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Guns, an American Conversation

How to Bridge Political Divides

Read by Nicole Lewis

From Pulitzer Prize–winning reporters: Can complete strangers representing every point along the political divide engage in civil and productive discourse on the topic of gun control?

As Americans, we spend a lot of time talking about guns. With the political division in the country, evidenced by the Capitol insurrection and voter fraud protests, it’s not surprising that we rarely have real conversations with people whose ideas don’t align with ours about gun ownership. Democrats and liberals usually talk with other Democrats and liberals, not Republicans and conservatives.

That is, perhaps, why the country is so divided when it comes to reducing gun violence.

Guns, an American Conversation features the results of a fascinating nationwide conversation about guns. A group of 150 strangers were brought together in a month-long moderated Facebook group chat. They featured teachers, Second Amendment advocates, hunters, police officers, and mothers and fathers from across the political spectrum and the fifty states.

Together, they participated in a project meant to foster civil, yet honest, dialogue between people whose backgrounds and beliefs led them to have opposing views on the issue of gun control.

Guns attempts to map out common territory in a nation driven by profound divides. It includes real information about gun laws in the United States, providing the reader with tools to continue the discussion in their own lives. With sidebars, charts, and graphics that are clear and easy to navigate, Guns might not change your mind about gun control, but it will help you learn to cross divides in conversation as America navigates the way forward on this difficult issue.

Spaceship Media was launched after the 2016 election with a mission to reduce polarization, build communities, and restore trust in journalism. It has quickly become a leader in engaging communities around difficult issues and supporting civil, fact-based conversations. Spaceship Media’s Dialogue Journalism method reconceptualizes the information and reporting process and puts the divided communities Spaceship and their journalistic partners serve at the heart of their practice. Spaceship has conceptualized and created conversations about such polarizing issues as immigration, income disparity, gun safety, race, education, and national politics. With their approach to moderating difficult conversations and their style of reporting directly for communities they have built a track record of success. Spaceship Media’s collaborators include Advance Local, Time, Essential Partners, Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media, Univision, The Seattle Times, Bay Area News Group, and Southern California News Group.

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