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Patrick Radden Keefe's stunning investigation into mass shooter Amy Bishop's past has gone hyper-viral. The New Yorker writer joins us to talk about Bishop's 1986 shooting of her younger brother, and how family dynamics may have played into her 2010 murder of three colleagues at the University of Alabama.

After almost any act of violence, be it a suicide or a mass school shooting, people ask questions, which usually boil down these questions: How could we have prevented this from happening? How can we keep it from happening again?

Dougtone via Flickr/CC -

Throughout this week’s series on guns, we’ve heard  from residents of rural New Hampshire who think of firearms as a tool.

That’s a perspective you’ll hear and see in the North Country town of Colebrook, where you can pick up a firearm and home improvement tools in the same store.

The Knowles Gallery via Flickr Creative Commons

As part of NHPR’s series, A Loaded Issue, we take a historical look at our attitudes toward firearms that have shaped our laws then and now.  A libertarian streak, along with a rural hunting culture in the Live Free or Die state, has meant few restrictions on firearms.  But new arrivals have brought changing attitudes towards guns.


Andy Smith- Director of UNH Survey Center and Associate Professor of Political Science.

Department of Agriculture photo, via Wikicommons

As we heard earlier in this series, many rural residents of New Hampshire have a strong connection to guns. But that wasn’t always the case.

The number of machine guns still in circulation is small compared to handguns or rifles, but federal data shows that New Hampshire is home to more machine guns per capita than any other state – about 9800 registered machine guns in all, or 7.47 machine guns per 1000 people.

Reporter Jim Haddadin wrote about this distinction for Foster’s Daily Democrat. He talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about what he found.

Emily Corwin and Sara Plourde / NHPR

New Hampshire is bordered by Vermont, which has the least gun regulation in the nation -- and Massachusetts, which has some of the tightest gun restrictions around.  After the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT, we put together this infographic, exploring the diversity of gun laws among our neighbors. 

[Note: While the information has not changed, some of the wording has been updated for better clarity. Click the image to read at full size.]

bisongirl via flickr Creative Commons

Women are a growing part of the debate over gun rights and potential new gun laws – partly because there are growing numbers of women who own and use guns. Erica Goode is a national correspondent on criminal justice issues for the New York Times; she wrote about the rising number of female gun owners this week, and she joins us as part of NHPR’s series on guns, “A Loaded Issue”.

In most cases, New Hampshire’s representatives in Congress have kept the state’s more open approach to gun ownership and gun rights during debates in Washington. There are exceptions, though, and they may tell us something about the state's role in today’s high profile national debate over gun violence.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

No doubt you've being hearing a lot about guns in the news lately. For the uninitiated, the types and terminology can be overwhelming, and can make understanding what you're hearing - and knowing if it's accurate - a veritable chore. As part of our series, A Loaded Issue, NHPR is aiming to assist in demystifying the firearm, starting with this infographic that outlines a few of the basics (click on the image to view at full size):

Josh Rogers, NHPR

Several hundred gun rights supporters, some carrying rifles and pistols, rallied Thursday outside the State House.

Rally organizers were collecting signatures for a petition telling Governor Hassan and New Hampshire  lawmakers to nullify federal gun control laws.

The petition is blunt: it says N.H. public officials are “duty bound” to declare void all federal gun limits that don’t comport with the constitution. Jerry Delemus organized the rally and leads the Rocheter 9/12 group.

Grappling over Gun Laws

Jan 11, 2013
Auraelius via Flickr Creative Commons

We wrap up our three-day series on possible lessons from the Newtown shootings, with a look at some of the battles brewing over gun control and gun rights. President Obama has said he’ll do what it takes to curb gun violence. And lawmakers here in the Granite State are gearing up to take on such gun-related issues as the state’s Stand Your Ground law.


Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth's weekly show...the best of the best of Word of Mouth.

Part 1:

A new study shows that the act of holding a gun changes perception, as participants saw guns that weren't actually there. And Clay Wirestone wraps up the latest in video game trends, and looks forward to what's coming in 2013

Part 2:

TED cracks down on pseudoscience at local spinoff TEDX conferences. And film critic Garen Daley tells us what we can expect on the big screen in 2013

Part 3:

N.H. House Bans Guns From Floor And Gallery

Jan 2, 2013

The New Hampshire House has voted to 196-153 to ban deadly weapons from Representatives Hall.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr Creative Commons

A study finds that the very act of holding a gun (even a wii gun!) prompts subjects to identify an object held by another person as a firearm...even when it's just a shoe.

We talk to the researcher behind this work, Jessica Witt of Colorado State University.

Lead in Hunting Ammo and Fishing Tackle

Oct 19, 2012
KevinChang / Flickr

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: What's the big deal about lead in hunting ammunition and fishing tackle? If an animal is going to die anyway, it's not going to get lead poisoning, right?                

Bonnie And Clyde's Guns, Other Items Go On Auction

Sep 27, 2012

Nearly 80 years after the deaths of bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, a few, shall we say, "tools of their trade" are going up for auction. Among them are his Colt .45 and her .38 Special, which could each go for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer eventually caught up with Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in 1934, a newsreel announcer declared "the inevitable end: retribution. Here is Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who died as they lived: by the gun."

The Knowles Gallery via Flickr Creative Commons

Gun violence is an everyday occurrence in many cities in the united states, but after a tragedy like the Aurora  shootings or the Virginia Tech shootings, the gun control debate starts to make more noise on the socio-political landscape.  The second amendment typically divides parties and beliefs, but are gun control laws starting to divide the N.R.A itself? The National Rifle Association is a major player in keeping the Second Amendment exactly how it is for better or worse.

(Photo by f_matra via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced with Emma Ruddock

A new study out of UCLA suggests that when people wield a gun, they don't just feel bigger and stronger — it makes others think they are bigger and stronger.

The Granite State recently joined the growing ranks of states that have adopted this approach to self defense, which allows the use of deadly force anywhere a person has a right to be. But it has come under national scrutiny following the shooting death of a Florida teenager. We’ll explore the issues surrounding this law with its supporters and critics.


The Kalashnikov assault rifle, or AK-47, is one of the most dangerous and widely used weapons in the world. For more than 60 years, nations, rebels, gangsters and child soldiers have wielded the gun.

And now, Russian officials say it's outdated. As part of a $700 billion army modernization program, the country has announced a redesign of the rifle.

New York Times foreign correspondent C.J. Chivers — author of The Gun, a book about the Kalashnikov — tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the updates are mostly cosmetic.

Photo by knomad, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

A year ago this week, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot while meeting constituents outside an Arizona supermarket. Six others were killed and thirteen injured when Jared Loughner unloaded thirty-two rounds of bullets from a Glock handgun into the crowd. A year later, on January 8th, Gabby Giffords led the pledge of allegiance at a candlelight vigil in Tucson.  Reporter and author Tom Zoellner is a fifth-generation Arizona native. He considers the baffling “Tuscon tragedy” to be more than a random act by a mentally ill aggressor.

Photo credit by Randy Cox


Sales have been brisk for guns this holiday season. Black Friday 2011 surpassed the single day record for FBI background check requests on gun customers by 32%. Today, a background check of sorts on the Freedom Group, which has swiftly become one of the world’s leading manufacturers and sellers of guns. Natasha Singer a reporter in the Sunday business section of the New York Times, investigated the shadowy Wall Street investment company that has quietly acquired some of America’s most venerable gun and ammo manufacturers.


It’s one of our nation’s most divisive issues. Anew book called “Gunfight” looks at both the history of debates over gun laws and  how it shapes our current dynamic, describing pro-gun groups bristling at any hint of regulation and gun control advocates seeking sometimes ineffectual laws.  We’ll look at America’s long debate over the second Amendment.