Gun discussion draws dozens of students

Dozens of students filled room C152 Wednesday during advisory for the TED-Ed sponsored gun control discussion; organized with the purpose of educating students before the nationwide walkout on Friday during advisory.

Megan Lin
Moderator Ria Bhasin explains the structure of the discussion.

“Before the walkout, obviously, a lot of people are still very wishy washy about doing the walkout or they think that the walkout is going to put them in trouble,” walkout organizer Priya Nalliah said. “I think this discussion is going to promote an idea of how they feel about gun discussion so they won’t just feel biased. So I think this will just give the opportunity for students to understand how they feel about guns and whether or not they will want to participate in the walkout.”

The discussion began with a representative on both sides of the gun control debate presenting their opening remarks, followed by a session with moderator Ria Bhasin asking questions. Students in the audience were also able to post questions via an online forum.

“I learned definitely some new stuff about legislation before that kind of influences the debate,” junior Vinny Shirvaikar said. “I thought it was a pretty good debate with both sides were well spoken and discussed their sides and thoughts pretty well.”

While the discussion may not have changed anybody’s mind, junior Shobha Melukote found the discussion informative.

Megan Lin
Junior Kanika Kappalayil texts a question to the online forum at the advisory gun control discussion.

“I learned a lot about the 1986 ban and just how the government has handled automatic versus semi-automatic weapons,” Melukote said. “So I do think it was worthwhile to go to and just learn more about both sides.”

Although there are many opposing thoughts on the issue of gun control, conservative representative Chris Yu believes the conversation is what matters.

“Having teens pioneer things is actually relatively new and I think that’s really awesome especially since our generation is kind of the generation that likes to take initiative,” Yu said. “There’s definitely a problem and I’m really glad that our generation has realized it, it’s just how we’re going to deal with the problem that kind of is creating this debate right now.”