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The problem of gun violence is growing worse. Why is finding a common solution so elusive?
In the first eight weeks of this year, America’s epidemic of mass shootings and gun crimes showed no signs of reprieve. In fact, the crisis may be getting much worse. According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that tracks firearm violence in the U.S., there have been at least 90 mass shootings since January 1.
In this episode of Let’s Find Common Ground, we take a close look at gun violence and the search for common ground. We learn why so many Americans love guns and say they need them for self-defense. We also hear about differences in regional attitudes to guns, and what happens to communities that witness mass shootings.
Our guests are journalist Patrik Jonsson and gun safety advocate Ryan Busse, the author of Gunfight: My Battle Against the Industry That Radicalized America.
Patrik Jonsson is the Atlanta-based correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor. He writes about The South, gun rights, race, extremist groups, natural disasters, and hockey. Ryan Busse grew up around guns — hunting and shooting with his father — and had a long and successful executive career in the gun industry. Despite being a strong critic of the NRA, he’s still a proud gun owner, hunter, and outdoorsman who lives in Montana.
Read the Episode Transcript
Patrik Jonsson is the Atlanta-based correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, covering the South. He became a full-time Monitor staff writer in 2005 after covering Hurricane Katrina’s immediate aftermath for the paper and moved to Atlanta. Among many other things, he writes about race, gun rights, tornadoes, extremist groups, and hockey. Patrik lives in a small 1920s-era bungalow in Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood with his wife, Alice, and two children, Jake and Lena. When he’s not in the bureau or taking care of the kids, you’ll most likely find Patrik playing hood hockey – an urban version of street hockey – or chugging along some Southern waterway in his motorized canoe. He is probably the only Monitor correspondent with a commercial fishing license.
As Ryan’s career progressed, he became increasingly concerned by what he calls “troubling NRA extremism” that he believed was radicalizing millions of Americans. He spent nearly two decades finding ways to fight back from the inside and left the gun industry in 2020. His book Gunfight was published in October 2021.
Busse is also an environmental advocate who served in many leadership roles for conservation organizations including as an advisor to the U.S. Senate Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Biden Presidential campaign. He remains a proud outdoorsman, gun owner, father, and resident of Montana.