Following the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, many called for a renewed discussion of gun violence in America, predicting that the tragedy would bring the nation closer to agreement on solutions to keep deadly weapons out of the wrong hands.
But the Courant, in collaboration with the PBS show “Frontline,” found that two months after the attack that killed 20 students and six educators, the cultural gulf over guns – in America, in Connecticut, even in Newtown – is deeper than ever, with little common ground between those who see guns as a source of enjoyment and protection and those who see guns only as killing machines.
“A Deeper Divide: The Gun Control Debate After Newtown” explores that divide, from a dispute in Newtown last year over unregulated outdoor shooting, to the newly energized supporters of stricter gun-control, to the newly steadfast gun enthusiasts marshaling to defend rights they fear they will lose to what they see as emotional and ineffective legislative proposals.
The package of stories includes two sidebars. “A Deeper Divide: In Newtown and Caught in the Middle” focuses on a lifelong hunter in Newtown who feels heat from both sides of the debate. “A Deeper Divide: Two Views on One Gun” explores the difficulty of defining the term “assault weapon,” and illustrates how far apart the two camps are, with the industry describing military-style semi-automatic firearms as “modern sporting rifles,” and one gun-control advocate describing those same guns as “military-grade people killers.”
The stories on the gun debate follows the publication of “Raising Adam Lanza” an in-depth examination by the Courant and “Frontline” on the life of the Sandy Hook shooter and his relationship to his mother, Nancy Lanza.
At 10 p.m. tonight, “Frontline” will air a special report on both joint projects with the Courant.