Guest speakers contribute to gun debate


Jackie Jahfetson

Two opposing views will voice their opinions on gun control tonight in “The Great Gun Control Debate: John Lott v. Mike Weisser” at NMU.

The debate will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in Jamrich room 1100, where the speakers will begin the debate with their opening statements. Lott, a Fox News columnist and the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, has written several articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Presenting a less moderate view will be Weisser. Weisser has written blogs for the Huffington Post on guns and published over 1,000 articles. He’s also a NRA lifetime member and worked in the gun business for 35 years. The debate is sponsored by Platform Personalities (PP) and the Student Activity Fee.

“[The debate] will be a great way to become a part of the conversation on gun control,” junior economics major Sarah Head said. “[Students] need to know how both sides feel and hopefully develop empathy for their point of view to have a more clear head about where they want to stand on the spectrum.”

Head, who’s the co-president of PP, said they teamed up with Wolfman Production, a booking agency, and brainstormed topics of interest to the student body. In height of the recent shooting in Florida and at Central Michigan University, gun control is a topical issue and important to address, Head said.

The speakers will answer a set of questions and the audience will be able to join in the discussion by posing their concerns. Steve Nelson, NMU political science professor, will moderate the debate. The debate was initially set with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joel Rubin but withdrew due to his run for office, Head added.

Gun control is not just an issue that concerns many schools around the nation, Head said. Marquette is a rural area and a population that consists of many gun owners, even in the student body, and it’s important that students understand both arguments on gun control, she added.

Admission is free for students with NMU ID and $2 for the general public. Doors will open at 7 p.m.