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Perspectives of gun control are focus of upcoming panel event at Shippensburg University

18 February 2013 No Comment


Individuals representing law enforcement, local media, major political parties and sociology will discuss gun control next week to enlighten the public on the various perspectives of the hot-button issue.

The panel discussion is hosted by The Slate, Shippensburg University’s student-run newspaper. It is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 27 in Memorial Auditorium on the campus.

Panelists are Jim Taylor, co-founder and chairman of America’s Political Action Committee; Chad Kimmel, professor of sociology at SU; Samantha Cossick, staff writer for Public Opinion; Bruce Hockersmith, mayor of Shippensburg; and Mick Kelly, Pennsylvania State Police Fire Arms Department.

Steven Lichtman, professor of political science and pre-law adviser at SU, will moderate the discussion.
It is the second such event The Slate has hosted this academic year. A panel discussion and debate in October focused on the local and presidential elections.

Feeling a debate could cause too much strife, organizers decided a panel discussion would be most effective to educate the public on various aspects relating to gun control, said lead organizer Paris Helman. She and other writers/editors of The Slate decided what perspectives should be covered, then went about getting individuals signed on.

“Most important (was) law enforcement because we wanted someone who knew the laws and how they are being enforced,” Helman said.

Organizers hope Taylor, a Republican, and Hockersmith, a Democrat, will tackle political views. Cossick will provide the view of a local crime reporter. Kimmel will have knowledge on the effect of gun violence on individuals and society.

“The reason I really want to take part in it is to find out what the prevailing view is from others, because I have my own ideas on this and I certainly would like to be able to get and understand some other aspects or other viewpoints of gun control,” Hockersmith said.

The moderator will issue some questions to the entire panel and others to individuals, allowing for factual explanations as well as commentary among panelists.

Participation by the public will be encouraged in an open session in which audience members have the opportunity to pose questions to panelists. Organizers felt it vital that this be part of the agenda, Helman said.
Parking and admission to the panel discussion are free.

Amber South can be reached at asouth@publicopinionnews.com and 262-4771.

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