Newtown

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Gun rights advocates pushed back at a public hearing Tuesday against a bill that would require universal background checks for firearm sales in New Hampshire.

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

The unthinkable event that left twenty school kids and six teachers dead in Newtown, Connecticut last year, stunned a nation. But Newtown didn’t stand alone; there have been many incidents in the last few years that left us in disbelief, like the ones at Virginia Tech, Washington’s naval shipyard, an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, and a Wisconsin Sikh Temple. The two things they had in common: a gun was used, and in many cases the perpetrator had a mental illness. This year, as debates crossed the country about gun control; the question ‘are we doing enough for the mentally ill?’ arose.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Many schools in New Hampshire enhanced their security in response to the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. a year ago.

Those new measures come at a big cost to school districts.

And they’re forcing school officials to decide what type of security works for their buildings and their communities.

Even the head of Nashua’s school district needs clearance before he’s allowed into any of the city’s 17 schools.

“Hi, Mr. Conrad. Left door,” the secretary inside Elm Street Middle School says over the intercom.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The news was hard to fathom a year ago: twenty first graders and six educators shot to death during an ordinary school day in Newtown, Connecticut.  Afterward, the national soul-searching seemed to reach new depths, with President Obama insisting “these tragedies must end, and to end them we must change.”  At the time, polls showed a majority of Americans agreed some aspects of gun laws could be altered, expanding background checks, for instance.   But Washington lawmakers failed pass legislation, and the debate has since shifted to the states.  Both sides have scored victories in state leg

tifotter via Flickr Creative Commons

Andrew Beaujon is senior online reporter for the Poynter institute. He talked to a number of health reporters about how they think mental health coverage is being handled post-Newtown, and he joins us with his findings.