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Raising Adam Lanza

In the wake of the mass killings at Sandy Hook, FRONTLINE looks for answers to the elusive question: who was Adam Lanza?

VIDEO: “There was a Weirdness” About Young Adam Lanza

BLOG: Were Sandy Hook Killings Inspired by Norwegian Massacre?

SLIDESHOW: Adam Lanza’s Path to the Sandy Hook Tragedy


What makes a person walk into a theater or a church or a classroom full of students and open fire? What combination of circumstances compels a human being to commit the most inhuman of crimes? Can science in any way help us understand these horrific events and provide any clues as to how to prevent them in the future? As the nation tries to understand the tragic events at Newtown, NOVA separates fact from fiction, investigating new theories that the most destructive rampage killers are driven most of all, not by the urge to kill, but the wish to die.

PBS NEWSHOUR: Sins of the Sons

PBS Special

An exploration of America’s enduring relationship with firearms: From the first European settlements in the New World to frontier justice; from 19th Century immigrant riots to gangland violence in the Roaring Twenties; from the Civil War to Civil Rights, guns have been at center of our national narrative for four hundred years. Americans have relied on guns to sustain communities, challenge authority, and keep the peace. Efforts to curtail their distribution and ownership have triggered epic political battles. On one side, the cry for gun control gets louder with each mass shooting. And on the other, Charlton Heston’s 2000 rallying cry, “From my cold, dead hands,” still resonates across the land.

PBS NewsHour

In the nine weeks since the Newtown shooting massacre, the gun control debate has spread far beyond the Beltway. Gwen Ifill and political editor Christina Bellantoni explore what steps American cities have taken to curb gun violence, and how opposition voices have attempted to fight these measures.

REPORT: Echoes of the Past Force Communities to Grapple With Gun Violence

VIDEO: Coloradans Respond to Gun Violence


PBS Special

Ever since the wake-up call that was Columbine, schools and law enforcement have developed multiple strategies to prevent attacks. Indeed, the horror of Newtown must be seen in a context that’s not defined by defeat.

More than 120 school assaults have been thwarted in the past ten years. And remarkably, while security hardware and physical barriers can play a deterrent role, it’s been psychologists — working hand in hand with law enforcement officers — who have come up with the most helpful tools to prevent violent attacks.

The Path to Violence tells the story of a powerfully effective Secret Service program — the Safe School Initiative — that’s helped schools detect problem behavior in advance.

PBS MediaShift

A timeline of some of the most emotionally charged social media moments in the American gun control debate during the last six months.

BLOG: Most Innovative (and Controversial) Data Journalism Coverage of Gun Violence


In Chicago’s CeaseFire organization, reformed gang members protect their community from harm through a unique, dangerous and controversial method—by insinuating themselves personally into conflicts. Using lessons from their own complicated pasts, they gain access and credibility within stricken neighborhoods, forming personal bonds to break the deadly cycle of violence.

Need to Know

The damage done by the massacre of more than two dozen children and adults in Newtown, Conn., last December no doubt will reverberate for years. But much smaller shooting incidents that get little media attention can also have profound consequences.

One such incident occurred exactly 20 years before the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. At Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Massachusetts, a student went on a sudden shooting rampage that killed two people. Today, both the survivors and family members of those killed in the Simon’s Rock shooting are still trying to come to terms with what happened.

PBS Parents

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Throughout his life, Fred Rogers had a reassuring way of helping families through trying times. He might have been on TV, but it always felt like he was talking to each of us individually. In a curated video playlist from PBS Parents, hear Rogers’ advice to families on how to talk about scary news. As we all process the school shooting in Newtown, his messages are timeless and continue to be valuable for children and the people who care for them.

PBS NEWSHOUR: Words of Hope and Healing After Crisis: Message From Mr. Rogers Goes Viral

PBS NewsHour

So far in the first two months of this year, gun deaths in Chicago have already outpaced last year’s explosive rate. Elizabeth Brackett of PBS member station WTTW explores the escalating public health crisis in Chicago due to the high rates of gun violence.

INFOGRAPHIC: Americans Support Range of Proposals to Reduce Gun Violence

BLOG: What Democrats and the NRA May Have in Common over Gun Policy

Washington Week

Gwen Ifill hosts a roundtable discussion on the aftermath of the Newtown school shooting. Guests include: John Harwood, CNBC and New York Times; David Sanger, New York Times; Molly Ball, The Atlantic; Sari Horwitz, Washington Post.