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Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Scott LaMar and WITF Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.


Hosts: Scott LaMar and Mary Wilson

Smart Talk: Preventing violence

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Mar 5, 2014 3:19 PM

What to look for Smart Talk Thursday, March 6, 2014:

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Since 2010, there have been 14 mass shootings across America.  Mass shootings and violent crime are sometimes attributed to issues such as media coverage, mental illness, violence in video games, bullying, availability of guns, and lax security in schools.

Under a state senate resolution last year, The Joint State Government Commission appointed an Advisory Committee to conduct a study on violence prevention and make recommendations based on its findings.

Glenn Pasewicz, executive director of the Joint State Government Commission and Assistant Counsel Yvonne Hursh appear on Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss the study and its recommendations.

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Glenn Pasewicz and Yvonne Hursh

The report focuses on media, mental health, school safety, and firearms.

For example, the report makes a number of recommendations on who should or shouldn't possess a gun.

It also recommends media deny celebrity status to perpetrators and that parents take a more active role in screening children’s exposure to violence.

The report encourages early intervention for those who who may be mentally ill by providing additional training and education to those who come in contact with mentally ill or developmentally disabled individuals. 

To view the report, click here.

Listen to the program:

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Comments: 4

  • Lisa img 2014-03-06 09:30

    You're talking a lot about monitoring violence in movies, but I think a major problem is the change in television. The major forensics show of the '70's was Quincy and you never saw anything gorey - it was always off screen. Compare that to shows like Bones and CSI which seem to be on all the time and revel in showing everything. Shows with more adult content never used to be on TV before 10pm. Now they are on as repeats as early as 7pm. The sexual content, foul language, and violence in shows as seemingly benign as The Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, How I Met My Wife, etc. is greatly increased from that of shows from 30 years ago. I find the darkness of shows like Criminal Minds and The Mentalist to be, quite frankly, disturbing.

  • raise.a.pint img 2014-03-06 09:34

    if fewer than 1% of the subjects in a study respond to a stimulus, there is no correlation. Meaning, people should stop looking to society when assigning blame and focus on the person (and their family).

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-06 09:53

    Listener email: I'm a father in my 50's. When we went to school, there were no mass shootings that I know of. We carried pocket knives to school w/o incident. Now, we live in a time of school violence, when many school systems have a zero tolerance policy. You hear of young children being suspended for carrying a nail file, a novelty pen, or even for pointing a finger at someone and saying "Bang". We have gone from one extreme to another and there is no common sense in how our school administrators and educators deal with this serious issue. Our son was brought up without cable T.V., without a cell or I Phone, w/o video games. In essence w/o access to much of the violence seen in the media in our society. He is now in High School, and has access to all of these things thru his friends, but he was not brought up with it from a young age as they were. He assures us, that bullying is rampant in his school and is not addressed by the adults in charge. It's obvious that important resources need to be placed in addressing bullying and the mental health issues of students in the public school system, and it needs to start early when the students are very young. My son belonged to his middle school's anti bullying club. these programs look good on paper but frankly, they are ineffectual. The schools need to implement more efficient screening of their students and ready access to qualified counselors and child psychologists. That is not the case in my son's school system. Banning nail clippers is a ridiculous knee jerk reaction and does not in any way address the problem.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-03-06 09:53

    David emails - I've read quite some time ago that the majority of premeditated murders take place in the rural sections of our country.
    Perhaps because it's rural and that means we have guns available.
    Where as in the cities the murders are a result of an assault or robbery gone wrong.
    But shouldn't schools come up with testing to weed out personality traits,if the school or bus driver sees something that should be reported to such an observation office also.
    And of course these kids are" given" weapons as gifts or as rites to adult hood(I was).
    But for now it's up to the parents to lock these guns up,and start simply with that,it doesn't matter if it's an assault weapon with a high capacity clip or a single shot 20 gauge.

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