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Panel seeks progress against gun violence

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

A hopeful message that progress can be achieved in the battle against gun violence emerged during a Tuesday night meeting in the University district. Panelists say a key is engagement, especially with young people.

The meeting was called by the Social Justice Committee of St. Joseph University Church and its Gun Violence Awareness Sub Committee. That's a group with meetings which often delve into the city's social problems.

Featured was a heavy-hitter panel of U.S. Attorney William Hochul, District Attorney Michael Flaherty, Child Advocacy Center Director Judith Olin and County Judge Kenneth Case.

"I think there's a lot more that we can do," Olin said.

"I think the idea that a gun is going to help keep someone safe, a woman safe, is absolutely not borne out by the research. I think that's just total fiction."

There were gun rights advocates in the audience, as the speakers time after time specified...illegal guns. Hochul and Flaherty say there is progress because the community wants change in gun violence and community groups are engaging with violence problems on the streets, young person by young person.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.