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Reveal: After Orlando

Posted: June 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm by , in Featured, Reveal

This week’s attack on a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was the largest mass shooting in American history. On this hour of Reveal, we go to Orlando to hear from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community targeted by this violence. – Julia B. Chan for Reveal (Image: Cal Tabuena-Frolli for Reveal)

The city’s downtown now is flooded with disaster responders, government officials and media outlets trying to understand what happened. And in the midst of this upheaval, members of the LGBT community targeted by this violence are working through the tragedy in their own way. We hear from them and a woman who survived the shooting. She’s also a gun owner and believes she could have protected herself if she’d been armed.

 

Many are asking not only why this tragedy happened, but how. In 2013 and 2014, the FBI investigated shooter Omar Mateen and decided he wasn’t a threat. He passed a background check to buy firearms. And he passed a third security check to become a private armed security guard.

Reporter Shoshana Walter investigates how security companies – including the one Mateen worked for – screen guards, and she explains more about how these screening systems work and where they break down. Reveal originally checked Mateen’s arrest record in 2014 as part of an investigation of the armed-guard industry.

In this hour, we also look at the ways gun violence is measured, and we investigate how the NRA and gun control groups use data on gun violence to shape the debate.

But the true cost of gun violence cannot be quantified. We end this episode by remembering the victims of the Pulse nightclub attack with a sonic memorial.

Reveal is a weekly radio program produced by The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. For more, check out our website and subscribe to our podcast.