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Bennington Gun Control Forum Recap

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Bennington Gun Control Forum Recap

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On Monday, March 19th, the Laumeister Art Center held a panel forum on gun violence, school shootings, gun safety, and solutions. The panelists at the event varied from members of Vermont’s government, such as Senator Dick Sears and Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Education Rebecca Holcombe, to students from the Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester. As for the audience, it was just as diverse as the panel itself, with people of all sorts of ages and beliefs attending the event.

Despite the controversial nature of the topic, the forum brought in quite the crowd. With the art center sponsoring the event and making it free for all those who attended, the goal was to attain high attendance from the public, and they certainly received the turn out they were hoping for. By the end of the night, the parking lot of the Laumeister Art Center was thoroughly packed.

Overall, it was as mature as it was successful. The conversations of the night were spoken in a hushed, serious tone; it seemed that everyone at the forum agreed that this was not something to be taken lightly. Given that this followed both the Parkland, Florida shooting and a potential shooting threat at Mount Anthony Union High School, it was not shocking that the event was taken seriously.

As solemn as it was however, it did not mean that there were no emotional outbursts. Before the event had properly ended seven people had left, with four of them visibly distraught. Once the forum had ended, several comments were overheard and two of the most popular opinions were that the kids were the only ones who made sense, and that the students on the panel were all from Burr and Burton Academy. Being that MAUHS students had recently experienced the threat of a shooting, it was rather upsetting for most people that these students were not invited to the forum.

The debates over gun safety and gun control have become linked to our young people, who all too often have found themselves the victims of these mass shootings. We hope that, as long as they continue to feel unsafe in what should be their safe spaces, American youth will keep this discussion going.


Photo belongs to Bennington Banner

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