Courant/Frontline Investigation Continues: The Deep Divide Over Guns in America

by Categorized: Business, Law Enforcement, Politics, Public Safety, Technology Date:

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.

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6 thoughts on “Courant/Frontline Investigation Continues: The Deep Divide Over Guns in America

  1. I don't get it

    I don’t get it.
    I keep hearing how we “must do something” about gun violence.
    IF we’re thinking logically, and not simply reacting emotionally, the facts are clear.

    The DOJ tells us that the vast majority of homicides are committed with handguns, Not “assault rifles”.

    Of all gun homicides, only THREE PERCENT are committed with rifles of ANY KIND! And because that includes rifles of ALL types, we know that “assault rifles” are used in less than 3 percent of gun homicides.
    It’s the handguns.

    When we’re wasting so much energy carping about “assault rifles” we are missing the culprit entirely.

    Six weeks ago, the Obama DOJ ( quietly)released their own report on the 1994- 2004 “Assault Weapons Ban”. The conclusion was that it had “little to no effect” in reducing gun crimes.

    I know it makes for good political theater to rail against “assault weapons” or high capacity magazines, but according to the DOJ, literally more people are killed with hands and feet than are killed with “assault weapons”.

    Sure it makes us feel good. Makes us FEEL like we’re doing SOMETHING about gun crime. But the facts don’t match our feelings, and feelings don’t write effective laws.

    If you are serious about reducing gun crimes and saving lives, address handguns.

    I don’t want to hear anymore flowery or emotional rhetoric like “if it saves one life, it’s worth it”. That’s a load of hogwash and we know it. If that were true, why aren’t we talking about limiting automobiles to a “reasonable,common sense” top speed of 20 miles per hour? Who NEEDS a car that races along at 100mph? How many lives would that save?

    I’m so tired of hearing self-serving pols weave webs of distraction about “assault weapons” when everyone KNOWS they’re not really the problem!
    When the next slew of bans fails to address the real problem, then what? The same pols will come to us and say “at least we tried”.
    My foot!

    1. Norm Scott

      Because there about six million semi-automatic magazine fed rifles in this country, out of perhaps 350 million total firearms, the slippery slope begins with these rifles. When that ban turns out to be ineffective in combatting crime. Then the death by a hundred cuts continues. The purpose is to pretend to respect the Second Amendment while setting the table for the ultimate feast for gun banners.

    2. Say no to guns bill

      I don’t get it: I agree with you. You make a very valid point and I think this is being lost in the debate. For this reason, I feel that hand guns should be included in these proposed bans. I will again bring it up at our next meeting.

  2. Zechariah

    Violence is a matter of the heart, not of what objects are at hand.

    Deal with the heart issue, not the symptom.

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