1.04.17: When Fake Guns Kill, Teaching Tolerance, & The Bookshelf

Jan 4, 2017

A team of reporters tracking police shootings discovered an alarming trend - people brandishing phony weapons getting shot in confrontations with cops.  Today, we'll learn about real fatalities with fake guns and why the pro-gun lobby is protecting the right to bear imitation arms.

Also today, a New Hampshire high school confronts stereotypes and the national spike in hate crimes by asking refugee students to talk about their lives and cultures. 

Listen to the full show. 

When Fake Guns Kill

Each incidence of a cop discharging a firearm has its own circumstances and complications, but among the most troubling involve fake weapons - imitation or toy guns brandished in stand-offs with law enforcement. In the past two years, police have killed 86 people wielding guns that look threateningly real – a tragedy brought to light when 12-year-old Tamir Rice was fatally shot by Cleveland police in 2014, while playing with a BB gun in a park.

John Sullivan is one of a team of Washington Post reporters who've been tracking and investigating police shootings and fatal fake gun incidents. 

Related: In Two Years, Police Killed 86 People Brandishing Guns That Looked Real - But Aren't 

Teaching Tolerance at Concord High

Ten years ago, the demographics of New Hampshire and Concord High School were almost identical.  Both 93% white. While that number has remained steady for the state, the capitol city’s high school has diversified in a big way. Today, more than 10% of the school’s 1,600 students are - or were - refugees resettled from some 66 countries. Many are of color - the very populations that have been targeted by a spike in hate crimes since the election of Donald Trump.

Senior Rene Ndutiye is among the international students taking part in an initiative aimed at changing the way they are seen - and understood - by their predominantly white peers. Word of Mouth's Jimmy Guttierez went back to school to find out how it's working. 

Listen to this story again and read more here: Teaching Tolerance at Concord High

BRAAAM

Film scores go through trends - phases in which every movie sounds similar - not something moviegoers can quite put their finger on, but once it's pointed out, it's everywhere...like BRAAAM.

Adrian Daub is professor of Comparative Literature and German Studies at Stanford University. He wrote about this particular and pervasive trend in movie soundtracks for Longreads.  

The Bookshelf: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas on Her Life in the 'Wild Places'

Now it’s time for the latest installment of The Bookshelf with host Peter Biello speaking with author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas in her kitchen. Her most recent book is Dreaming of Lions: My Life in the Wild Places.  

You can listen to this full episode again here: The Bookshelf: Elizabeth Marshall Thomas on Her Life in the 'Wild Places'