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Charlotte Talks: Remembering Billy Graham; The Politics Of Guns

Flickr / Maryland GovPics (top) and Fibbnonaci Blue (bottom)

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2018

Billy Graham, the Charlotte native who became "America's pastor," has died at age 99. A look at his life and legacy, and then the political passions being stirred over guns after the Florida high school shooting.


There have been many figures in American religion, but it could be said none had the stature of the Rev. Billy Graham, who died Wednesday at his home in the North Carolina mountains. WFAE's Mark Rumsey has a remembrance of the Charlotte native, and former Charlotte Observer religion reporter Ken Garfield offers his reflections.



The unfortunate familiarity of mass shootings, such as last week's in Parkland, Florida, is almost equal to the usual responses: calls for tougher gun laws, “thoughts and prayers” and “it’s too soon” to discuss gun control. In the end, nothing changes.

But the response to the Florida shooting seems different, if only because the calls for action are now being led by students. Marches and walkouts in the coming weeks are being planned, and teens this week staged a “lie-in” outside the White House.

All of this coincides with the start of a mid-term election. Could guns become a key issue this fall? How did guns become a kind of “third rail” in politics?



Erik Spanberg, senior staff writer, Charlotte Business Journal (@CBJspanberg)


Robert Spitzer, author, The Politics of Gun ControlGuns Across America: Reconciling Gun Rules and Rights; professor of political science, SUNY Cortland (@spitzerb)

Lindsey McPherson, reporter, Roll Call (@lindsemcpherson)