Recent gun violence sparks discussion for local students

NOW: Recent gun violence sparks discussion for local students

BERRIEN COUNTY, Ind. --- An important conversation on gun violence following multiple national tragedies, including one that’s not too far from home. 

Thursday night, panelists joined for a discussion at Lake Michigan College as part of their Civil Discourse Series speaking on the impact of gun violence and offering solutions to the growing issue.  

Honor students chose the topic of gun violence for the forum because it’s something that has personally affected them. The shooting at Michigan State University in February is sparking a conversation of change.  

“They are frustrated, understandably,” says Amy Scrima, Director of the Honors Program at Lake Michigan College. “They want to know why things aren’t changing, they know gun violence rates are lower in other parts and the world, and the idea that we can’t make those changes is super frustrating to our young people.”  

Students are more frustrated and scared than ever before following numerous cases of spontaneous shootings in grade schools or on college campuses in recent years 

They want to know what they can do to protect themselves, as well as find solutions to avoid the tragedies.  

Thursday’s forum at Lake Michigan College featured a panel of health care workers, a state representative, an expert in behavioral studies, and a retired US Army veteran who offered their experiences with gun violence and what they’ve learned on how to address the issue in their particular field.  

Some of the key questions focused on decreasing gun violence while gun ownership is simultaneously increasing, addressing trauma associated with gun violence, and how to protect our schools.  

A local Michigan representative says guns being in the hands of the wrong people is the root of the problem.  

“We are acknowledging over and over again, law enforcement is acknowledging over and over again that there are problems and there are violent individuals and yet, we do not enforce these laws” says Joey Andrews, Michigan State Representative. “We continue to let people with mental health problems and history of violence have access to guns.”  

The full panel can be found on the Lake Michigan College website. 

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