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Katie Couric documentary 'Under the Gun' examines 'disconnect' in gun debate

Katie Couric spoke with TODAY about her new documentary, 'Under the Gun,' which takes a look at both sides of the gun safety issue.
/ Source: TODAY

In a new documentary examining gun violence, Katie Couric tries to get at the heart of why there was no change after a tragedy that many thought would be a seminal moment.

The fatal shooting of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012 spurred congressional legislation calling for background checks on firearm sales that was ultimately defeated.

In "Under the Gun,'' which airs May 15 on Epix, Couric tries to find out why the horrific event had no effect on gun laws.

"After Sandy Hook, everyone thought this was a watershed moment, (and) something would be done,'' Couric told Matt Lauer on TODAY Friday.

"And then when (the) Manchin-Toomey (bill) died in the Senate, I couldn't understand the disconnect between public opinion and our elected officials, and I wanted to really uncover why nothing was happening with this issue."

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The former TODAY co-anchor also takes a look at the daily gun violence across America and the dramatic rise in mass shootings.

Couric spent time with Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, the parents of Jessica Ghawi, 24, who died in the July 2012 shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, that claimed the lives of 12 people.

"Lonnie and Sandy are gun owners, and they belong to the NRA,'' Couric said. "Their views on guns — they've become advocates and experts. They've really evolved."

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.