Students Lead Discussion on the Second Amendment

By Melanie Fey '20 | October 2, 2018

2nd Amendment Discussion NHIOP

On Thursday, September 27, Saint Anselm students and staff participated in “Perspectives on the Second Amendment” at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP). The Kevin B. Harrington Student Ambassadors' Civic Engagement Committee coordinated the event with the new campus organization, Open Space Open Minds (OSOM).

Our committee spent months preparing and consulting with OSOM, who really guided us through the facilitated dialogue process. As one of the committee co-chairs, I am pleased that this first forum went better than any of us could have imagined.

The first part of the event involved a panel discussion led by professional and well-educated panelists who created a deeper understanding of the Second Amendment from legal, historical, and enforcement perspectives. The panelists included assistant professor of criminal justice Liana Pennington, Ph.D., history professor Andrew Moore, Ph.D., and Lt. Mark Morrison of the Londonderry Police Department.

The entire crowd was engaged and listened intently as the moderator guided the conversation through the language of the amendment, focusing on key phrases that have many interpretations. All three panelists were careful to keep the conversation bipartisan and focused on the different lenses to view the amendment. I was especially intrigued by the vast amount of knowledge and the preparedness of each panelist. As the panel came to a close, there was a brief question and answer period that helped the audience engage with the panelists.

The panel discussion was followed by student-led facilitated dialogue to encourage students to converse on the second amendment in a safe and open environment. There were two groups, and each had two student facilitators who are registered and trained with OSOM to help guide the dialogue. As a facilitator, I was definitely nervous at first, however, all my fears drifted away as I was once again reminded that the Saint Anselm College community is one of respect and acceptance.