How can reporters do post-Aurora stories about gun control when leaders won’t talk about it? Thanks to the power of the gun lobby, the topic has become the new “third rail” among politicians. Yet it’s clearly worthy of reporting, based on the robust conversation in the Twitterverse and at the water cooler. Search almost any Twitter hashtag including the word “guns” and you’ll be privy to a limitless stream of comments from every position on the gun-control spectrum.
Some media outlets have tried to start the national conversation. Non-journalist Jon Stewart raises the question, in typical brilliant fashion. The NYT has done great work, including this piece on the shooter’s arsenal; WaPost had it as well, here. Lots of columnists have weighed in; and DC-centric outlets, including POLITICO, have written that there’s almost no hope of passing legislation.
Who is writing about this from a local or state perspective? What are the story ideas that can get people talking? The reports out of Denver and elsewhere on increased gun sales are one place to start. Are your legislators willing to weigh in? If not, why not? Let’s share some links and ideas about ways to cover a life-or-death issue in America, when leaders would simply rather not talk about it.
Nick Anderson's Editorial Cartoon for the Houston Chronicle, "Guns Don't Kill."
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