After Newtown – A special series of thoughtful and thought-provoking documentaries and news pieces designed to provide context to the national conversation about gun violence in America. This special programming will kick off each night with a PBS NEWSHOUR report focusing on topics tied to the Newtown tragedy, including violence in the media, gun control policy and how cities like Aurora, Colorado are moving on after a similar tragedy. The series also includes a FRONTLINE special report, in collaboration with The Hartford Courant, profiling the Connecticut shooter and his relationship with his mother as well as a report on the battle over America’s gun laws and gun culture; a NOVA documentary about violence and the brain; two independent documentaries — one on the history of guns in America and the other on school security; a NEED TO KNOW report about the ripple effects of a fatal shooting incident; and an update on political action in the nation’s capital surrounding gun control from WASHINGTON WEEK WITH GWEN IFILL.
Guns in America – In April 1775, it took a Minuteman roughly 15 seconds to load, aim and fire his musket at the advancing British Redcoats in Lexington, Massachusetts. In December 2012, at a primary school in Newtown, Connecticut, it took Adam Lanza a mere 60 seconds to fire off dozens of rounds with an assault-style weapon.. Gun technology has evolved a great deal since the Colonial era. So too has America’s gun culture. With an estimated 300 million firearms in circulation, the nation is saturated with firearms, many argue, and the human toll they’ve taken is too high. More than 30 people die every day from a gun-related injury. From the first European settlements in the New World to frontier justice; from 19th-century immigrant riots to gangland violence in the Roaring Twenties; from the Civil War to civil rights, guns have been at center of the USA’s national narrative. Americans have relied on guns to sustain communities, challenge authority and keep the peace. Efforts to curtail their distribution and ownership have triggered epic political battles. On one side, the cry for gun control gets louder after each mass shooting. And on the other, Charleton Heston’s 2000 rallying cry, “From my cold, dead hands,” still resonates across the land. This film traces the evolution of guns in America, their inextricable link to violence and the clash of cultures that reflect competing visions of our national identity.
FRONTLINE Raising Adam Lanza – In the wake of the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, FRONTLINE investigates a young man and the town he changed forever. Adam Lanza left behind a trail of death and destruction, but little else. He left no known friends, no diary. He destroyed his computer and any evidence it might have provided. His motives, and his life, remain largely a mystery. In collaboration with The Hartford Courant, FRONTLINE looks for answers to the central—and so far elusive—question: who was Adam Lanza? Also this hour: In the aftermath of the tragedy, President Obama called for a national conversation about guns in America. Nowhere is that conversation more intense than in Newtown, where FRONTLINE finds a town divided and explores how those closest to the tragedy are now wrestling with our nation’s gun culture and laws.
NOVA Mind of a Rampage Killer – What makes a person walk into a theater or church or classroom full of students and open fire? What combination of circumstances compels a human being to commit the most inhuman of crimes? Can science in any way help us understand these horrific events and provide clues to prevention ? As the nation tries to comprehend the tragic events in Newtown, NOVA correspondent Miles O’Brien separates fact from fiction, investigating new theories that the most destructive rampage killers are driven most of all by the wish to die, not by the urge to kill. Could suicide — and the desire to go out in a media-fueled blaze of glory — be their main motivation? How much can science tell us about a brain at risk for violence? Most important, can we recognize dangerous minds in time to stop the next Newtown?
The Path to Violence – Ever since the wake-up call that was Columbine, schools and law enforcement have developed multiple strategies to prevent attacks. Remarkably, more than 120 school assaults have been thwarted in the past 10 years. Security hardware and physical barriers may play a deterrent role, but it’s been psychologists — working hand in hand with law enforcement officers — who have devised the most helpful tools to prevent violent attacks. This film details a powerfully effective Secret Service program — the Safe School Initiative — that’s helped schools detect problem behavior. However, despite progress, recent attacks reveal a gaping hole in the safety net. Shooters like Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner and James Holmes all executed their attacks after they’d left their schools. In such cases, parents may be the first and only line of defense — parents who are terrified of their own children and who receive inadequate help from the mental health and legal systems. Can the gains made by social psychologists and law enforcement be extended to encompass the parents and families of violent individuals? Is the country ready to have a national conversation about the balance between school safety and civil liberties that interventions — including gun control — require?
Washington Weel With Gwen Ifill – Moderator and Managing Editor Gwen Ifill will feature a segment discussing how Washington lawmakers are addressing the issue of gun control.
Need to Know – Explores the ripple effects of a single fatal shooting incident. Twenty years ago, an 18-year-old freshman and his professor were shot dead at a small Massachusetts college. The killer was apprehended, convicted and sent to prison. But the events that day continue to reverberate all these years later for the victim’s family, the killer and his family, others wounded that day, school administrators accused of not doing enough to prevent the shooting and still others in the community. During this program PBS stations will also have the option to insert 90 seconds of local content.
TX: 18th – 22nd February 2012
Source: PBS press release