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Deep Dive with Laura Arnold

Podcast: Has Gun Reform Reached a Tipping Point?

Mass shootings like the ones that happened in Boulder and Atlanta in March have long spurred demands for gun control. But despite dozens of shootings in recent years and majority support for tougher gun laws, the federal government hasn’t taken action. Is this moment any different?

Tributes hang on the temporary fence surrounding the parking lot in front of a King Soopers grocery store where 10 people died in a late March mass shooting in Boulder, Colo. (David Zalubowski/Associated Press)

Two back-to-back mass shootings in March rocked the nation and once again spurred cries for change. In the aftermath of the tragedies — one targeting women of Asian descent in Atlanta and the other at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado — policymakers pledged to take swift action and President Joe Biden called for a ban on assault rifles.

Despite the fact that the federal government has not advanced meaningful gun reform since 1994, when Congress passed a ban on assault weapons that expired a decade later, the political landscape has shifted: Biden is a longtime supporter of gun reform, and two-thirds of Americans support tougher gun laws. Are we entering a new era of action on gun violence — or will reform remain elusive?

In this episode, Arnold Ventures Co-Founder and Co-Chair Laura Arnold sits down with four experts in gun violence prevention to discuss evidence about the causes of gun violence and effective approaches to prevention: Peter Ambler, co-founder of the Giffords organization; Kevin Madden, AV’s executive vice president of advocacy; Jeremy Travis, executive vice president of criminal justice; and Walter Katz, vice president of criminal justice.

Together, they dissect the political dynamics that continue to stand in the way of action. 

How to listen

Listen to the podcast in the player above or on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app.

About the host

Laura Arnold is the Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Arnold Ventures, founded in 2010, and an attorney and former oil company executive. Read more about her here.

About the guests

Peter Ambler co-founded the Giffords organization with former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in a mass shooting outside an Arizona supermarket 10 years ago. The Giffords organization has emerged as a leading force in the gun violence prevention movement and is backing more than 300 gun safety laws that have passed since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut in 2012, which killed 20 young children and six adults. 

Kevin Madden is Arnold Ventures’ executive vice president of advocacy.

Jeremy Travis is Arnold Ventures’ executive vice president of criminal justice. 

Walter Katz is Arnold Ventures’ vice president of criminal justice.