The event is being hosted by the Democratic Party of Lane County, The Mother PAC–an organization that provides family support throughout Oregon–and the Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC).
They say this issue is one that communities all over have had to deal with for ages, especially lately, and it’s high time we got a real conversation going here in town.
“I just couldn’t stop crying after the events at Sandy Hook in Connecticut,” said Rose Wilde, event organizer.
The mass shooting there was just one of several shootings across the nation over the last year, and it was one that really got event organizer Wilde motivated to do something.
“Being the mother of a young child, that just monstrosity that happened, I just felt compelled to act,” Wilde said.
Wilde says the community is long overdue for a discussion.
“It’s an issue that hasn’t been talked about lately. I think the recent events really touched me and a lot of people and I thought it was time for me to take action on the violence that is happening in our society,” Wilde said.
The Democratic Party of Lane County is co-hosting the event, but organizers say this isn’t about political gains.
“We didn’t come into planning this event with a set agenda about what are the solutions we want to see. It’s a chance for people to talk about what they want to see in the community or what are the things community members themselves can do to effect change in this way,” said Julie Fahey, DPLC Chair.
They also say it’s not just about firearm regulation.
“I think [gun control] is a multi-faceted solution. I think gun regulation is something people feel is a part of the answer, but mental health services, what are the things our schools can be doing. Those are also a part of the answer,” Fahey said.
In the end, coordinators hope that each participant can walk away with a stronger understanding of the issue and hopefully a stronger peace of mind.
“There are a lot of ways that parents can’t control what happens to their kids, but I hope at least indirectly this helps makes his world more peaceful and safer and that he’s surrounded by people who are safer too,” Wilde said.
There will be a panel of speakers present, including Senator Floyd Prozanski and Mayor Kitty Piercy.
The event is free and organizers say everyone is welcome to come and take part in this discussion. It will be held at First Christian Church on Oak Street at 6:30 p.m.