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.

States across the country are passing gun control legislation in response to mass shootings, as groups like Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gain political clout. In deep red states, though, activists must both temper their expectations and reckon with residents and lawmakers often hostile to any limitations on their right to bear arms.

Young Voices Across The Country Lead The Conversation After March For Our Lives

Mar 20, 2019
Tay Anderson
Leigh Paterson / KUNC

In the year since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, young people have brought gun issues to the forefront of our national consciousness like never before.

One year ago, weeks of conversations, walkouts and student action culminated in March For Our Lives events in Washington, D.C., and across the country.

Taking A Life In Self-Defense

Mar 14, 2019

 

Credit: Jonathan Levinson, OPB

Pvt. Jeffrey Friberg with the Oregon National Guard’s 741st Brigade Engineer Battalion clears a building on March 2, 2019 at Camp Rilea, Oregon.

Jonathan Levinson / OPB

After months of silence, the Connecticut Supreme Court reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of nine victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting against Remington Arms, the manufacturer of the rifle used in the shooting.

States “with more permissive gun laws and greater gun ownership” have higher rates of mass shootings, according to a new study published in the medical journal The BMJ. The study also found that states with more restrictive gun laws have fewer mass shootings, after adjusting for population.

Several children at the Langston Lane Apartments in Southeast Washington, D.C., saw the body of 15-year-old Gerald Watson after he was chased down by two assailants, shot and killed in December.

The shooting happened just a short walk away from the TraRon Center after-school program, a community anti-gun violence resource and refuge to some two dozen children, which is housed in the same apartment complex where Watson lived and was killed.

As the pops of gunfire echo around him, Monte Petersen stoops to collect small brass casings that recently flew from his .45 pistol. The cartridges jingle like loose change as he picks them off the gun range floor and tosses them into a bucket.

Petersen is one of thousands, perhaps millions, of target shooters who take their shooting hobby further: Recycling their ammunition cartridges and assembling new cartridges by hand to shoot again.

Almost every morning in January and February, Patrick Parsons records a live Facebook video across the street from the Georgia capitol.

While it looks picturesque online, in person, it’s not the world’s most glamorous moment.

“I’ll probably go over there by the trash can, which is where I usually do it,” said Parsons, laughing. It’s easier to fit the gold dome of the capitol building into the frame from there.

From Banned To Beloved: The Rise Of The AR-15

Feb 27, 2019

Jim Corbet was a building contractor with way more free time than business in 2011, as the fallout from the subprime mortgage crisis took hold in his hometown of McCall, Idaho.

Corbet was also an amateur machinist and firearms enthusiast and he noticed fellow shooters gravitating toward one semi-automatic rifle in particular – the AR-15. So he set up shop in his garage and started tinkering with designs.

Almost 25 years to the day after the Brady Bill first mandated background checks for some gun sales, House Democrats and a handful of Republicans just voted to require background checks on all gun sales.

The House had not voted on major gun legislation since 1994, when it passed the 10-year ban on so-called assault weapons.

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