After Monterey Park: The impact of gun violence on our communities

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“It has to matter. It has to matter.”

For gunshot survivors, ER trauma staff and even gun owners, each new incident is a reminder of how their lives have been changed by gun violence.

“After Monterey Park: The Impact of Gun Violence on our Communities” is an hourlong special airing on “L.A. Times Today” on Spectrum News 1. The show explores the repercussions of the Jan. 21 shooting in Monterey Park that left 11 people dead and nine wounded in a popular dance studio on the eve of the Lunar New Year. The special will also examine the toll of gun violence across several decades in Southern California and what the public can expect moving forward from its elected officials. These are their stories.

Rose Smith

In 2007, Rose Smith was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by a stray bullet.

Marco Vargas

Twenty-three-year-old Marco Vargas grew up in South Los Angeles. He’d like the same attention given to the everyday gun violence in his neighborhood that mass shootings receive.

Loren Lieb

On Aug. 10, 1999, Loren Lieb got a call at work. A gunman had opened fire at a Jewish community center where her 6- and 8-year-old boys were attending summer camp. One of her sons was shot but survived. The other was uninjured.

Nathalia Jackson

Fourteen-year-old Nathalia Jackson knows the grim details of her father’s homicide. He was shot in the head at his cellphone business during what police believe was a botched robbery. She’s now an advocate for those affected by gun violence, especially children.

Ruett Foster

Ruett Foster was leading prayer at his church when he got the call there had been a shooting at a local park.  When he arrived, police told him his 7-year-old son had been shot and killed by gang-related gunfire.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.