gun control

The story of a Rochester police officer advising a man to break into the home of his estranged girlfriend has raised a number of questions about women’s safety, gun rights, and allegations of domestic violence. The boyfriend showed up at his ex-girlfriend’s house, looking for some of his possessions. When she refused to let him in and the police arrived, an officer told the boyfriend that if he had lived there – which he had – it was his legal right to break in. That’s when the girlfriend pointed a firearm out the window. She said she had been a victim of domestic violence, and was afraid of the boyfriend.

This hour, our panel discusses the bigger picture issues raised by this case:  the safety of women and their right to use firearms to protect themselves in their own homes, plus, how to respond to women who are making allegations that they have been victims of physical altercations. Our guests:

How much do you know about guns? Do you feel like you’ve been “gunsplained” before? The concept was recently coined by Adam Weinstein, a veteran and gun owner writing for the Washington Post. He says firearm enthusiasts try to exclude anyone from the gun debate who doesn’t know the intricate details of an AR-15 or an M-16. At the same time, he argues progressives should study up a bit more on guns so as to better understand what they are trying to regulate.

So should gun control advocates learn more about firearms before calling for changes, or does that shut down the debate? Our guests weigh in:

  • Tim Andrews, president of the New York State Chapter of SCOPE
  • Lieutenant Colonel Andrae Evans, U.S. Army Retired, who served 34 years of with the US Army National Guard, US Army Reserve, and Active Duty assignments, and a current weapons owner
  • Gary Pudup, member of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence

Students across the country walked out of their schools Wednesday morning in an organized protest against gun violence and to remember the 17 victims of the mass school schooling in Parkland, Florida last month. WXXI News reached out to every school district in Monroe County to ask how districts were handling and responding to the walkouts. Most districts supported students; one required parental permission for students to participate, and without it, students were disciplined.

This hour, we talk to some of the organizers of the walkouts in our area about their events and what they hope will come from taking a stand. In studio:

  • Dylan Holcomb, senior and co-organizer of the walkout at Brighton High School
  • Miya Libman, sophomore and co-organizer of the walkout at Brighton High School
  • Maeve Curry, junior and organizer of the walkout at Brockport High School
  • Bridget Moyer, junior and participate in the walkout at Brockport High School
  • Maddy Soufleris, co-organizer of the walkout at West Irondequoit High School
  • Libby Bell, co-organizer of the walkout at West Irondequoit High School
  • Kevin McGowan, superintendent of Brighton Central School District

We talk about the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act -- it's gun legislation, and it stands a good chance of going forward. The NRA has been calling for it for a long time. Essentially, the act says that while states have their own laws on concealed carry (some states are more permissive; others are more restrictive), all states would have to honor the laws of the other states. That means concealed-carry permit holders from one state could legally carry their guns to another state -- even one that has restrictive laws.

This hour, we discuss gun safety, gun owners' rights, and more. Our guests:

Jeremy Richman is a neuro-pharmacologist, but after his six-year-old daughter, Avielle, was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he and his wife shifted their focus to preventing violence and building compassion through brain research and education.

He is a guest of St. John Fisher College, but first, we talk to him on Connections about the impact of mass shootings on communities. Our guests:

On Sunday night, a gunman holed up in a hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip opened fire on thousands of people attending a country music concert. At least 58 people are dead and more than 500 are injured. The shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. 

This hour, we discuss what we know about the ongoing situation in Las Vegas, and we cover broader themes like gun policy, gun control, what that means, and what the evidence says. Our guests:

New York's SAFE Act has been hotly debated ever since it passed. Now, Republican Congressman Chris Collins has proposed SAGA, or the Second Amendment Guarantee Act. Collins says he doesn't think local or state governments should be able to supersede federal law when it comes to gun rights. 

We discuss the proposed bill and what's next for New York's SAFE Act. Our guests:

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence is an organization that believes there are new gun regulations within reach in New York State this year. They're focusing on the impact of gun violence against women.

Statistics show that American women are far more likely to be killed by guns than women in other developed countries. NYAGV is pushing the Emergency Restraining Protection Order. They explain what it is, and why the election of Donald Trump is actually helping their efforts to pass new legislation. Our guests:

A new play looks at what might happen if a conservative Republican leader changed his mind about God and guns.

"Church and State" imagines a Newtown-like mass shooting, in which a Senator's children survived. His views on God, and on gun rights, immediately shift. This comes as a problem for his wife, a devoutly religious woman who favors no restrictions on guns, despite the massacre at her children's school. And what would voters say? Our guests:

  • Jason Odell Williams, playwright, Church and State
  • Ralph Meranto, artistic director, JCC CenterStage

One of the most controversial pieces of weaponry in the country is the AR-15. Democratic Senators are calling for the AR-15 to be banned; one Senator even said that people only buy the gun to do bad things. But it's a popular firearm, and a recent piece defending the AR-15 has gone viral. Published in both Medium and Vox, Jon Stokes explains why he and millions of Americans appreciate the AR-15, and why they want other Americans to better understand it.

Stokes is a former Wired editor and founder of Ars Technica. He joins us to answer listener questions about why he thinks the AR-15 is unfairly criticized and targeted.