Guns & America | KCUR

Guns & America

A closely watched lawsuit that could provide a roadmap for suing gun companies in the wake of mass shootings can move forward in a Connecticut court, the Supreme Court said Tuesday.

Element5 Digital / Unsplash

Democrats in Virginia claimed big wins in the Tuesday election, fueled in no small part by big investments from gun control advocates.

The historic blue wave marked the first time Democrats seized control of the state’s government in a generation.

What We Know About Targeted School Violence

Nov 8, 2019
Kyo Azuma / Unsplash

The United States Secret Service and National Threat Assessment Center have released a report focused on targeted school violence, including school shootings.

They studied 41 attacks against K-12 schools in the United States from 2008 to 2017. The report focused on the background and behaviors of attackers to identify commonalities among them.

Remember: There Is No Profile. There Is No Single ‘Stressor’

Becker1999 / Flickr

Depending upon whom you ask, there have been somewhere between eight and 350 mass shootings in America so far in 2019. That’s a pretty big range. So why don’t we know the exact number?

Segment 1: New poll data suggests Americans don't know much when it comes to gun-related deaths.  

The results of the latest survey by Guns and America asked people about the causes of gun deaths. Their answers show that more Americans believe it be “murders other than mass shootings" than the actual cause – suicide. Two reporters for the project broke down the survey results and what it means for gun policies in this country.

What’s At Stake In The Guns Case At The Supreme Court?

Sep 26, 2019
noclip / Wikimedia Commons

Dave Hardy, an attorney in private practice in Arizona, thinks this is the term when the Supreme Court finally decides whether a constitutional right to carry a firearm extends beyond the front door.

Gun rights advocates like Hardy, who’s been writing about the Second Amendment since the 1970s, have waited for years for the Supreme Court to hear a new challenge to a gun control law.

“You don’t do much work in the field, in terms of earning money, but it’s been something that interests me,” Hardy said.

Shattered: A First-Hand Look At Life After Being Shot

Sep 25, 2019
Tyrone Turner / WAMU

Of the estimated 300 people in the United States who are shot on an average day, about 200 survive. But many of them do so with devastating physical and emotional scars that last a lifetime.

Their ailments range from paralysis and possible lead poisoning, to crippling anxiety attacks and depression.

Eleven survivors of gun violence tell their stories in their own words in Shattered: Life After Being Shot.

Every individual’s story is paired with a portrait — a composite — using a “stitching” technique that combines multiple pictures.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Gun manufacturer Colt says it plans to suspend production of AR-15-style rifles for the civilian market. The company plans to limit its production to fulfilling its police and military contracts.

The national debate on gun restrictions has largely focused on semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15 and other so-called “assault weapons,” because of their use in high-profile mass shootings.

Colt says the decision is not a political one.

Lisa Dunn / WAMU

Following a series of high-profile shootings this summer, many have called on Congress to respond to mounting public pressure and enact new gun regulations after returning from the summer recess.

This week, the Democrat-led House Judiciary Committee will take a first step. The committee is scheduled to mark up several new gun control bills that were introduced earlier this year.

The three bills

Update, 6:20 p.m. ET: This story now includes additional language about the types of ammunition Walmart will no longer sell. 

Walmart announced Tuesday that it will discontinue sales of ammunition designed for handguns and military-style rifles such as the AR-15.

The company will also stop allowing customers to openly carry firearms inside its stores, and called on lawmakers to consider passing new gun control legislation.

Shortly after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, eight states passed some form of an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPOs) law, also known as a “red flag” law.

Segment 1: The fact and fiction of mass shootings.

Last week's shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, highlighted misconceptions when it comes to these tragedies. Is there a profile of a mass shooter, can red flag and gun laws reduce the number of incidents and are all the perpetrators mentally ill? Three Guns & America reporters discussed what they have discovered in covering the firearms issues in this country. 

Becker1999/Flickr

Mass shooters killed 31 people last weekend in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, and three people in Gilroy, California last month, including two children. The week was the deadliest for mass shootings and fatalities this year, whichever way one chooses to count them.

In the wake of these incidents, we often hear “no one could have seen this coming,” or “this person just snapped." But what do we know about the perpetrators of mass shootings?

Glenn Carstens Peters / Unsplash

Following the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which killed at least 31 people, lawmakers started to point to one factor that could have contributed to shootings: violent video games.

Here’s the problem: They don’t.

What research says

What Is A Red Flag Law?

Aug 5, 2019
Ryan Carol King / Connecticut Public Radio

Among the popular gun policy proposals raised in the aftermath of shootings like those in Sandy Hook, Parkland and now El Paso and Dayton, the call for “red flag” laws has become a common refrain.

But like universal background checks and closing the “gun show loophole”, “red flag” laws aren’t self-explanatory.

Saturday’s shooting in El Paso, Texas, is the 249th mass shooting incident this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The Archive defines a mass shooting as four or more victims injured or killed excluding the perpetrator in one location.

Matt Gibson / Creative Commons-Flickr

A new study says that fatal shooting cases are getting measurably more attention from police than non-fatal shootings. But one expert thinks giving fatal shootings more attention might not be the most efficient way to combat gun violence.

Fatal and non-fatal shooting cases often start the same way: A gun is fired; someone is hit.

But if someone is killed by those shots, the case gets handed off to the police department’s homicide unit.

During the first night of the second Democratic presidential debate, the question of how to reduce gun violence emerged as one issue on which the sometimes-splintered Democratic Party speaks with as close to one voice as it can.

"As your president, I will not fold," vowed Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., before rattling off her list of proposals, which included background checks, an assault weapons ban and "something" about magazines.

Arts Fox1Fire/Flickr

Children are more likely to die of firearm-related injuries in states with looser gun laws, according to a study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday.

Firearm injuries are one of the leading causes of death among children in the United States.

Daryl Howard turns 65 in October. He has a Glock .45-caliber handgun stored in his desk at home, but hopes never to use it.

“It’s not something that’s taken lightly,” Howard says on a weekday afternoon, in his second-floor Dallas apartment. “For me, there was no second option. It was something I felt was really necessary for me to be safe.”

Howard, who says he owns his gun for protection, is in good health. Getting a handgun license 15 years ago did not raise much of a fuss for his children, or son-in-law, Justin Allen.

Two of the National Rifle Association’s most potent public tools appear to have been lost.

NRATV, a bombastic online video network that sometimes strayed far from the organization’s core mission of gun rights into modern culture wars, will no longer produce live content.

NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre announced the move Wednesday on the organization’s website, hours after a New York Times report revealed the decision.

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Many advocates and politicians push universal background checks on gun purchases as a way to decrease gun violence. But researchers at John Hopkins say there’s a more effective solution to preventing homicide and suicide: requiring a license to purchase a handgun.

Guns Make Some Women Feel Safe, From What?

Jun 4, 2019
Bita Hnoarvar / WABE

At this year’s National Rifle Association annual meeting, President Donald Trump invited some special guests on stage. The first was a young mother from Virginia, April Evans.

Army veteran Lynn Rolf III, and Boomer, his dog. Rolf was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq.
Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

Lynn Rolf III owns a lot of guns, but only one makes him stop and think whenever he sees it.

“I’ve had conversations with one of my pistols numerous times about how easy it would be to put it in the mouth,” he said. “Pretty one-sided.”

Luis Melgar / Guns & America - KCUR

If in recent years it seems that school shootings are happening more frequently, occupying public discourse and media coverage, it’s because they are. Although school shootings are still very rare compared to daily gun violence, the data show they are happening more often.

Adhiti Bandlamudi / WUNCI

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.

Jonathan Levinson / OPB

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.”

Segment 1: Concerns linger regarding Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.

The largest manufacturing plant for smaller caliber rounds is in Independence, Missouri. It suffered an accidental explosion in 2017 causing the death of one person and injuring four more.  Chris Haxel explained what contributed to the fatal event and the operation's questionable safety record under the current contractor.

U.S. Army

Two years after an explosion at a crucial Army factory that is the country’s largest producer of small-caliber ammunition, the underlying cause of Lawrence Bass Jr.’s death remains unclear.

Bass, a longtime employee, followed explosives-handling procedures later deemed to be poorly written. He worked for a defense contractor anxious to slash costs on a government contract it had underbid.

Chris Haxel / KCUR 89.3

The families of several people who were killed or wounded in a 2016 mass shooting near Wichita, Kansas, have reached a multimillion-dollar settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the pawn store that sold some of the guns used in the attack.

The lawsuit alleged that local retailer A Pawn Shop sold the guns to a woman as part of a straw purchase, which is when one person buys a gun on behalf of someone else, circumventing background checks and federal law.

Pages