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The Hardliners

Long Shadow

Long Lead & PRX & The Trace & Campside Media

Narrative, 9-11, History, Terrorism, Anniversary, America

4.81.8K Ratings

🗓️ 23 April 2024

⏱️ 47 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


In the 1980s, a pair of intimidating NRA leaders recast the organization in their own imposing images as the group went on an all-out offensive against gun regulations.

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At a time when information continues to come at us faster and faster, sometimes you need to hit pause.


And rewind.


NPR's Thuleine takes you back in time to the source of the news stories filling your


feed. Find NPR's Throughline wherever you get your podcasts.


A note for listeners, on and across this season, there are repeated mentions of guns, gun


violence, and their collective toll on our society and our psyche.


Please take care while you listen.


A couple of days before Christmas in New York City in 1984, 37-year-old Bernard Gets was going to meet friends for a drink.


He got on the subway and entered a sparsely crowded car on the number two train.


After a while, Gets noticed a group of teenagers


looking in his direction.


There were two on his left and two on his right. The boys were headed to an arcade, but they didn't have any money.


So one of them, smiling, ask gets for five dollars.


I asked him quietly. I said, what did you say? He said, give him


five dollars. When I saw the smile on his face and the shine in his eyes that he was enjoying this.


I knew what they were going to do.


At the time, crime in New York was rampant, and people were constantly getting mugged, often on the subway.


Gets was no tourist. His instinct told him almost immediately that these boys had no interest in his five bucks, and he was prepared for a moment like this.


I said, I'll give you five dollars. I just started firing. I wanted to kill those guys, I wanted to kill those guys I wanted to name those guys I wanted to make


them sucker in every way I could


gets shot each teenager one at a time with a 38 caliber gun. Then he said he stood over one boy


and shot him again in the back for good measure. I went to him the second time and I said you seem to be doing all right here's another


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