Preventing Gun Violence: A Community Conversation

Photo courtesy of Allendale United Methodist Church

Over 100 participants attended our panel, entitled “Preventing Gun Violence: A Community Conversation,” on Feb. 13.

Led by moderator Ryan Mitchell, the panelists – St. Petersburg City Council Chair Lisa Wheeler-Bowman, pediatrician Dr. David Berman, and licensed psychologist Dr. Amanda Raitano – shared their perspectives on gun violence and actions that the community can take.

Key recommendations included the need to address the root cause and look at the role of poverty and race; the need for families to take an active role in monitoring children’s mental health and be good role models; the need to keep guns locked, store ammo separately, and lock cars with locked guns; the need to humanize victims in order to most effectively tell the story; and the need for each of us to get involved.

Video of the event is available for viewing online.

Our next gun safety team meeting is March 12 at 7 p.m. We’ll discuss our next steps, including a plan to involve more than a dozen community partners and law enforcement professionals.

To learn more, visit For more information, contact Sharon Winters at