Penn Works to Find Common Ground Amid Gun Controversies

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820April 2, 2013

In the wake of more than 20 mass shootings and shooting sprees in recent years, the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania will host “Finding Common Ground: Moving Forward,” a gun violence-prevention event, Wednesday, April 17, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce St.

“It’s time for a rational, national gun policy,” said Susan B. Sorenson, professor of social policy at Penn.  “This event will go from the personal to population policy.  We hope to highlight not just the problem but the surprising amount of agreement in the U.S. about what to do.”

Guest speakers will be best-selling author, retired astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in a Tucson, Ariz., parking lot; and Matthew Miller, deputy director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center and associate professor at Harvard University, who will discuss what research shows about guns and fatal violence.

Kelly and Giffords co-founded Americans for Responsible Solutions, an organization that encourages elected officials to craft and support policies that will prevent gun violence as well as uphold responsible gun ownership.  As a balanced advocate for common-sense protection from gun violence, Kelly will address how leadership can move the nation forward.

“With an estimated 300 million guns in the U.S., simple approaches like gun-buy-back programs will never have a significant impact,” said Richard J. Gelles, dean of the Penn School of Social Policy & Practice.  “If we want to make a meaningful difference in reducing gun violence, we are going to need creative thinking and excellent research.”

Organizers plan to show “Living for 32,” a documentary featuring Colin Goddard, who was shot six years ago at Virginia Tech.

CNN's Ali Velshi will serve as the event's moderator.

“Finding Common Ground” is free and open to the public, but registration is required: www.sp2.upenn.edu/commonground.

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