The Curious Listener: Debating Guns On Air, At Home & On The Range : NPR Extra Hear how one listener got an NPR host out of the studio and to a shooting range to talk about guns.
NPR logo The Curious Listener: Debating Guns On Air, At Home & On The Range

The Curious Listener: Debating Guns On Air, At Home & On The Range

The Curious Listener logo.
Katie Burk/NPR

Find more reports from the "Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship" series on

NPR listener Paul Gwaltney contacted All Things Considered earlier this year with a challenge - go to a shooting range. He'd heard an interview with National Rifle Association President David Keene on our air, and thought the trip might allow a better understanding of the culture there.

NPR took him up on this offer, and the show asked him to do something in return, something that put listeners at the center of the conversation around this timely issue. Gwaltney found himself at his Virginia home hosting a roundtable discussion on the "ideological gulf between gun owners and non-gun owners." NPR Host Melissa Block joined Gwaltney for a visit to the shooting range, and sat down with his friends and colleagues who hold very different views on gun control.

The discussion, which you can hear online, is part of NPR's coverage of the continuing dialogue over arms in the series "Guns In America: A Loaded Relationship." This reporting is indicative of the wide spectrum of coverage NPR gives to various important issues, and something Brett, our latest Curious Listener, will want to check out.

His letter to NPR, inquiring about our coverage of the gun control debate, is another example of the feedback we sometimes hear from thoughtful listeners who take issue with how we've covered a topic or news event. We hope that this installment of the Curious Listener will inspire some clarity about our journalists' mission.

What is NPR stance on the second amendment? I keep seeing anti-gun stories on your website but never anything pro-gun. Please let me know.


Albuquerque, NM

Dear Brett,

Thank you for contacting NPR.

We appreciate you sharing your concerns in response to our coverage of the current debate about the role of guns in the U.S., and we regret your disappointment.

We are committed to keeping listeners informed on air and on about the debate surrounding gun laws. NPR will continue to thoroughly cover the issue with independent and fact-based journalism. Our reporting has and will cover the various aspects of the debate through the diversity of our guests and the wide range of stories that show different sides of the issue. When evaluating our coverage, we encourage you to review our reporting as a whole rather than focus on any one particular report or interview. You will find complete coverage of this issue here.

What you hear on the air, or on, is governed by a strong code of ethics and practices. These standards are in place to protect and support the integrity, impartiality and conduct of our journalists. You can review the code here:

Additionally, we encourage you to share any concerns about our coverage with the NPR Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is the public's representative to NPR, serving as an independent source of information, explanation, amplification and analysis for the public regarding NPR's programming. For more information about the role of the NPR Ombudsman, please visit


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