Guest speaker invited to bring gun violence awareness

EMMA FIGLEWICZ
STAFF WRITER

10/3/2022

On Oct. 6, Alma College is set to host guest speaker, David Hogg at 7 p.m. in the Dunning Memorial Chapel. Hogg is one of the speakers chosen for the Presidential Speaker Series. Hogg will speak to the student body and faculty on the subject of community through the lens of gun violence in schools.

Hogg is a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, FL. Using his experience with gun violence, Hogg co-founded the March for Our Lives protest and co-wrote the book, “#NeverAgain.” He promotes activism and voting through numerous social media platforms, where he has more than one million followers.

Alma College’s Presidential Speaker Series is an event that the campus holds annually, which brings in people of various backgrounds and ideological beliefs.

“It is run through the Center of College and Community Engagement. This group brings in speakers who help guide discussions on civil responsibility and what that looks like at all levels of leadership,” said Andrew Pomerville, Assistant Vice President for Community Engagement.

“This year’s Presidential Speaker Series focuses on some important questions about our place within a community and how individual responsibility affects community responsibility. Hogg’s experience that he will share is an excellent fit within that theme, given the tragic circumstances that led to his national platform,” said Jeff Abernathy, president of Alma College.

Gun violence is an issue on the rise, and the discussion of gun rights is a disputed matter on all levels of government.

Recently, the House of Representatives passed a bill banning assault rifles with a 217 to 213 vote. The bill will be sent to the Senate to be voted on if it shall be passed or not in American legislation.

In June, President Joe Biden signed a gun safety bill into law. This law seeks to expand background checks. It also expands upon an existing law that prevents previously incarcerated people of domestic abuse from owning a gun.

In the wake of the Uvalde, Texas shooting, David Hogg responded to the situation in an interview with MSNBC. “We need to figure out what is the one thing that we can agree on to move forward not as democrats and republicans, but as Americans who actually address the situation,” said Hogg.

Gun violence is an issue that can occur in any community at any time. Staying informed may open useful conversations that can give people the resources to help the fight against gun violence.

“David’s talk encourages us to understand our responsibilities amid the conversation about gun violence. I believe awareness is already there about gun violence. Knowing that shootings happen is not the goal; the goal is knowing our role implicitly,” said Pomerville.

Alma College has made tickets accessible to all students. Tickets can be found online. Faculty and staff have been spreading the word around campus in hopes of a big turnout.

“Tickets are free, and there are about 100 seats currently available. Two-thirds of ticket sales are set aside for students, staff and faculty. Students can find tickets which are on the Alma Connect website,” said Pomerville.

“Peace and safety are the responsibilities of all our citizens. We all need to talk openly about how we can get there, and by having speakers like David come in, conversations can commence,” said Pomerville.

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