Disarming the NRA: Debunking Misinformation on Guns and Gun Violence
Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Saturday, Jun. 22 1:30 PM
Ends: Saturday, Jun. 22 2:45 PM
Room: 210 CG
The culmination of a horrific year of mass shootings, the Newtown massacre shocked the nation’s conscience and for the first time in more than a decade put the debate over gun control front and center. The tragedy also set off a fresh wave of misinformation about mass shootings and gun violence—flowing primarily from the National Rifle Association and its allies. A groundbreaking investigation from Mother Jones cast light on the mass shootings epidemic and debunked the NRA’s chief arguments for solving gun violence with more guns. But the NRA continues to work hard to block the facts from being made public, and whether meaningful gun reform will prevail remains to be seen. This panel will discuss how the media can do a better job of reporting on gun violence in general, both to disarm gun-rights activists of their deceptive rhetorical ammo and to ensure that the public continues to learn the truth about America’s inordinate gun violence.
Mark Follman is a San Francisco-based writer and senior editor at Mother Jones. His work has appeared in various other publications including Salon, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, the Boston Globe and USA Today. The data investigation and series of stories on mass shootings he led for Mother Jones has received multiple honors, including the 2013 Izzy Award and a Society of Professional Journalists award for reporting excellence. His reporting and commentary on gun violence has also been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and Australia’s ABC Radio National, among others.
Laura Cutilletta is Senior Staff Attorney at Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Ms. Cutilletta oversees the Law Center’s state firearms legislation project which involves tracking and analyzing firearms legislation in all fifty states. She also shares responsibility for the Law Center’s work providing information, research, and analysis to the media, public officials, and activists seeking legal solutions to gun violence.
Previously the Legal Director for Contra Costa County’s primary social and legal services provider for domestic abuse, STAND! Against Domestic Violence, she directed that organization’s legal program, supervising both staff and pro bono attorneys. Prior to her work for STAND! Against Domestic Violence, she was a staff attorney at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, where she represented domestic violence survivors. She is admitted to practice law in both California and Illinois, and is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.
Matt Gertz is deputy research director and leads the Guns and Public Safety program at Media Matters. A six year veteran of the organization, he has written extensively on the media’s coverage of gun violence, voting rights, GLBT issues, and elections, and on media ethics. He holds a B.A. in political science from Columbia University.
Lori became personally involved in gun violence prevention efforts after her daughter Emily was shot twice and survived the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. She has lobbied on Capitol Hill in Washington and before the Virginia General Assembly for responsible gun laws numerous times. She promotes awareness of the issue by speaking to various groups from her perspective as a family member of someone who has survived gun violence. Lori lives in Richmond, Virginia and works at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Other sessions: Women Leading on Gun Violence Prevention