Guns & America | KERA News

Guns & America

KERA is a part of a new national reporting collaborative that has 10 public media newsrooms training attention on the role of guns in American life.

KERA’s Anthony Cave and nine other Audion Reporting Fellows across the country are exploring the impact guns have on Americans, from the cultural significance of hunting and sport shooting, to the role guns play in suicide, homicide, mass shootings and beyond. 

To learn more about the fellows and follow their reporting, visit gunsandamerica.org. For all gun-related stories, in and outside of the Guns & America project, click here.

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145 CEOs Urge Senate To Act On Gun Violence

Sep 12, 2019

The chief executives of many prominent U.S. companies sent a letter to U.S. senators on Thursday urging them to pass new federal gun control laws.

“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable,” the letter from 145 CEOs reads. “There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence.”

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.

As kids across the country head back to school for the year, the question of how to keep students safe is constant and ever-evolving, especially when it comes to mass shootings. One recent active shooter training at Pinnacle Charter School in northern Colorado focused on three actions: evacuate, barricade, and fight.

Standing on blue gym mats, under bright fluorescent lights, a trainer and a student lean in, heads close.

What Makes A Gun Sale Private?

Sep 5, 2019

With presidential candidates pushing for universal background checks and pro-gun activists raising alarms about personal freedoms, the regulation of private gun sales is a potential bellwether for other gun control measures. But what, exactly, is a private gun sale?   

In short, a private gun sale happens when someone who is not a licensed gun dealer sells a gun. 

Infowars founder Alex Jones has lost another legal battle against families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.

Jones must now pay all costs associated with an appeal filed against a parent of a Sandy Hook Elementary School victim, says the Texas Court of Appeals.

In the daylight hours of a recent Wednesday afternoon, a 33-year-old man was shot and killed in Southeast Washington, D.C., just a short walk from where children at Savoy Elementary School were in their afternoon classes. Hendley Elementary School, roughly a mile away, was recently hit by bullets, reportedly for the second time in a month.

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.

At a press conference Sunday in Odessa, Texas, FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs said that the nation is now averaging an active shooter incident “every other week,” a broad term used by the FBI to describe someone “attempting to kill people in a populated area.

Not all of these incidents escalate to the level of a mass shooting.

8 New Gun Laws Take Effect In Texas Sept. 1

Sep 1, 2019

At least seven people were killed and another 20 were injured in a mass shooting that stretched in and around Midland and Odessa, Texas, Saturday. The incident was the second mass shooting in that state in less than a month, following a shooting in El Paso, on Aug. 3.

Police officers often work secondary employment as armed security guards in their police uniforms. It is a widespread practice that raises many unanswered questions about oversight and the use of public resources for private purposes.

On weekend nights in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, questions about oversight come into full view.

Tremont is a few blocks of popular bars and restaurants surrounded by a neighborhood of single family houses. It is affluent by Cleveland standards, with home prices climbing above $400,000.

Stella M Chávez, KERA News

On Aug. 3, 2019, a shooter at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, took the lives of 22, injured over two dozen and changed a whole community. The shooting was the worst targeting Latinx in modern U.S. history.

But as some survivors begin to process the horror, there might be a glimmer of hope: Those without a green card may now be eligible for a special visa, designed to protect crime victims. 

Oregon Sheriffs Offer A Lesson To Their Peers Elsewhere

Aug 21, 2019

Early this past June, Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni was in his Coquille, Oregon, office fielding an email from a sovereign citizen. The sender was claiming that the Oregon state government doesn’t have grounds to operate because it can’t provide him with a copy of the 1859 State Constitution.

Sovereign citizens reject the legitimacy of the state and federal government. All of it: taxation, currency, the courts and, of course, gun laws.

Strong majorities of Americans from across the political spectrum support laws that allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove guns from a person who is seen to be a risk to themselves or others, according to a new APM Research Lab/Guns & America/Call To Mind survey.

Chris Haxel / KCUR

In the last few weeks, Democratic presidential candidates, Congressional leaders, and even the President, have been proposing various gun control policies to curb gun violence in America. But a recent study from the Journal of Rural Health shows that certain firearm laws are more effective at reducing violence than others, depending on if you live in an urban or rural area.

unsplash

While the circumstances of every mass shooting are unique, the perpetrators of the recent shootings in Ohio and Texas fit into a consistent storyline: white men with access to guns committing violence in the name of real or perceived grievances.

A Space To Heal: Families Create Memorial Garden For Victims Of Gun Violence

Aug 8, 2019
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Losing a loved one to gun violence is a life-changing event, one that happens in the U.S. nearly 40,000 times a year. Some surviving family and friends go to support groups or grieve behind closed doors. But one group of mothers in New Haven, Connecticut, is working to take their healing to a new location: a botanical garden dedicated to the thousands of victims claimed by gun violence across the country.

Official White House photo by Andrea Hanks / Flickr

President Donald Trump likes getting a reaction from his base, though maybe not the one he’s getting this week. After Trump expressed support for certain gun control measures, some of his staunchest allies in the gun rights community say they may abandon a man they once saw as their best hope for expanding gun rights.

Fact-Checking 6 Myths About The Perpetrators Of Mass Shootings

Aug 6, 2019
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.

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 Is A Red Flag Law?

Aug 5, 2019

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.

Every time there’s a shooting in the United States that leaves multiple people injured or dead, a few things happen in reaction. Public officials express their condolences, there’s often a call for legislative action. And reporting begins to come out referencing how many similar shootings have taken place that year.

The El Paso Shooting Is The 249th Mass Shooting Of 2019

Aug 3, 2019

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.

Luis Melgar / Guns & America

Polling shows guns are among the top priorities for many Democratic voters and gun issues remain a big topic in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

Raul Rubiera / WUNC

Since 2005, if you purchase a gun in the United States, you’re going to be given a free gun lock. It’s a federal law. But many gun safety experts don’t believe the most popular kind of these locks are effective at keeping people, especially older children, from gaining access.

Leigh Paterson / KUNC

Large-capacity magazines, containers that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition, have been illegal in Colorado since 2013. Lawmakers passed the ban following the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora. Several states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont also have magazine restrictions on the books. But many gun owners still use them.

Behind The Body Camera: The Ethics, Adoption And Impact Of Recording Police Interactions

Jul 10, 2019
Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

As public interest in fatal police use of force continues, a growing number of police departments have begun using body-worn cameras as tools for transparency and documentation of civilian interactions.

Pixabay

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. 

NRATV YouTube

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.

‘Boys Will Be Boys’ Is Killing American Men

Jun 20, 2019
Jonathan Levinson/OPB

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.

Guns Make Some Women Feel Safe, From What?

Jun 5, 2019

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.

“One night in 2015 she was alone with her two-year-old daughter when an intruder broke into her home violently,” said Trump.

“April took care of it.”

The crowd swooned.

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