The ever-present gun control debate has been given increased attention in recent months. Tonight, students were given an opportunity to express their views on the issue in an event entitled “Let’s Talk About Guns”. The event was the first in the SGA Civil Discourse Series, which according to SGA, is “designed to provide a space for students to engage with some of the most controversial topics in the national conversation.”
“The series is a great idea. Learning how to engage one another, clarifying values and facts, and learning to collaborate toward real policy change is a great endeavor for SGA to undertake in public venues,” Campus Pastor Don Opitz says.
Pastor Opitz began the event by providing strategies on how to have respectful, Christ-centered discourse between people of opposing opinions. He recommended limiting emotion and instead presenting logic and facts as fairly and succinctly as possible while also clarifying ethical principles and values.
“I think because we are a Christian community we should be different in the way we approach these things. They should be approached with a realization that we belong to one another and that our journeys are tied together,” Director of Student Involvement and Leadership Programs Kevin Villegas added.
Students were then invited to participate in round-table discussion. Six people at a time could sit in the circle of chairs in the center of the room and have three chances to speak before they were asked to let someone else have a turn. SGA Vice President of Diversity Affairs Kelly Hopkins moderated by posing topics and questions for discussion. The two topics covered were reasons for gun ownership and the idea of the “good guy with a gun”.
The greater purpose of the series is to “work towards a point where people with conflicting views can sit down and have respectful and productive dialog with one another.” SGA plans to continue the series next semester.