For the past week, the national consciousness has been firmly affixed to the issue of gun violence. And an example of that sort of conversation will be playing out on cable news on Wednesday night. Here's how to watch CNN's town hall event on guns, which figures to be hugely compelling.
Just one week after the harrowing Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, survivors of the attack will be participating in the nationally televised town hall, alongside Broward County sheriff Scott Israel, and Dana Loesch, the national spokesperson for the NRA. It'll be taking place in the city of Sunrise, Florida ― just ten miles south of Parkland ― and will be moderated by longtime CNN anchor Jake Tapper.
It'll be taking place at 9:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday night, and if you've got cable TV, it'll be totally easy to watch. Just tune in to CNN at that time, and you're ready to go. If you have a cable subscription but need to watch from a laptop or other mobile device, you'll still be ok, because it'll be available through CNN's live streaming service, CNN Go. Anyone with a valid cable subscription login can access the CNN live stream here.
It's unclear as of yet what questions will be asked, or whether it'll assume the tone of a debate or a mere conversation. Given Loesch's presence at the event, however, it's possible things could get contentious. She's long been a vociferous and controversial pro-gun advocate, starring in a series of controversial and far-right videos released by the NRA.
Her public profile is basically that of an unapologetic and forceful voice in support of gun ownership rights, and a deeply inflammatory one. Considering that, as well as the NRA's decades of resistance to substantial gun reform legislation, it wouldn't be hard to imagine her staking out a pretty hard line position.
That said, the optics of this town hall could be perilous for the pro-gun side, owing to the impassioned and morally forceful activism so many of the Stoneman Douglas survivors have engaged in over the past several days. The considered, perhaps they'll want to represent themselves with more softness and moderation.
Israel, the sheriff of Broward County, will also be participating, and he's been vocal in his support for gun control measures following the shooting. In all, 17 people were killed at Stoneman Douglas, including 14 students, and three members of the school's staff.
Many of the teenage survivors of the deadly shooting, have committed themselves to activism and advocacy in the days since, and that seems to be having an effect on how issues of gun violence are enduring in the national conversation this time around.
The shooting itself was, tragically, not a rare occurrence ― there have already been several school shootings resulting in deaths this year, although what happened in Parkland was especially lethal.
For a sense of contrast, the 17 slain at Stoneman Douglas last week is a higher death toll than the infamous Columbine High School shooting back in 1999, in which 13 people (not including the two shooters) were killed. Back in 2012, the high-profile shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut killed 26 people (not including the gunman).
The deadliest mass shooting in modern American history happened last year, when a gunman opened fire at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. That shooting claimed 59 lives, and injured more than 500 more, an almost unimaginable number. This time, however, the charge for reform is being led by a collection of young survivors themselves, and they'll be getting a major moment in the national spotlight during CNN's Wednesday night event.