gun violence

We could start this story as we usually do with reminding of you of all the recent school shootings — including one just Thursday night at Tennessee State University — reporting how many people were killed, what inspired the shooter. We could hear local leaders condemning the acts of violence.

But this narrative is so much a part of our culture and our politics right now that we don't need to remind you how we got here.

Instead, let's meet a couple of people who have dedicated much of their professional lives to preventing this kind of violence.

After the mass shooting in Roseburg, Ore., last week, the national media gave a lot of attention to the fact that the local sheriff, John Hanlin, is an ardent supporter of gun rights. He'd written a letter to Vice President Joe Biden shortly after the Dec. 14, 2012, massacre of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., saying gun control was not the answer. In the letter, Hanlin pledged not to enforce gun regulations he believed to be unconstitutional.

What wasn't widely reported was how common views like Hanlin's have become in law enforcement.

The killings of two journalists in Virginia last week have reignited a national conversation on mass shootings and gun control.

No one wants dangerous people with dangerous guns, but different parties point in different directions when it comes to laying the blame for gun violence or proposing appropriate policies moving forward.

How do you talk about a gunman who wants to go viral (and knows how)?

Aug 28, 2015
Chris Keane/Reuters

Social media has become such a normal (and positive) part of many people’s daily lives, but yesterday offered a staggering example of its dark side.

On Wednesday morning, Vester Lee Flanagan shot and killed Alison Parker and Adam Ward, two reporters from WDBJ7, a CNN affiliate. The shooting was captured on film because Parker was filming a live interview, but a second video surfaced shortly after — recorded and posted by Flanagan himself.

"There are too many guns in America, and there's clearly too many guns in the wrong hands."

That's what Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said to reporters in front of the WDBJ building in Roanoke, Va.

The governor, who promised to introduce gun-control legislation, was speaking two days after a gunman killed two journalists from that station during a live broadcast.

A gunman in Virginia murdered two television journalists, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, as they conducted a live on-air interview on Wednesday. The suspect, Vester Lee Flanagan, apparently had a camera.

Flanagan didn't just want to shoot the victims. He wanted to film himself in the act of committing murder.

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Vester Lee Flanagan, who police say shot and killed two of his former colleagues from a Virginia TV station before dying hours later of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, seems to have sent a 23-page fax to ABC News that discusses his reasons for the attack.

It's all too raw: the grieving of survivors, the images of carnage, the way we learn of events and the way we consume them.

Viewers of the morning show for WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., actually watched the deadly shootings of reporter Alison Parker and videographer Adam Ward. And they watched it live, unexpectedly, without warning. So did the program's anchors, who were themselves shocked, initially uncomprehending, appalled.



BBC reporters Franz Strasser and Tara McKelvey encountered a big obstacle in their coverage of a double slaying of journalists at a Virginia mall.