In America, the topic of gun control is debated over and over. On Tuesday, April 16 at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, I had the privilege of watching storytellers convey their personal and tragic experiences with guns, as well as observe an open dialogue about guns and how the public should respond to the topic of guns.

After watching the performance of the storytellers, who shared their personal experiences with guns, the floor opened up to a dialogue that quickly turned into a debate on gun control. One side argued for gun education and awareness and another side argued that guns should not be in the hands of people who are not in law enforcement.  

Not having any stance on this matter, I could not help but to wonder why both sides could not agree on the same goal that they were trying to achieve: safety. I have observed that both sides argue that this country would be a safer place if there were stricter regulations on guns and gun ownership, and that more lives could be saved.

At this particular point in time this country has never been so polarized politically, but even those who hold a strong politically-aligned view understand that safety is a major goal for this country.

Many people came to the dialogue to discuss their views in reference to Sandy Hook and other school shootings. They talked about everything from who should not be allowed to own a gun to where guns are not appropriate. The conversation was emotionally charged, and there were even a few tears shed in the audience.  Most could agree that there must be something done to make sure that guns are kept out of the hands of children and people who could hurt themselves and others.

There were all types of reactions. Some people cried when speaking about a family member who was hurt, others were angry and even stormed out of the Quick Center and some people just sat in utter silence with inquisitive expressions on their faces. There were even people yelling at each other at one point.

Jeremy Ian Stein, from CT Against Gun Violence, claims that, “It isn’t about the second amendment, it isn’t about taking guns away from people. This is about safe gun ownership and safe storage of guns.” Stein continued on, further commenting on gun safety: “I think that if we can get past this partisanships than we can get down to the real issue in order to save lives.”

I found this dialogue interesting, as it highlighted the real problem that or country is facing: finding common ground. The goal of this dialogue was to get people talking to listen to all points of view on the matter.

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