TODAY'S QUESTION: What can Columbia do to address gun violence?

Monday, July 5, 2010 | 10:12 a.m. CDT; updated 6:10 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 5, 2010

COLUMBIA — Last week, Columbia police responded to multiple reports of shots fired within a one-and-a-quarter mile radius. Police said the incidents — reported June 27, June 29 and July 1 — are related.

Early in the morning of June 27, shots were reportedly fired from two different vehicles near the intersection of Fifth and Lyon streets and in the 800 block of Clinkscales Road. Two days later, police responded to a third report of shots fired near the intersections of Hinkson Avenue and William Street and Range Line Street and Wilkes Boulevard. Police found .45-caliber shell casings at all four locations.

Police responded to the most recent report just after noon on July 1. Three 9mm shell casings were later found in the 500 block of West Ash Street. Bullets hit a residence and a vehicle during that incident.

No injuries were reported.

As of Friday afternoon, police had identified suspects but had made no arrests.

A comment on the Missourian's website last week lamented the limited police presence in the area after the continued shooting reports. In response, another reader argued that it would be impractical — if not impossible — to expect police "to be everywhere at all times."

The sudden increase in gun violence might be an isolated incident. Columbia police have not yet identified a motive behind the shootings.

"It could be anything from drugs to feuding family issues," Officer Jill Wieneke said in an interview with the Columbia Tribune. Wieneke, a spokeswoman for the Columbia Police Department, added, "We could 'what if' all day long, but it's probably going to boil down to the big three reasons."

Police officers offered a temporary solution: During the investigations, people were advised to stay away from the area and to contact the Police Department with any information about the individuals and vehicles involved.

What can be done to address gun violence in Columbia?

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George Robb II July 5, 2010 | 3:04 p.m.

Got an idea take away all the good peoples guns and ask the bad guys to turn in their legal registered guns and then no one would have to worry.What you don't think the bad guys would want to play fair. Cool then let all the good guys have two and the heck with the bad guys.Maybe if these nut cases came to a certain neighborhood, and all the people shot their car up.... the the cops could just drive up and arrest them... oh my what a concept!The cops are the good guys and we should do all we can to make their life better.Lets have a week of turn in the jerks...don't let these urban terrorist run amuck.

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