Spaceship Media collaborated with Advance Local, TIME, the Newseum, Essential Partners and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting on Guns, an American Conversation. Our latest dialogue journalism project launched the weekend of March 23-24, 2018, with a two-day gathering at the Newseum that brought together 21 people from around the country with a range of opinions on guns. TIME’s video about the project kickoff is worth a watch. A closed, moderated Facebook group of about 150 people discussing guns launched the first week of April 2018 and remained open for a month. You can read the stories that emerged from the project below.
We spend a lot of time talking about guns. We have arguments, protests, declarations, and slogans about what kind of weapons can be sold and to whom. But the one thing we rarely have when it comes to firearms is a real conversation, and not just with members of our own tribe, but with people whose ideas don’t align with ours.
I am a survivor of suicide. No, I have never tried to commit suicide myself, but my life is the product of my mother’s suicide when I was 11 months old. I was born June 3, 1981, and my mother died May 5, 1982. My life is a testament to bother the positive and negative effects a loved one’s suicide has.
In Childish Gambino’s hit “This is America” there are two scenes in which the singer plays a cold-blooded shooter while he’s rapping about partying and making money.
How do you make a seemingly impossible conversation possible? Throughout April, I was one of several journalists helping a closed Facebook group of 150 participants talk about one of America’s most divisive issues: guns.
By some estimates, there are just about as many guns in America as there are Americans. And yet, amid all the talk about gun control, we haven’t had a frank discussion about responsible gun ownership.
Mark Squid is licensed in Virginia to carry a concealed gun. Dan Zelenka has a similar license from Louisiana.
Meet Jon Godfrey: He has more than a dozen guns at his Parish home, including an AR-15. He’s retired from the military and law enforcement. He uses the guns to hunt and would use them to fend off an intruder at his rural home, if he needed.