This 11-minute video examines how in the 1980s, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and the shooting of his press secretary, Jim Brady, led to the passage of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, also known as the Brady Bill. It was the first piece of legislation to mandate background checks for gun purchases, and set the stage for further regulation in the 1990s. Decades later, lawmakers and the American public continue a debate over gun control against a backdrop of continued mass shootings.
Why We Can’t Have a Civil Conversation About Guns
In the 1980s, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and the shooting of his press secretary, Jim Brady, led to the Brady Bill. Decades later, are there lessons from that fight for the Parkland students?
Students will learn about the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and how decades later, lawmakers and the American public continue a debate over gun control.
- Examine the text of the Second Amendment.
- Compare and contrast views of guns held by Americans.
- Evaluate perspectives in accordance with the language and meaning of the Second Amendment.
- Participate in civil discourse.
- Why do Americans hold different and varied views about guns?
- How do advocacy groups construct their strategies in order to achieve their policy goals?
- Why is it difficult to pass legislation involving guns?
- Transcript for “Why We Can’t Have a Civil Conversation About Guns” (Retro Report)
- Civil Dialogue and Constitutional Conversations (National Constitution Center)
- Conducting a Civil Conversation in the Classroom (Constitutional Rights Foundation)
- Fostering Civil Discourse (Facing History & Ourselves)
- Tracking the Transformative Fourteenth Amendment (American Bar Association’s Insights on Law and Society Magazine)
- Successful classroom discussions begin long before anyone speaks (Times Higher Education)
- Common Core State Standards
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.1:Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.1:Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2:Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2:Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4:Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.4:Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
- National Council for the Social Studies C3 Framework
- D2.Civ.7.9-12.Apply civic virtues and democratic principles when working with others.
- D2.Civ.9.9-12.Use appropriate deliberative processes in multiple settings.
- D2.Civ.10.9-12.Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
- D2.Civ.13.9-12.Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
- D2.Civ.14.9-12.Analyze historical, contemporary, and emerging means of changing societies, promoting the common good, and protecting rights.