WRAL special Wed.: gun rights, public safety, and mental health

WRAL to Air Hour-long, Commercial Free, Prime Time Special: gun rights, public safety, and mental health
January 23rd @ 8pm

RALEIGH -It's the debate raging across the nation: gun rights, public safety and mental health. In a one hour, commercial free, prime time special, WRAL-TV will probe North Carolina's gun laws, the right to bear arms, security in public places, violence in entertainment, and how the state treats the mentally ill. Soft Targets, Hard Choices is hosted by veteran WRAL News anchors David Crabtree and Debra Morgan and premieres January 23 @ 8pm, followed by live chats on WRAL.com starting at 9pm.

Soft Targets, Hard Choices examines some of the societal issues that are debated after public mass shootings.

The Right to Bear Arms vs Gun Control
The special explores both sides of this passionate part of the debate. For the gun rights side of the story, David Crabtree visits a local gun shop and gets a lesson on the shooting range with an assault-type rifle. He talks to the gun shop owner about the passion of gun owners and the second amendment.

The program details N.C.'s gun laws, including the pistol permit and background check process. Debra Morgan talks to the ATF about illegal sales and stolen guns that end up on the black market. A gang member talks about how easy it is to buy a gun on the street.

Security in Public Places
Is changing or adding security in public places the answer for protection? Amanda Lamb explores safety measures in N.C. schools, hospitals and shopping malls. Will added security make us safer?

Violence in Entertainment
Does all the violence we see every day desensitize us as a society? Renee Chou explores the impact of violent video games, TV and movies on children. Teens, parents and a local expert talk about whether violence in our culture promotes aggression and violent behavior.

Mental Health
How do we, as a state, deal with the mentally ill? Bruce Mildwurf details the family challenges of mental illness, insurance issues and recent funding cuts in our state.

WRAL-TV Vice President and General Manager Steven D. Hammel says, "We've heard from our viewers. The issues surrounding guns and public safety are on everyone's mind. These complex topics deserve an open and educated discussion. Giving the program an hour of commercial free airtime in prime time is evidence of our commitment to the importance of this issue in the communities we serve."


WRAL poll on gun rights, gun control, NC mental health services

About the Poll


Geography Surveyed: North Carolina
Data Collected: 01/09/2013 - 01/12/2013

Sponsor: WRAL-TV Raleigh

SurveyUSA interviewed 500 North Carolina adults 01/09/13 through 01/12/13 exclusively for WRAL-TV in Raleigh. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (69% of adults) were interviewed on their home phone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents not reachable on a home phone (31% of adults) were shown a questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet or other electronic device.

"Respondent households were selected at random, using Random Digit Dialed (RDD) sample provided by Survey Sampling, of Fairfield, Conn. All respondents heard the questions asked identically. Where necessary, respondents were weighted using the most recent US Census estimates for age, gender, ethnic origin and region, to align the sample to the population. In theory, one can say with 95% certainty that the results would not vary by more than the stated margin of sampling error, in one direction or the other, had the entire universe of respondents with home telephones been interviewed with complete accuracy. Research methodology, questionnaire design and fieldwork for this survey were completed by SurveyUSA of Clifton, NJ..."

Martha Brock