South Florida leaders discuss gun control



FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz held a meeting Friday with South Florida police chiefs, mayors, and others to discuss ways to curb rising gun violence.

She called the roundtable in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“We have a very complex problem that we cannot simply say there is no answer for,” said Wasserman Schultz. “In the two years since Tucson, 54,000 deaths from gun violence have occurred in this country. Thousands of those were kids.”

Those deaths include 13-year-old Lourdes Guzman DeJesus, who police say was accidentally shot and killed by a classmate showing off a pistol he was taking to school.

They also include 16-year-old Bryan Herrera, shot and killed while riding his bicycle to study with a friend.

“Of the last four and a half years that I’ve been the school superintendent, I have buried 44 children who have died violent deaths in Miami, all of them in the streets of Miami, not in schools,” said Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.

These leaders are determined to reduce gun violence, and see ways of doing it.

“Mental health issues, gun registration, Baker Acting, having school resource officers armed, there are just so many different issues and I think everybody understands there’s no one solution to this problem,” said Broward Sheriff Scott Israel.

One partial solution discussed would be to require thorough background checks for sales at gun shows and preventing public spaces to be rented for gun shows.

Across the country, 68 percent of all murders, 41 percent of robberies, and 21 percent of aggravated assaults are committed with a gun, according to the FBI Uniform Report.

“We have far too many people getting hurt, injured, killed by guns in Miami-Dade County and we need to take the guns out of those folks that shouldn’t have any guns,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.