After Newtown, A Series of Special Programming

(Rochester, New York) – In response to the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, WXXI-TV/HD will broadcast a series of the special programs, February 18th through February 22nd. These thoughtful and thought-provoking programs are meant to add context, depth, and nuance to the national conversation about gun violence in America. The series includes a Frontline magazine, a NOVA documentary, two independent documentaries, one on the history of guns in America and the other examining how best to secure our schools, a Need to Know episode (2/22 at 10:30 p.m.), a Washington Week discussion of pending legislation on access to guns (2/22 at 8 p.m.), and a week-long series of timely PBS NewsHour reports (at 7 p.m.).

A few specials planned for the week include:

Guns in America, airing Tuesday, February 19 at 9 p.m.
Guns in America is an unprecedented exploration of America’s enduring relationship with firearms. From the first European settlements in the New World to frontier justice; from 19th-century immigrant riots to gangland violence in the Roaring Twenties; from the Civil War to civil rights, guns have been at center of our national narrative. Americans have relied on guns to sustain communities, challenge authority and keep the peace. Efforts to curtail their distribution and ownership have triggered epic political battles. This program traces the evolution of guns in America, their inextricable link to violence and the clash of cultures that reflect competing visions of our national identity.

FRONTLINE: Raising Adam Lanza, airing Tuesday, February 19 at 10 p.m. 
FRONTLINE investigates a young man and the town he changed forever. Adam Lanza’s motives, and his life, remain largely a mystery. With The Hartford Courant, FRONTLINE looks for answers to the central — and so far elusive — question: Who was Adam Lanza? Also this hour: In the aftermath of the tragedy, President Obama called for a national conversation about guns. Nowhere is that conversation more intense than in Newtown, where FRONTLINE finds a town divided and explores how those closest to the tragedy are wrestling with our nation’s gun culture and laws.

NOVA: Mind on a Rampage Killer, airing Wednesday, February 20 at 9 p.m.
What makes a person walk into a theater or church or classroom and open fire? What combination of circumstances compels a human being to commit the most inhuman of crimes? As the nation tries to comprehend the tragic events in Newtown, NOVA correspondent Miles O’Brien investigates theories that rampage killers are driven most of all by the wish to die, not the urge to kill. Could suicide — and the desire to go out in a media-fueled blaze of glory — be their main motivation? How much can science tell us about a brain at risk for violence? Most important, can we recognize dangerous minds in time to stop the next Newtown?

The Path to Violence, airing Wednesday, February 20 at 10 p.m.
Psychologists, working with law enforcement officers, have devised tools to prevent violent attacks. The Path to Violence details a powerfully effective Secret Service program — the Safe School Initiative — that’s helped schools detect problem behavior. However, shooters like Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner and James Holmes all executed their attacks after they’d left school. Can the gains made by psychologists and law enforcement be extended to encompass parents — terrified of their own children and inadequately helped by mental health and legal systems — and families of violent individuals? Is the country ready for a national conversation about the balance between school safety and civil liberties that interventions, including gun control, require? 



WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.


WXXI Media Contact:

Kristin Tutino

Creative Services Department

[email protected]


Go to the NPR Pressroom

Go to the PBS Pressroom

Get logos for Media Use

Read our Media Policy

Radio Archives

TV Archives