I was doing a talk radio program in Waterbury, Connecticut, one of Connecticut’s larger cities and less than 20 miles from Newtown when the Sandy Hook Massacre occurred in December, 2012. Being on the air as the reports came in, our news director and I wanted to get information to our audience, but at the same time had a hard time believing the horrifying fragments that were emerging. Caution was our watchword. Once we left the air in the early afternoon that Friday, I knew that our greater responsibility would be in interpreting these incomprehensible facts of Monday. I spent the weekend looking for people I could trust to bring some dispassionate context to it all. I saw Katharine Newman, a respected sociologist and author of ‘Rampage’ on one of the cable news networks, and knew she could do just that. Fortunately, she agreed to appear on the program with me. In the context of Parkland and so many other school shootings since Newtown, I feel the empirical basis for her book can still to this day inform our understanding of this tragic American phenomenon. So here it is.
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