The Trinity College Democrats welcomed U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Igor Volsky, founder and executive director of Guns Down America, to a Gun Violence Prevention Forum on October 4, 2019, in McCook Auditorium.
Murphy, author of The Violence Inside Us, a book about the history of violence in the United States that was set to be published in January, discussed the role he has played in the gun reform movement and answered questions on the issue of gun violence in America today. “We need to realize that gun violence is on the radar of politicians, and the Democrats are doing everything in their power to implement strict background checks,” he said.
Volsky, whose tweets highlighting the amount of money politicians received from the National Rifle Association (NRA) went viral in 2016 and served as a catalyst for his larger gun reform movement, emphasized the difference between action and surface-level empathy exercised by politicians. “Lawmakers are quick to send thoughts and prayers after a shooting, but these lawmakers are the ones taking money from the NRA,” Volsky said. Guns Down America, which aims to move the country toward a future with fewer guns, focuses on driving corporate-based campaigns to encourage corporations, such as Walmart, to end sales of assault weapons and to advocate for gun reform.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Thomas X. Lefebvre expressed appreciation for both speakers’ input. “Volsky’s creative campaign tactics bring a breath of fresh air and optimism to the gun control conversation, which, for far too long, has seemed hopeless in this country,” Lefebvre said. “It was also a rare opportunity for students to listen and exchange with Senator Murphy, one of the loudest voices nationally on the topic.”