Gunning for control
On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Controversy n’ Coffee, Student Union and the Pre-Law Society held a three-person panel called “Gunning for Control” to revisit the national debate on gun control policy. About 25 students attended.
Much of the debate centered on whether mentally disabled individuals should have the right to bear arms.
Deborah Dinner, a panelist and Washington University associate professor of law, said that despite District of Columbia v. Heller, which declared outlawing handguns unconstitutional, authorities still have the power to deny arms to the mentally ill and in certain zones of cities.
Dr. Thomas Oltmanns, professor of psychology and director of clinical training at the University, said that he thought it would be difficult to regulate the sale of guns to the mentally ill because not all who suffer from psychosis are violent and not all who commit murders suffer from psychosis.
He added that these regulations would contribute to increased stigmatization of the mentally ill.
Student reactions to the panel discussion were mixed.
“I thought the panel was great. It included a good range of perspectives. My favorite part was hearing about some of the different strategies that have tried to curb gun violence,” freshman Danny Munro said.
“I had expected more perspective. I thought there would have been more controversy. How little the people who study, practice and make laws know disturbs me. I did like the panelists; I just had hoped it would have been more of a community discussion,” senior Adam Segal said.
Tell us what you think about gun control—should we allow restrictions to the Second Amendment, and if so, when?
A full story will be posted Monday.