And I'm @rlippmann. We really do want to know what you want to hear, so reach out.
Thanks so much for your questions and comments today, everyone. If there's anything we missed, or something you'd like to reach out to us about, please feel free to send us an email or find us on Twitter. (I'm @durrieB)
@RLippmann Absolutely. This time we wrote about a young man who was shot and killed. But for every homicide, there are even more people who are shot and survive, resulting in lifelong disabilities, medical costs that might push them into debt, and an even harder time finding and keeping employment.
And yes, please, keep your ideas coming.
There's some statistics from the Missouri Hospital Association on who goes to the emergency room for gun-related injuries that I want to, or would recruit Durrie to, dig into more deeply.
Whether or not a conviction actually brings closure to a family. How the guns get into the system. Does charging some of these crimes in federal court, which we've started to see, actually make a difference. Will some of the diversion programs the circuit attorney is working on make a difference. How will things change with a new circuit attorney?
Oh, so much. Disparities in 911 response times. The challenges to keep witnesses safe, and also to convince them to assist an investigation.
We have about 10 minutes left for your questions/insights. Big topic -- we know our community is thinking about this. And acting.
@KimberlySpringer: On man, where do we start? I know Durrie wants to look at this whole thing from the perspective of the perpetrator, and re-entry into society.
Rachel, Durrie, what couldn't you include in the series that you'd still like to look into in future?
@CarlFiller: that we need a "portfolio of violent crime fighting tactics" to address a continuum of violence. That just floored me and highlighted the complexity for me.
@KimberlySpringer: You always see St. Louis at the top of all these "most violent" lists. There's the usual point with the methodologies, but the other thing I think those lists miss is the fact that 95 percent of the violence isn't random. The vast majority of homicide victims are at least acquainted with each other. The random ones, like the Cardinals fan who was shot and paralyzed, or Megan Boken, who was robbed and killed for her iPhone, get the attention, and make it seem like the entire city is crawling with violence. But as we've mentioned several times throughout this chat, homicides are concentrated in just a few neighborhoods.
wait wait wait... there was an uptick in domestic violence? That's not something I've ever thought of as something that would go up or down--just assumed it stayed steady.
Rachel, since you've been here longer than Durrie or me, any insights about how #STL is perceived outside of the city. Any accounting for perceptions of #STL as more dangerous than other places?
@stlrainbow: Exactly. You can address the root causes, which may reduce violence over time, but crime goes up and down cyclically, which is another point that chief Dotson likes to make. I even asked the lead homicide detective why 2015 was so violent comparatively, and he couldn't point to one thing driving the numbers. He talked a lot about the systemic issues, but in terms of like there being a drug war, or a turf dispute, he couldn't say. Or wouldn't.
@CarlFiller: I'd also have to think that the whole city-county divide can make it difficult. Two separate systems, not a lot of communication, but the border doesn't matter to criminals. The victim we profiled, Rashad Farmer, lived in St. Louis County but was coming into the city to see family.
@KimberlySpringer: I think it was almost a survival mechanism. I never got the sense that they wanted to or needed to judge. I don't think you last very long in emergency medicine in St. Louis if you're constantly thinking about who you are treating. And they also truly don't know in many circumstances who they are treating, or how they fit into a situation. Without being too crass, the patients are "injuries" - gunshot wound to the wherever.
Hey @CarlFiller, since we have you, I'm really curious about the biggest challenges the city/county are running into when you try to address gun violence in a holistic way.