FRONTLINE "Gunned Down"

FRONTLINE "Gunned Down"

Wed, 07/20/2016 - 9:00pm

FRONTLINE goes inside the politics of America's gun debate. 

In December of 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 26 children and adults with a Bushmaster rifle before taking his own life with a handgun. The tragedy shocked the nation, sparking an outpouring of grief and widespread calls from the public for politicians to “do something” about guns. The moment, it seemed, was gun control advocates’ to seize. But like many times before, they ran into intense opposition from a powerful political force: the National Rifle Association (NRA).

FRONTLINE Gunned Down: The Power of the NRA, airing Wednesday, July 20 at 9 p.m. on WXXI World, investigates the NRA, its political evolution and influence, and how it has consistently succeeded in defeating new gun control legislation.

Drawing on interviews with leading voices on both sides of the gun regulation debate,Gunned Down goes inside one of the country’s greatest divides to illuminate how the NRA reinvented itself from a group of gun enthusiasts and sportsmen with minimal political focus, to a powerful lobbying force opposing any perceived infringement of the constitutional right to bear arms.

FRONTLINE traces the emergence of one of the NRA’s top leaders, Wayne LaPierre, and explores how he has activated the group’s influential base in the wake of mass shootings. FRONTLINE sits down with Congressional leaders, present and former White House officials, Vice President Joe Biden, and gun-rights and gun-control advocates. The film also features firsthand accounts from family members of mass shooting victims, including Newtown.