By: KATELYN FIRESTEIN
For Constitution Week, the American Democracy Project (ADP) on campus hosted several conversations on current popular topics of political debate, including guns on campus.
With the rise of mass school shootings across the nation, some campuses have discussed and even allowed members of universities with carrying licenses to carry handguns on university and college campuses.
This prompted the discussion topic for Wednesday, Sept. 26; Guns on Campus.
This discussion was moderated by Rodger Pinto, an ADP intern and the leader of the Student Veterans of America on campus.
This discussion included a diverse group of people, including students from the education, Spanish, political science, communication and other departments. There were a few faculty and past faculty members there and an IU Alumni who is also a Notre Dame professor and a survivor of gun violence, Stephen Miller.
The conversations were set up to be a safe environment for everyone to speak freely and respectfully with coffee, other refreshments and breakfast food.
Some of the questions discussed were whether the university should allow students and faculty to carry on campus or keep guns in their cars on campus, and what liabilities might exist for the university if so. Additionally, the discussion asked what the pros and cons of campus carry would be during an active shooter situation and whether guns on campus would increase safety or increase risk.
Though there were viewpoints from both sides, more people voiced opinions against campus carry.
Stephen Miller, the Notre Dame professor who is also a survivor of gun violence, had many notable insights and explained why he attended the event.
“I feel passionate about gun violence, having experienced it. It is important to have conversations with people with different opinions on gun laws,” explained Miller.
Another person who had a personal connection with this issue was Rodger Pinto, the ADP intern and student veteran who moderated the discussion.
“I have been around people who are highly trained in carrying firearms and accidents still happen all the time,” cautioned Pinto.
This discussion brought up several feelings and perspectives, and the conversation even had to be cut short because the dialogue could have continued much longer than the allotted time.
This was not the only issue that the Coffee and Conversations events brought passion to. The other conversations that were included in this series were about immigration and free speech versus hate speech.
The American Democracy Project has an extensive list of events coming up in October and November, including election debates and watch parties.