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Maura's Voice Initiative Launched To Research Gun Violence

Jeff Binkley named the initiative after his daughter Maura, a victim of the Tallahassee yoga studio shooting in November.
Casey Chapter

A new research initiative is looking at the intersection between gun violence and hate.

Maura’s Voice is dedicated to studying the relationships between mental illness, hate and violence. Researchers hope this information will help with future policymaking.

The initiative is named after Maura Binkley, a victim of the Tallahassee yoga studio shooting in November. 

“We’re definitely working on some of those micro-level issues, and hope to provide the type of research, the type of information that can then support the policy," Jeff Binkley, Maura's father, said. "But again, without cultural change in an overarching level, it will be difficult to do that.”

The organization is partnered with Florida State University. Binkley hopes the research will contribute to conversations about gun policy.

“The issue is hate in our society," Binkley said. "And again, as I said, our culture at a fundamental level has to change. If that’s done, policies with regard to firearms and regulation and how we identify and manage potentially dangerous people, then those will develop out of that.”

The launch for Maura’s Voice took place on March 4, what would have been her 22nd birthday.

Casey Chapter is a graduate student at Florida State University studying Public Interest Media & Communication. She got her start in journalism at the FSView & Florida Flambeau, where she served as a reporter, News Editor, and eventually Managing Editor. She has previously reported on COVID-19 and K-12 education for the Tallahassee Democrat, and currently serves as the Managing Editor of the Florida Student News Watch, a journalism program that aims to get students and recent graduates' work published with a focus on environmental reporting.