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Stories about kids, guns and how to stop the violence. Precious Lives, created by 371 Productions, is a 2-year, 100-part weekly radio series about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. The series applies a public health lens to each story to help listeners understand the full scope of the problem: who are the victims and the shooters; how are the weapons obtained; and what can we change about the environment that contributes to violence in Milwaukee?

A Community's Tireless Effort to End Gun Violence in Milwaukee

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Tracey Dent
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April 13 Peace Rally

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Credit Michelle Maternowski
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Precious Lives' Eric Von talking with Torre Johnson.

Vigils in Milwaukee for young people who've been shot and killed seem to have become commonplace.

Wednesday night, community members staged another. Bullets have struck five teens since just last weekend; two died.

 Eric Von is among those actively fighting the problem.  He hosts Precious Lives, a multi-media series devoted to ending gun violence in Milwaukee. You can hear the stories every week on WUWM. Von spoke with Marti Mikkelson about the seemingly endless challenge.

"Gun violence is dire in the city," Von said. "Last year, 2015, was one of the worst years ever in terms of use of guns to inflict harm on other people. We have to find a way to make guns less accessible to.. young people."

"In interviews that I have done, some of them have told me just how easy it is for them to get guns. It's almost natural it seems for some of them to carry guns," he said.

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Precious Lives: Before the Gunshots is produced by Eric Von and brought to you by WUWM in collaboration with 371 Productions, as part of Finding America, a national initiative produced by AIR, with financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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