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Thursday, November 4, 2021 4pm to 5:30pm

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Please join us for a Civil Disagreement panel on Guns in America. For some Americans, guns are seen as important for safety and self-protection. Other Americans view guns as a critical threat to those very aims. Reflecting this debate, the number of guns owned by Americans has dramatically increased in recent years, and the demographics of gun owners have shifted. For example, gun ownership among communities of color, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and women has risen sharply. At the same time, many people from these same communities have been calling for a new approach to community safety, which moves away from a reliance on firearms to a focus on healthcare and community building. Complicating the issue further, discussions among people with different views on gun rights and control can quickly escalate to heated arguments, evoking strong emotions like grief, fear, vulnerability, and anger.

This event brings together a range of speakers who hold differing views on guns informed by their varied experiences. Together, we will examine the issues that motivate different people’s views on gun ownership, exploring perspectives that are oftentimes overlooked. Our goal is to hold a difficult but respectful conversation that explores questions such as: Why do some people own guns and what factors have recently influenced populations with historically lower rates of gun ownership to procure them? Why do others avoid guns? Why do some favor strict regulation about what types of guns people can own and where they can use them while others hope for greater access to different types of guns and fewer restrictions in carrying them? How can Americans reconcile individual self-protection with community goals of public safety?

Please listen as Chris Cheng, Founding Board Member and Advisor of the Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association; Simone Gubler, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nevada; Maria Rivera, Mayor of Central Falls, Rhode Island; and Clark Neily, senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute, come together for a panel conversation. Moderated by Christopher Robichaud (Harvard Kennedy School), this conversation will bring together policy and subject experts from different political viewpoints to discuss this pressing but divisive issue.

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