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America's Paralyzing Gun Culture46:57

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Lessons from the live-on-TV Virginia shootings.  We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday. (AP)
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday. (AP)

Outside of war zones and struggling nations, nobody comes close to the United States when it comes to gun violence and death by gun. Not even close among our peers. Not in the same ballpark. The same universe. We are the worst. More Americans have died from guns in the US since 1968 than on the battlefields of all the wars in American history. Think about that. Last week, it was live on TV. Over the weekend, a cop pumping gas. 33,000 dead a year. Are we paralyzed? This Hour, On Point: Desperate for answers to America’s gun violence nightmare.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Sandy Hausman, Charlottesville bureau chief for WVTF and Virginia Public Radio.

Nick Kristof, Pulitzer-Prize winning columnist for the New York Times. Co-author with Sheryl WuDunn of many books, including the most recent "A Path Appears." (@NickKristof)

Adam Lankford, criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama. Author of "The Myth of Martyrdom."

David Hemenway, professor of public health at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he is also director of the Harvard Injury Control Center. Author of "While We Were Sleeping" and "Private Guns, Pubilc Health."

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Kristof: Lessons From the Virginia Shooting — "The lesson from the ongoing carnage is not that we need a modern prohibition (that would raise constitutional issues and be impossible politically), but that we should address gun deaths as a public health crisis. To protect the public, we regulate toys and mutual funds, ladders and swimming pools. Shouldn’t we regulate guns as seriously as we regulate toys?"

Washington Post: American exceptionalism and the ‘exceptionally American’ problem of mass shootings — "On Sunday, criminal justice professor Adam Lankford stood in front of a crowd of sociologists to explain how American culture contributes to the all-too-frequent American mass shootings. It’s not just that we have a lot of guns, he said — though he does believe that the high rates of firearm ownership are partially to blame."

Los Angeles Times: Does owning a gun make you safer? -- "The United States has the most heavily armed civilian population in the First World; our homes contain enough firearms for every man, woman and child. Why do so many Americans own guns? The main reason, according to surveys, is protection. Advocates argue that guns in the home both deter crime (criminals refrain from even trying to break in because they fear being shot by an armed citizen) and thwart it (an armed citizen can stop a crime in progress, preventing injury or theft)."

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