Finding Common Ground on Guns

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 – 6:30pm ET
George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium

Watch a conversation with Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and former Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) on bipartisan paths to reduce gun violence.

With mass shootings on the rise, a majority of Americans say gun policies are very important to their midterm vote. Yet despite Congress coming together to pass the first major gun safety legislation in 30 years, voters remain closely divided along party lines over whether it is more important to support gun control or gun rights. Can our country find a path toward the common good?

We explored this issue with Democratic Senator Chris Murphy and former Republican Congressman Will Hurd, in a special conversation at The George Washington University on September 27, 2022, moderated by former CBS News Correspondent and author Jacqueline Adams.

Senator Murphy, who helped author the recent bipartisan gun bill, was a young U.S. representative from Connecticut when he stood with families from his district as they learned that their children – all first graders – had been shot dead at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Ten years later, after Uvalde, he stood on the Senate floor and demanded of his colleagues, “what are we doing?” Former Congressman Will Hurd recently represented the district that includes Uvalde, the site of the May 2022 school shooting that left 19 schoolchildren and 2 teachers dead. In a New York Times op-ed, this legislator who had an A rating from the National Rifle Association called for “more than just thoughts and prayers” to keep firearms out of irresponsible hands. 

Finding Common Ground on Guns was co-sponsored by BridgeGW, a student-organized nonprofit that advocates for constructive political discussion; and the GW Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

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Featured Speakers

Chris Murphy
Panelist

Chris Murphy, the junior United States Senator for Connecticut, has dedicated his career to public service as an advocate for Connecticut families. He has been a strong voice in the Senate fighting for job creation, affordable health care, education, sensible gun laws, and a forward-looking foreign policy. Following the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, Senator Murphy became one of the leading proponents of commonsense reforms to reduce gun violence. He has championed a number of bipartisan bills aimed at expanding background checks and keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. He also led a bipartisan effort to reform our mental health system, working across the aisle to craft the first comprehensive mental health bill in the Senate in decades.

Will Hurd
Panelist

Will Hurd is currently a managing director at Allen & Company. He is a former U.S. Representative (R-TX) (2015 – 2021), cybersecurity executive, and undercover officer in the CIA. For almost two decades he’s been involved in the most pressing national security issues challenging the country whether it was in the back-alleys of dangerous places, boardrooms of top international businesses or halls of Congress. While in Congress, Texas Monthly and Politico Magazine called Will “The Future of the GOP,” because he put good policy over good politics at a time when America was often consumed with what divides us rather than what unites us, getting more legislation signed into law in three terms than most congressmen do in three decades. He is the author of “American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done.”

Jacqueline Adams
Moderator

Jacqueline Adams launched a second career as a communications strategist after more than two decades as an Emmy Award-winning CBS News correspondent. Ms. Adams covered the groundbreaking campaigns of Jesse Jackson for President and Geraldine Ferraro for Vice President before spending five years as a White House correspondent during the Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations. Through her firm, J Adams: Strategic Communications, LLC, she now counsels both corporate and nonprofit clients. Ms. Adams is the author of “A Blessing: Women of Color Teaming Up to Lead, Empower and Thrive.” ​​She serves on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Business School Club of New York and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Presented by

COMMON GROUND COMMITTEE

Common Ground Committee (CGC) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) citizen-led organization dedicated to bringing healing to the national challenges of polarization and incivility. Since its founding in 2009, CGC has held 17 public forums featuring panelists who have reached over 250 points of consensus. Panelists have included such notable pairings as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice, David Petraeus and Susan Rice, Michael Steele and Donna Brazile, Chris Wallace and Maggie Haberman, and Larry Kudlow and Barney Frank, exploring issues ranging from race and income inequality to foreign policy. CGC produces the Let’s Find Common Ground podcast series, which has had over 175 thousand downloads and over 60 thousand subscribers. CGC also created the Common Ground Scorecard, a voting tool that scores politicians and candidates for public office on their likelihood to find common ground with the opposite party. Free of political agenda and financial influence, CGC has a singular focus on bringing light, not heat, to public discourse.

BRIDGE GW

BridgeGW is a chapter of BridgeUSA, a youth-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that creates spaces on high school and college campuses for open discussion between students about political issues. Its work emphasizes the importance of empathy and understanding, ideological diversity and solution-oriented politics. By engaging America’s youth in constructive discussions, Bridge USA is equipping the next generation of leaders with the skills necessary for navigating conflict, finding solutions across differences and building bridges in their communities. Learn more.

NASHMAN CENTER FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND PUBLIC SERVICE

The mission of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service is to integrate civic engagement into George Washington University’s educational work. It promotes equity and active citizenship in a diverse democracy, focuses GW’s resources to address community needs through reciprocal partnerships beyond the campus, and enhances teaching, learning, and scholarship at GW. Learn more.