ASU Mosaic International Connections Conducts Gun Violence Symposium

Published: Sunday, April 1, 2018 - 2:24pm
Updated: Sunday, April 1, 2018 - 2:28pm
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(Photo courtesy of ASU Mosaic International Connections)

Many Valley residents honored their respective religious faiths over the holiday weekend.

But for a group of about 50 concerned citizens, their weekend began with a panel discussion on Friday evening that was devoted to discussing gun violence.

Speakers representing law enforcement, criminal justice education, law and legislation fielded questions for nearly two hours as part of Arizona State University Mosaic International Connection’s symposium on gun violence.

Gerry Hills, moderator and founder of Arizonans for Gun Safety fielded questions written on index cards from attendees. “As a former school resource officer," she asked panelist Michael Thompson, ASU Police Chief, "How do you feel about no-gun zones?”  

Thompson replied, “These perpetrators are not choosing soft targets for the fact that ‘ok, I’m going to go here, because I know they can’t carry weapons over here.’”   

He said a perfect example to illustrate his point was the Charleston, South Carolina shooter Dylan Roof who attended Bible study at a church that did not forbid carrying firearms.   

Panelists also fielded questions about the use of firearms in domestic violence cases.

Douglas Wilkey, a criminology instructor at ASU, said "Arizona’s gun deaths for domestic violence are 45 percent higher than the national average.”

He said when guns are present in a domestic violence situation, lethality increases by five percent.