You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

America Undercover 5 American Handguns — 5 American Kids

Simple, but by no means simplistic, "5 American Handguns" explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber.

Cast:
Narrator: Beau Bridges.

Simple, but by no means simplistic, “5 American Handguns” explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber.

Some facts:

In more than one-third of the American homes with both guns and children, the guns are kept unlocked.

Every eight hours, an American child kills himself with a handgun.

A child is five times more likely to kill himself if there’s a gun in the house to abet the process.

A gun in the house is 43 times more likely to kill friends or family than an intruder.

These are just a few of the staggering statistics that are dispensed throughout this powerful hour from the documentary team of Vince DiPersio and William Guttentag. If all that “5 American Handguns” accomplished were putting these figures into the overcooked stew of public awareness, it would have served its purpose. But “5 American Handguns” does much more. The results are haunting.

It begins with a stark, seemingly harmless image — five guns mounted on a display rack. Each, viewers soon learn, has a specific story to tell.

By the time the show is finished, we have gotten to know these particular weapons and the devastation they’ve wrought. We have gotten to know their victims — and their families, who provide poignant, and guilt-ridden, testimony to the cavalier attitude with which guns are kept. They also ask — too late in their own cases — some important questions about the lack of gun-regulation and control in this country.

These are sad stories — cautionary stories — with tragic consequences. Filled with “what ifs” and “if I’d onlys,” they are pointedly armed with emotional firepower: a 3-year-old shoots his 2-year-old friend in Montana; a 14 -year-old shoots himself in Rhode Island; a 14-year-old steals a car and kills a cop in Idaho (the gun “made me feel like I was in control,” the boy admits in a particularly effective interview, “being the one with the switch — to take somebody’s life or let him keep it”); a 14-year-old in upstate New York accidentally kills his friend with his father’s automatic; a 15-year-old in Boston who dreamed of being the first black president is killed by gang fire.

What kind of society allows those so young proximity and access to something so deadly? That’s the ultimate question “5 Handguns” poses. The answer, unfortunately, blows you away.

America Undercover 5 American Handguns -- 5 American Kids

(Sun. (19), 10-11 p.m., HBO)

Production: Filmed by HBO. Producers, directors, writers, Vince DiPersio, William Guttentag.

Crew: Camera, Alex Zakrzewski; editor, Douglas Cheek; sound, Albee Gordon; music, Philip Marshall.

Cast: Narrator: Beau Bridges.

More TV

  • 'Star Trek: Discovery': James Frain on

    'Star Trek: Discovery': James Frain on Sarek's 'Sophie's Choice'

    Simple, but by no means simplistic, “5 American Handguns” explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber. Some facts: In more than one-third of the American homes with both guns and children, the guns are kept unlocked. Every eight hours, an […]

  • Joe Lewis Amazon

    Joe Lewis Exits Amazon Studios; Sharon Tal Yguado Takes Over Scripted Series

    Simple, but by no means simplistic, “5 American Handguns” explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber. Some facts: In more than one-third of the American homes with both guns and children, the guns are kept unlocked. Every eight hours, an […]

  • Stranger Things Season 2

    Halloween Costume Ideas 2017

    Simple, but by no means simplistic, “5 American Handguns” explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber. Some facts: In more than one-third of the American homes with both guns and children, the guns are kept unlocked. Every eight hours, an […]

  • Kelly Clarkson

    TV News Roundup: Kelly Clarkson Joins Season 13 of 'The Voice' as Key Adviser

    Simple, but by no means simplistic, “5 American Handguns” explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber. Some facts: In more than one-third of the American homes with both guns and children, the guns are kept unlocked. Every eight hours, an […]

  • Stranger Things Season 2

    'Stranger Things' Season 2 Reviews: What the Critics Are Saying

    Simple, but by no means simplistic, “5 American Handguns” explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber. Some facts: In more than one-third of the American homes with both guns and children, the guns are kept unlocked. Every eight hours, an […]

  • Before Bieber, 'Daydream Believer' Took the

    Before There Was Bieber, the Monkees' 'Daydream Believer' Took the Teen World by Storm

    Simple, but by no means simplistic, “5 American Handguns” explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber. Some facts: In more than one-third of the American homes with both guns and children, the guns are kept unlocked. Every eight hours, an […]

  • ABC Developing Middle Eastern Comedy From

    ABC Developing Middle Eastern Superhero Comedy From Bassem Youssef, Larry Wilmore

    Simple, but by no means simplistic, “5 American Handguns” explores an all-too-common American tragedy: the destructive swath of guns in the wrong hands. Its aim is true; the results are high-caliber. Some facts: In more than one-third of the American homes with both guns and children, the guns are kept unlocked. Every eight hours, an […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content