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Gun violence summit to focus on responding to mass shootings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Jackson County prosecutor will host a summit on gun violence this spring, to adopt the latest techniques in medicine and mental health care, which are allowing more victims to survive shootings.

Doctors, teachers and counselors are the focus on how to respond better to gun violence.

In the wake of the Florida school shooting, the national debate may be refocusing on gun control measures, but in Missouri, prosecutor Jean Peters Baker says that's a debate she can't win.

A gun police found at a Kansas City shooting scene in the last 18 months provides a stark reminder of the new reality.

Peters Baker says it's a modified AR-15, the same rifle used in Florida. Only she says this one has a drum magazine capable of carrying nearly a hundred bullets.

The prosector says it's totally legal in Missouri, even for some felons to carry.

Faced with the reality of liberalized gun laws, Peters Baker believes her focus on combating gun violence must shift.

"One of the topics we hope to address at this summit is the use of a tourniquet," Peters Baker said. "One of the things we have learned from our many mass shootings in America is that if tourniquets were employed properly, after that horrible shooting in the school in Connecticut. We believe medical personnel tell us about half those kids could have been saved."

Battlefield medical techniques used by the military already have been credited with helping save lives in Parkland, Fla.

Peters Baker says the summit also may examine the experiment underway in Westport, where streets and sidewalks in the entertainment district are being privatized as a way to prevent people from bringing firearms into the area.

The summit will be open to anyone, but Peters Baker is reaching out to school leaders, mental health counselors and emergency room doctors in particular to develop better responses.

You can register later this week at JacksonCountyProsecutor.com.