Treating gun violence as a public health issue? Easier said than done

The nationwide debate about gun control, mass shootings and violent crime was once again reignited in the wake of recent massacres at a county center in California and a Planned Parenthood in Colorado that left several people dead. 

But here in St. Louis, officials are concerned with a different type of gun violence — the kind that happens almost routinely and usually takes one life at a time.

At least 180 people have been killed in St. Louis so far this year — the most in almost two decades. And most of those homicides involved a gun.

That's led to a growing cry from community members, nonprofits, law enforcement and public officials who say it's time to re-think the approach to tackling gun violence.

Specifically, many are advocating a public health approach.

Still, cities like St. Louis are finding out that implementing this approach is easier said than done.

We explore that in this week's podcast. 

We also get a little help in this episode from Ryan Delaney, a reporter for WFYI in Indianapolis.

Delaney has started a series called Intersections, which is tracking a new consolidated plan to lower gun violence in Indianapolis by addressing things like poverty, mental health and hunger in target neighborhoods. 

You can follow his work here.