• Lillie Burke

Student political organizations discuss gun control, immigration at debate event

The College Democrats and College Republicans held an event called “It’s Debatable” Thursday night where students from each organization took turns answering current hot topic political questions and questions proposed by members of the event’s audience.

The event consisted of two members from each organization: Bailyn Dupont and Morgan McDonough from the College Democrats and Allison Santa Rita and Ethan Ingram from the College Republicans, being asked questions by event moderator Steven Boero, the editor for the Belmont Vision.

Dupont said the event was created in the spirit of bipartisan discussion and cooperation.

“We’re going to be super open minded and just have a really good discussion about some of the issues that are the most important to our community,” said Dupont.

Questions posed during the debate ranged from college debt and marijuana legalization to gun control and police brutality.

There were evident divisions of belief between the two groups, with the most notable coming from topics such as gun control where the groups were divided on the continued effectiveness and legitimacy of the Second Amendment and the prominence of mental health in the issue.

There is nothing you can really do about mass shootings with gun control, said Ingram, with Santa Rita echoing the sentiment and adding that mental health is a big and often overlooked part of the discussion.

The Second Amendment is pretty outdated, said Dupont, talking about the ownership of guns in the country and the gun show loophole. McDonough talked about the College Democrats’ hope for an assault weapons ban in the future.

Not all of the debate was disagreement, however, with the organizations coming together on a few different topics, such as the need for improvement in the current immigration system to help those who want to come into the country legally.

At the end of the debate, both organizations expressed that they felt it was important to have conversations like “It’s Debatable” where you are interacting with people who have different beliefs and opinions than you.

“We need to have more discussions between each other no matter what political affiliation we are,” said Ingram. “In the end, we’re all on the same team.”

Article written by Ryder Guido. Image courtesy of Morgan McDonough.

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