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Episode 11: When Gun Violence Becomes Personal – An Interview with Rhonda Hart

In this special, Independence Day 2023 episode, Tim Jordan, host, explores the topic, “When Gun Violence Becomes Personal.” 

In the early morning hours of Friday May 18, 2018, gun violence became personal for Rhonda Hart. She did not ask for it; did not deserve it; and certainly did not want it! In a first period art class at Santa Fe High School (Texas), her 14-year-old daughter, Kimberly, was shot to death along with seven other students and two teachers. Thirteen others were wounded that day. 

Two armed police officers were in the school every day. The officers exchanged fire with the 17-year-old male shooter (a student at the school) but were unable to stop him from killing ten people. One officer was wounded. Eventually, the shooter surrendered to the police officer who was not wounded and a Texas Highway Patrol Trooper. Since 2018, Texas judges have ruled that the shooter has been mentally incompetent to stand trial. Texas is rated last in the U.S. in access to mental health care (Mental Health America, 2023).   

Listen as our host and special guest, Rhonda Hart, talk about Kimberly, grief, advocacy, and gun violence. Will gun violence become personal for you some day? Rhonda believes that it will. 

Resources for this podcast:

  • Newtown Action Alliance: An all-volunteer grassroots organization founded by Newtown, CT residents after the tragic shooting there on December 14, 2021, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
  • Survivors Empowered: An organization founded by Sandy and Lonnie Phillips after the killing of their daughter, Jessica Redfield Ghawi and eleven others in the mass shooting at the Aurora Colorado Theater in 2012.
  • Moms Demand Action:  A grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect young people from gun violence.
  • School Shootings by Country 2023: World Population Review

  • Blog: “What Do We Do About the Gun Program in America?”

  • Thoughts? Suggestions for topics or guests? Email us at:

Grass Roots Health is sponsored by the 1795 Group: www.1795group.comProduced by Tim Jordan. Rhonda Hart was booked by Afrodite Georgakopoulos. Audio editing and mastering was done by Christopher Stoll of Audio Flare Recording, Toledo, OH:

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