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Gun Control and Gun Rights Public Discussion

Hot Topics  PPI logo NAUSedona AZ (January 28, 2013)Hot Topics Café, a partnership between Philosophy in the Public Interest and the Compassion Project programs at NAU, will hold an open public discussion about Second Amendment issues at the Sedona Public Library on Tuesday, February 5, 2013, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. The public discussion program is free and all are welcome.

While gun control and gun rights were not originally on the list of Hot Topics for 2013 programs, the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, and the ensuing discussions in the halls of the United States Congress resulted in members of the Hot Topics program committee requesting that it be a subject of community discussion.

Hot Topics Cafés provide opportunities for community members to discuss contentious political issues in a civil way. The program is nonpartisan and does not endorse positions with respect to any issue discussed. Topics are chosen by a community committee that represents community leaders from a variety of political constituencies and interests.

Hot Topics PPI Logo blueNorthern Arizona University (NAU) students from philosophy, political science, and in the Franke College of Business prepare informational sheets that give overviews of competing positions, and their economic impacts.

Hot Topics Cafes began on the NAU campus, but this year moved to community locations including the Coconino Center for the Arts, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Sedona Public Library, and the Yavapai College Sedona campus Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Andrea Houchard, the director of Philosophy in the Public Interest, will facilitate the February 5 discussion.

Future Sedona Hot Topics programs include “Taxes: A cost/benefit analysis” on March 5, 2013, at the Sedona Public Library, and “Education: A public or private good?” on April 2, 2013 at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, Yavapai College Sedona campus.

For more Hot Topics information, visit www.nau.edu/ppi.


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  1. Tucson Inn says:

    Liked this story on Facebook.

  2. Guess our national leaders didn’t expect this twelve years later. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

    They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert. These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. The following is a portion of the transcript:

    “Since the dawn of creation there has been both good and evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher and the other eleven children who died, must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

    The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain’s heart.

    In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don’t believe that they are responsible for my daughter’s death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel’s murder I would be their strongest opponent.

    I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves.

    I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best:

    “Your laws ignore our deepest needs, your words are empty air.

    You’ve stripped away our heritage, you’ve outlawed simple prayer.

    Now gunshots fill our classrooms, and our precious children die.

    You seek for answers everywhere, And ask the question “Why?”

    You pass restrictive laws, Through your legislative creed.

    And yet you fail to understand, that God is what we need!”

    Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit.
    When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation’s history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.

    What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine’s tragedy occurs — politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties.

    We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre.

    The real villain lies within our own hearts.

    As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools.

    Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him.

    To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA — I give to you a sincere challenge . . . Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter’s death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!” Darrell Scott, Colorado

    Jack Hallman, Delaware subscriber

  3. Steve says:

    I put it on the calendar. Sounds like a good idea to talk about how we curb these problems but 2nd Amendment has to be protected. It’s mental health & societal problems & crime.

  4. Brian says:

    Citizens need to get involved and ask how is this problem fixed. Come to the table listening to & not talking at ! We need to trust & not be afraid to change.

  5. FD says:

    Those Border patrols you hate in Sedona hate caught a bunch of illegals crossing with lots of assault weapons. Coming soon near you?

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