TED-Ed club hosting gun control discussion Wednesday

Two days before a planned student walkout, the school’s TED-Ed club is hosting a gun control discussion on Wednesday in C152.

We think it’s really important for students to discuss what’s going on about current events, especially with gun control,

— junior and TED-ED publicist Kaitlin Shin

“We think it’s really important for students to discuss what’s going on about current events, especially with gun control and all the recent tragedies that have been happening and just all the political debate about it,” junior and TED-ED publicist Kaitlin Shin said. “The core identity of Ted is about sharing ideas, so we think it’s really important to provide students with this kind of event so that they have a place where they can share their ideas, talk with other students that feel the same way or feel differently, and just get more knowledge on the information for those who are kind of clueless and just kind of want to learn more.”

Wednesday’s advisory period is structured so that two representatives, one liberal and one conservative, share their sides’ opinion on the gun debate, followed by a more debate style interaction with a moderator asking questions. After that, students in the audience will be allowed to ask questions and have conversations about the topic.

“We didn’t want it to be a free-for-all discussion/debate because people could get really sentimental and things could get out of hand so we wanted to make it really structured where two sides are presented, those two sides interact, and then students could ask questions but it wouldn’t be a debate between two groups of people,” Shin said. “That’s why we have two representatives that are committed to being professional and having all the facts and just representing their sides in the right way, in the right manner.”

The discussion was scheduled in close proximity to the walkout with a purpose of educating students on the topic.

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“What we want for everybody to gain out of this experience is to be more aware of other people’s opinions,” walkout organizer and TED-Ed vice president Priya Nalliah said. “We don’t want people to be closed off from the opposite side’s opinions. We’re really seen as divided based on this kind of issue. We’re seen as oh, you either support guns or you don’t. The purpose of this discussion to let students see that there’s a wide spectrum of perspectives on this issue.”

Junior Chris Yu will be the conservative representative in the discussion and hopes students leave with a greater consciousness about the world around them.

“Something that I really respect about the walkout is that it does raise awareness,” Yu said. “Like especially in the suburban area, they kind of live in a bubble, they don’t realize that these topics are actually very prevalent in today’s society. If they can use these opportunities to gain exposure, it will really help them when they do transition into college and adulthood.”

We don’t want people to be closed off from the opposite side’s opinions,

— junior Priya Nalliah

Senior Parker Butler will be the liberal representative and sees the educational benefits of having debates among students.

“It’s all about education,” Butler said. “I think when you have a discussion and a competition of ideas in a healthy way, I think you end up having people who come to an agreement, often times, if they don’t agree, at least they understand the other side better.”

Ultimately, Shin and the other organizers encourage students to come to discussion.

“I don’t want kids to be afraid of going to the discussion because they think that they’re too young to participate in these kinds of discussions,” Shin said. “I think that as we become adults and now that a lot of us are going to start voting soon, it’s even more important that we become educated on these issues so that when we do vote, we vote with an educated mind and with a more clear understanding of what’s going on.”