For immediate release
June 10, 1999

NPRŽ ASKS: WHO ARE AMERICA'S GUN OWNERS?
Five-Part Series on "Guns in America" Begins June 14 on Morning Edition

Washington, D.C. -- Starting Monday, June 14, NPR's Morning Edition® broadcasts a week-long series on "Guns in America." In five reports, NPR visits communities from Pennsylvania to Idaho to talk to different groups of gun owners, discuss the history of firearms in the US, and explore how proposed legislation before Congress this week would affect gun owners, manufacturers, and sellers if passed into law. Consult your local NPR member station for broadcast times of Morning Edition in your area.

Monday, June 14: Guns in America. America has had a special and unique relationship with guns since before the Bill of Rights. NPR Reporter Eric Westervelt examines America's fascination with firearms.

Tuesday, June 15: Profile of a Gun Community. Wellsboro, PA, pop. 3200, is a hunting community 25 miles south of New York where fathers and sons hunting with guns is a tradition. "Everyone has guns here-probably 80 percent of the population here all hunt," says 17 year old Brett Shumway. NPR's Madeleine Brand reports.

Wednesday, June 16: The Gun Debate. NPR's Elizabeth Arnold visited Idaho City, Idaho, where some residents have a hard time understanding how guns can be misused in tragic crimes like Littleton, Colorado. "Why would they ever take a gun - something that we hold dear as a tool-...and use it as a weapon against another student?" said elementary school principal Bob Bash. "That would be as foreign to folks what are in a baseball community who grew up with baseball, if a student took a baseball bat and bludgeoned one of their classmates." In Idaho, an estimated 65% of households own guns.

Thursday, June 17: Gun Shows. One of the more controversial provisions passed by the Senate last month requires background checks at gun shows. Eric Westervelt reports on the culture of gun shows - who goes and what they do there.

Friday, June 18. Gun Safety in Schools. Learning how to use guns safely is on the curriculum in schools around the country, including some elementary schools. Supporters say this helps promote responsible use of firearms and prevents mishaps and tragedies. Larry Abramson reports.

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