No Compromise


Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting. Discover a social media empire with an unapologetic vision of gun rights—generating millions of likes, follows, and dollars. From WAMU's Guns & America, reporters Lisa Hagen of WABE and Chris Haxel of KCUR expose how three brothers from the most uncompromising corner of the gun debate are turning hot-button issues into donations and controversy. read less

Our Editor's Take

No Compromise is an NPR podcast about gun rights. The hosts are Lisa Hagen and Chris Haxel, who worked on Guns & America. That was a national reporting collaborative about firearms. In this series, the show focuses on the impacts guns have on life in the US. This limited-run podcast explores a far-right, pro-gun movement called "No Compromise." This podcast reveals many powerful entities besides the National Rifle Association (NRA). It shows who are the forces to prevent stronger gun control. The story of the podcast No Compromise is a surprising one.

The podcast gets the listener right in with a twangy guitar playing behind sound clips of a confident man with a Midwestern accent. He's speaking out against the NRA and government registration of firearms. The man is Chris Dorr. Together with his brothers, Aaron and Ben, he led protests against COVID-19 quarantines. The Dorr Brothers created anti-quarantine Facebook groups. These garnered thousands of followers within days. People who knew the brothers as gun rights activists were curious. Why did they care about the quarantine cause? Aaron answered one journalist by saying that freedom is their cause.

Another episode focuses on how the Dorr Brothers used social media to gain a following. They targeted people who were feeling disappointed in the NRA. Before this, they obtained contacts by working on political campaigns. Chris admitted to taking a list of Christian home educators. The hosts interview the woman he took the list from. She tells a separate story about the anti-quarantine Facebook groups. She says she joined one of the groups, not knowing that the Dorr Brothers were a part of them. Their names were not on any of the groups at the beginning. The podcast exposes several strange coincidences.

In another No Compromiseepisode, Hagen and Haxel speak about making the podcast. They discuss some of their sources and the history of this movement. At the end of the episode, they answer questions from listeners. One listener asks what they hope the podcast will do. The hosts explain they want to make people more aware of who drives and influences these discussions.

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