Guns & America

Guns & America is a groundbreaking national reporting collaborative in which 10 public media newsrooms train their attention on a singular issue: the role of guns in American life.

Over the course of two years, the 10 stations, representing a diverse range of communities all over the country, will report on how guns impact us as Americans, from the cultural significance of hunting and sport shooting, to the role guns play in suicide, homicide, mass shootings and beyond.

Operating across broadcast and online platforms, the Guns & America team will approach the topic of guns with nuance, accuracy, imagination, and innovative cross-platform storytelling. Expect to see our reporting online and to hear memorable stories on a public radio station near you.

The 10 public media stations participating in Guns & America:

  • WAMU - Washington, D.C.
  • WNPR - Hartford, Connecticut
  • WUNC - Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • WABE - Atlanta
  • ideastream - Cleveland
  • KCUR - Kansas City, Missouri
  • KERA - Dallas
  • KUNC - Greeley, Colorado
  • Boise State Public Radio - Boise, Idaho
  • OPB - Portland, Oregon

The reporter for Guns & America at KUNC is Leigh Paterson.

Nearly 2 million records were added last year to the FBI database used to prevent criminals from buying a gun, according to a new FBI report on the operations of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

That’s an 11% increase over 2017.

Kneeling in a tree line on a foggy morning in Canby, Oregon, Alex Bates and Andrew Pollmann are scanning the woods for potential threats.

They’re decked out in tactical chest rigs to hold rifle magazines, Ops-Core helmets and Harris radios. This is the real gear soldiers use in combat, and they both look virtually indistinguishable from actual soldiers — except they’re maybe a little cleaner.

Bates throws a purple smoke grenade. Then he, Pollmann, and the rest of the Phantom Fury AirSoft team run into the woods, rifles at the ready.

Johns Hopkins University will share gun violence prevention research and strategies through a new massive open online course (MOOC) beginning Monday.

Subject experts, including mental and reproductive health professionals and experts on global affairs, will deliver course content in six modules, including legal issues surrounding gun violence and gun regulation.

In the wake of the shooting at the K-12 STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, parents all over the country are struggling with difficult conversations about safety at school. One student was killed and eight were injured. Hundreds more lived through the terrifying experience of a shooting at their school.

The reality is that school shootings are traumatic events. And they can have long-lasting consequences.

As school security has become a top priority in communities across the country, security companies have found a thriving new market for their products. But in a sea of gadgets and technology, how do school districts effectively sift through and find the products that can truly help prevent a school shooting?

The ‘Big Aha Moment’

The Chatham County School District has about 8,700 students within its system and is situated in the center of northern North Carolina, a mix of rural and suburban communities.

On Tuesday, April 30, a gunman killed two students and injured four others at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

After a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad few days, the National Rifle Association on Monday emerged with one long-time anchor intact: Wayne LaPierre.

LaPierre, executive vice president and chief executive officer of the organization since 1991, will retain his role after a vote by the NRA’s 76-member board of directors during a closed-door meeting in Indianapolis.

Standing in his office adjacent to the Portland Police Bureau’s North Precinct, Roy Moore is explaining how gentrification has escalated some instances of gang violence in the neighborhood.

“We kinda had territories and codes, so I’m not going to go over there unless it’s time to do something,” explained Moore. “Now, it might happen anywhere. Twelve in the morning, nine in the morning going to get my blunt paper, I need my pistol with me now because I don’t know who I’m going to run into.”

Amid an internal struggle over the direction of the National Rifle Association (NRA), the group’s president Lt. Col. Oliver North (ret.) announced at the NRA’s annual convention that he would not seek another term.

In a letter read to members of the group Saturday, North advocated for a review of NRA finances and said he had been pushed out.

Gregory Terrell is a volunteer violence interrupter in Cleveland, Ohio. He runs a non-profit called Society for Nonviolent Change and works mostly in the Central neighborhood on Cleveland’s East Side. Everyone who knows him calls him Tonto.

Cities across the U.S. are trying to reduce gun violence, with many turning to “violence interrupters” like Tonto. They are community members who set out to mediate conflicts before violence escalates.

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