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Looking for a “Cease-Fire” on Gun Violence in Ohio

October 10, 2007

Akron, OH – Cutting down on gun violence in Ohio is the goal of a forum tonight in Akron, bringing together judges, police officers, faith groups, and others. Toby Hoover with the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence is the keynote speaker at tonight's event. She says the top priority should be mandatory background checks and mental health checks for all gun purchases, because private sales and many gun show sales are currently exempt from background check requirements.

"Secondary sales and private sales are rampant, and that's how a lot of people are getting their guns that wouldn't qualify to have them."

Hoover says American society has become too quick to turn to violence as a solution, and it'll take a long-term change of attitude to turn that around.

"We have a social climate here of violence that we accept everywhere. Eventually we have to say, 'This is enough.'"

Hoover says while high-profile shootings capture headlines, most tragic gun violence is related to domestic disputes or arguments between acquaintances, and other conflicts that escalate out of control.

"Husband kills wife, wife kills husband, coworker kills coworker. So we need to look at who's doing the shooting, who's dying, and stop just blaming it on gangs and bad guys, because that's the only way we're going to be able to approach the problem and find any answers."

Hoover supports a requirement that all gun sales go through a licensed dealer, and says the requirement would help ensure that background checks are a part of all purchases.

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OH