Week Long Facebook Conversation on Gun Reform and Gun Policy
This was a weeklong conversation that took place over Facebook messenger between 9 individuals. The participants provided their biographies which are included which is included in the introduction document. Each day began with guiding questions or carried on questions from the previous day. The initial guiding question was “What, if any reforms in gun policy should the government pursue? That can include both federal, state, and local efforts." Other days covered the relationship between gun policy and race, mental health, and political practicality. The attached documents (found below) were *very lightly* edited for any major typos, but left essentially as conducted.
The list of guiding questions and their parallel days are as follows:
Day 1 and Day 2: What, if any reforms in gun policy should the government pursue? That can include both federal, state, and local efforts.
Day 3: Should teachers be allowed to be armed in schools? Why or why not? Beyond permission, should they be armed (is it a good idea)?
Day 4 and Day 5: Gun reform has a history in this country of being used against minorities. How could any reforms handle that?
On the other hand, others have argued that the refusal to pass new gun control laws is actually a way for white individuals to retain power. Do you feel any opposition to gun reform is about this?
Day 5 (continued): What legislation is possible, if any, given the current environment? Or will change only come at the next election? Even those who don’t want change can discuss the political realities
Day 6: Often after a mass shooting, discussions about mental health and gun policy are brought to the forefront. How do we keep guns out of the hands of individuals who are a danger to themselves and others? One policy that you all have mentioned and that is often discussed is the enactment of Extreme Risk Prevention Orders, colloquially known as “red flag laws”. However, arguments can be made about where is the line? Are these laws constitutional? Do these type of laws impede on our civil liberties? Does this unfairly stigmatize those with mental illnesses?
Day 7: Discuss whatever you want in regards to gun policy and what the government can and should do. Additionally, if you could comment on how you feel, if at all, this dialogue was useful, I would appreciate it. Did it serve as a catharsis? Did you learn anything new? How could it have been better?
The participants all remained civil and should be commended on the effort that they put in. I am extremely grateful for their engagement. I hope this experiment served as a catharsis for them and that those reading all learn a little more about this topic as well as how to use debate as a method to heal and move forward.
I apologize to any mobile users checking out the site--the document order does not seem to translate well if looking from a mobile device. Ugh, someday I will get a handle on web design!
Please feel free to add your own commentary on the project and/or your opinion on of the content from the days. Let's keep this conversation going!