Whenever an act of gun violence occurs, communities are fractured at every level. This is what makes TRIGGER: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence such a powerfully moving film. TRIGGER shares the stories of individuals that encounter gun violence in various sectors of our communities: parents, children and siblings of victims, school teachers, trauma surgeons, law enforcement, legislators, pastors and grief counselors. Although we often think of a bullet as being an end, for those affected, it is only the beginning. Here are some of the stories, or “ripples” that are highlighted in the film:
Goddard is a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting. He was shot four times while in a morning Intermediate French class, and three of the bullets remain in his shoulder and hip. Only seven of his classmates survived. The 2007 shooting prompted Goddard to become active in gun violence prevention. Having previous experience in the Virginia House of Delegates, he joined with the Brady Campaign and is currently their Assistant Director of Outreach.
Jeffries is a community leader and activist whose daughter was killed in the South Capitol Street Shooting in 2010 in Washington DC.
Rev. Diane Hugger
Hugger is a chaplain at Washington Medstar Hospital Center in Washington, DC. She provides counseling and pastoral care for shooting survivors and victims families.
Vince is a retired ATF Agent and is now President at Crime Gun Solutions.
Christian began advocating for safer gun laws after his parents were shot on Memorial Day 2005 in Thousand Oaks, CA, a city known for its safety. His father survived multiple gunshots, but his mother was killed. Christian and his father, Tim, started a chapter of the Brady Campaign in Ventura County, where they helped pass an ordinance that requires the reporting of lost and stolen handguns within the county. He has served as a Legislative Assistant and Grassroots Coordinator with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence since May 2010.
U.S. Representative Carolyn McCarthy
McCarthy is a U.S. Representative for New York’s 4th congressional district, serving since 1997. On December 7, 1993, her husband, Dennis, was killed and her son, Kevin, severely injured on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train at the Merillon Avenue station, when a spree killer opened fire on passengers, killing six and wounding 19 others. Since her election to Congress in 1996, McCarthy has worked for safer gun legislation.
Detective Eric Fenton
Fenton is a detective with the Criminal Investigations Unit, Washington DC.
Barnes is a community Organizer and Founder of “Reaching Out to Others Together Inc.”, or ROOT, a nonprofit that mobilizes communities to reduce homicides resulting from gun and youth violence. While working toward his doctoral degree in clinical psychology, his son, Kenneth Barnes Jr., 37, was murdered – shot during a robbery. In 2011, President Obama granted Barnes a President’s Volunteer Service Award for his commitment to volunteerism.
Dr. James Streets III
Streets is a Trauma Surgeon at Medstar Washington Hospital Trauma Center
Brogioli is a Middle School Social Worker in Washington DC. Ann has seen the destructive force of gun violence in her middle school and has developed a trauma intervention program with her students.
Rev. Dr. David Holyan
Holyan is a member of the National Response Team for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. He is part of a team that specifically responds to gun violence as a “Human Caused Disaster” and has worked with communities impacted by shootings all over the country. Holyan became involved with the Human Caused Disaster Team after his community and congregation were devastated by a shooting that killed 6 people at Kirkwood City Hall in Kirkwood, Missouri in 2008.
Rev. Jim Atwood
Atwood is a retired minister who lost a parishioner to gun violence in a robbery. He is the President of the Washington D.C. chapter of Heeding God’s Call, a faith-based movement to end gun violence by stopping the flow of illegal guns from gun shops to the street. Rev. Atwood’s 2012 book, America and its Guns: A Theological Exposé, challenges people of faith to question the rampant fascination, or even idolatry that gun culture has garnered in the United States.
Samaha is a 2006 graduate of Virginia Tech, where his youngest sister Reema was killed in the 2007 mass shooting. Since then, Omar has been an advocate for gun violence prevention, co-founding Students for Gun-Free Schools (SGFS), which opposes efforts to force colleges and universities to allow students and faculty to carry concealed handguns on their campuses. Omar currently works with the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence as a Grassroots Coordinator.
Joshua Horwitz, J.D.
Horwitz is Executive Director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. He has spent more than two decades working on gun violence prevention issues, focusing on closing regulatory gaps that allow criminals to easily obtain firearms. Josh’s book, Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea, was published by the University of Michigan Press in 2009.