission to help troubled youth.

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Jeron Grayson

Learn about the life and death of Jeron Grayson, a freshman at Hampton University who was shot at an off-campus party at California University.

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Homewood Is My Harlem

Vanessa German is an award-winning performance poet, actress, sculptor and creator of the "Stop Shooting. We Love You" signs. She says there is a great deal...

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Healthy Communities: Safe Neighborhoods

Healthy Communities must be safe, where children aren't anxious about constant violence around them. In fact, Pittsburgh medical researchers call violence...

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Kevin Parker

Kevin Parker was wounded innocently in a downtown shooting and lost his eyesight. We hear about how Kevin stays positive and works to keep young people away from drugs and violence.

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Martha Dixon

When a man went on a shooting rampage in 1994, FBI agent Martha Dixon was killed trying to protect others in a Washington, DC. building. Seven years later, Tonia Caruso updates the...

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Remembering Taylor Coles

She was only eight years old, when a hail of gunfire killed Taylor Coles, her father and another man inside a Homewood restaurant.

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Jeremy Nagel

At the age of 17, Jeremy Nagel story made headlines when he was shot and paralized while coming to the aid of a friend who was being robbed. Now at the age of 27, Jeremy speaks...

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Divine Intervention Ministries

Two Pittsburgh women work to fight crime with billboards offering rewards in local murders. Valerie Dixon and Debra Germany Morrison both lost their sons to gun violence.

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Your Stories


Mark

For Mark, a routine walk home from a long day at culinary school turned into a frightening ordeal, to say the least. Listen as he retells his experience of being a gun violence victim.

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Jim

A seemingly harmless walk with a friend around their neighborhood quickly turned to a violent situation for Jim. Hear him tell the story about his encounter with gun violence.

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Geraldine M.

After losing two sons to gun violence, Geraldine became active in helping others who may be going through a similar ordeal. Hear what she has to say about the violence on our city's streets.

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Jill H.

Jill's life was forever changed when she became the unexpected victim of violence while attended a youth football game. Listen to her story of gun violence and how that brief incident has impacted her life.

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Rob C.

As the Western Pennsylvania Coordinator for CeaseFire PA, Rob Conroy has heard many stories of gun violence. He retells the story that has stayed with him.

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Adrienne Y.

No parent expects to lose his or her child to a violent act and Adrienne Young is no exception. Listen to her story and how she hopes violent acts, like the one that took her son’s life, can be prevented.

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Theresa R.

One phone call changed Theresa’s life. Listen as she tells her story.

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Rick C.

After the death of his son in 2005, Rick Cockley found a way to turn his grief into guidance for anyone who may be a first responder at the scene of a shooting. Listen to his story.

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Tom H.

A day of fun and family turned into an evening of terror and tragedy for the Hackey family. Tom Hackey retells the story of what happened that night and how he lost one of the youngest members of his family.

Watch


Mary H.

A day of fun and family turned into an evening of terror and tragedy for the Hackey family. Mary Hackey retells the story of what happened that night and how she lost one of the youngest members of her family.

Watch


Lois M.

Lois talks about why the home is such an important place to begin teaching non-violent behavior.

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Your Stories

Judy C. - Squirrel Hill
"Although I am lucky enough to never have lost a close friend or family member to gun violence, I feel that I have been impacted by what is happening all to frequently in our city and nation. Here is how gun violence impacts me. I find myself becoming inured to the weekly accounts of shootings. When I hear of another bright, caring, young person, filled with potential, killed all too soon, I wonder if they were the one who would have discovered a cure for cancer, lightened my life with their music, been the leader we need for the times ahead; I worry about sending our children to a friend’s house to play and feeling uncomfortable to raise the issue of guns in the house with the parents; I'm forced to confront my own vulnerability to finding myself at the wrong place at a time when some person who should have been identified and receiving mental health services instead acts out his pain and demons by deciding to shoot up a shopping mall, movie theater, grocery store parking lot, or school. My experiences are limited when I self restrict my movement to parts of our city because I perceive them to be unsafe and view my neighbors as suspicious and dangerous. All these feeling wear me down but also spur me to action.

I have worked to quell gun violence as part of my temple and through the gun violence taskforce of PIIN. Through this work I have become aware of the many other Pittsburghers working to curb gun violence and force gun owners to be responsible gun owners. I am discouraged that so many of our elected officials fail to represent the strong feelings of the majority of their constituents who demand that the violence stop..."


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featured specials

  • Portraits for the Homefront: The Story of Elizabeth Black
    The poignant story unfolds as we explore Black’s lost art career, seek out elderly veterans who encountered Miss Black on the battlefield, and present to amazed and appreciative families portraits that never arrived.
  • Classical Crossroads
    Where classical music crosses paths with rock and roll, world music, folk music and jazz. Listen to interviews with people who make good music here.

featured specials

  • Portraits for the Homefront: The Story of Elizabeth Black
    The poignant story unfolds as we explore Black’s lost art career, seek out elderly veterans who encountered Miss Black on the battlefield, and present to amazed and appreciative families portraits that never arrived.
  • Classical Crossroads
    Where classical music crosses paths with rock and roll, world music, folk music and jazz. Listen to interviews with people who make good music here.

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featured specials