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Emerson College President to hold panel discussions on gun violence

Posted by Your Town  January 31, 2013 12:42 PM

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Emerson College President M. Lee Pelton will host a series of panel discussions on gun violence, with the first one scheduled for Monday, according to Emerson College officials.

Pelton also announced last week the start of the College Presidents’ Gun Violence Resource Center, a website where college and university presidents can discuss how to reduce gun violence, according to a statement released by Emerson. Pelton is also encouraging more university presidents to sign a pledge to President Obama to hold discussions on the culture of gun violence in the US.

Pelton began the petition last month in the wake of the Newtown elementary school massacre. According to a statement from Emerson, more than 250 presidents have signed the pledge.

“I was terribly saddened and upset by the events,” Pelton told the Globe in December. “So I concluded in the letter that just this wasn’t sufficient. I needed to do more.”

In his petition, Pelton asks President Obama to use whatever power he has to stop gun violence.

Pelton wrote that he and the other presidents who have signed the petition, “are writing to lend our individual assistance as well as that of our academic communities in supporting a long overdue national conversation about mass killings and gun violence.”

Monday's panel will center on the issues of gun control and gun advocacy, and it will be held in the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre at Emerson’s Paramount Center.

WGBH news anchor Emily Rooney will moderate the panel, which consists of John Rosenthal, the founder of Stop Handgun Violence, Richard Feldman, the president of the Independent Firearm Association, and Jack McDevitt, the Criminal Justice Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at Northeastern University.

“I believe college presidents have an obligation to show moral leadership on issues of great societal importance,” Pelton said in a statement. “Our academic communities must use their intellectual capacity to encourage intelligent, civilized, and informed debate.”

Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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