But what bothers me even more about this debate than my personal inability to establish a position is the monolithic group thought that dominates this campus’ collective opinion – the widespread belief that there is only one right answer and that any degree of informed dissent is downright blasphemy.
On January 5th, President Obama appeared on television to unveil new gun control measures. While speaking about the shooting at Sandy Hook – and in the full glare of the cameras – he shed a few tears. Some people were moved – others outraged, and others attacked for being moved, or being outraged. But in this shouting match what was lost was a real conversation – and moreover, appreciation that a conversation is what democracy should be based on.
Consider for a moment that we live in a country where there exists a legally obtainable weapon that allows a single person with malicious intentions to kill or injure multiple people in a crowded place within a few minutes, perhaps seconds. In fact, the U.S. is plagued with the highest rate of gun-related deaths in the developed world at over 33,000 deaths per year, more than a third of which are homicides.
We seek to highlight the fact that at the university undergraduate level, at least at Stanford and likely outside of it, there is shamefully little ethical pushback against the use of stories instead of science to try to prove points about the world.
Last month, seven college students were murdered in Santa Barbara. When I first learned about the massacre, I found myself horrified and disgusted — but not surprised. Perhaps I was surprised seven years ago, when I turned on the television to discover that a Virginia Tech student had killed 32 of his peers and teachers.…
“The pen is mightier than the sword,” Edward Bulwer-Lytton. How does this bear on the question of free speech? My formulation is simple: if we cannot trust students with the Second Amendment, why should they have access to the First?
Thursday evening, Colin Goddard spoke with Stanford students after a screening of “Living for 32” hosted by Stanford Film Society in the Roble Theatre. For the Q&A session, he was accompanied by another victim of gun violence, Mindy Finkelstein, who was injured in the 1999 Jewish Community Center shooting, and by Linda Platt, representative for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.