The Democrat and Republican find common sense solutions at George Washington University to reduce gun violence
Wilton, CT, September 28, 2022 – Last night Common Ground Committee (CGC), a nonpartisan, citizen-led nonprofit dedicated to reducing polarization, held their latest public forum – Finding CommonGround on Guns – that brought together Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), who spearheaded the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, and former U.S. Representative (R-TX), ex-CIA officer and author of American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done, Will Hurd. The two engaged in a debate over the ongoing gun violence in the country, and how to find a path towards common good on guns. Former CBS News Correspondent and author Jacqueline Adams moderated the conversation.
The forum was CGC’s first in-person event since February 2020, a discussion on the media between ChrisWallace and Maggie Haberman, and was presented in partnership with the BridgeUSA’s GW (BridgeGW) chapter and the Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.
“As we approach another critical election cycle, gun violence remains a top issue among voters,” said Bruce Bond, Co-Founder and CEO of Common Ground Committee. “Last night, Senator Murphy and former Congressman Hurd reminded us that, no matter the outcome of the election, common ground solutions can be found to keep our communities safe. Their message was clear – we can and must continue to work together to identify and implement those solutions. People’s lives depend on it.”
Over the course of the evening, Senator Murphy and Congressman Hurd discussed why voters remain sharply divided on guns even after the most significant federal legislation in 30 years, and where hope remains for future action. Specific points of common ground found during the evening included:
- More “good guys with guns” is not the solution to further gun violence. We need solutions like raising the minimum age to 21 and universal background checks.
- There is no conflict between the need to protect private legitimate gun ownership and regulation so that people who shouldn’t have these weapons don’t get them.
- The best way to ensure common sense gun laws get passed is to vote in primaries. If that happens we will begin to see more change in DC.
During the event, Senator Murphy discussed the politics of gun policy, and how Democrats and Republicans found consensus over firearms after Uvalde. “The reason we found common ground this summer is because Americans had enough,” said Senator Murphy. “Uvalde happened and a week later we went back to our districts and our states for our Memorial Day recess. Members of the Senate went home and saw a sense of a panic from families and kids they had never seen before.”
Answering a question about the Second Amendment, Congressman Hurd warned that the heated rhetoric over gun policy can be a barrier to solutions. “I believe in the plain language of the Second Amendment,” said Congressman Hurd. “If you had asked whether our kids should go to school and get shot, you would get a different response. That is why we have to change the words we use to talk about these issues. When you start with an issue that we can agree on, then we can begin talking about the problems we disagree on.”
For interview requests, please contact Zach Halper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 862-224-3233
About 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 more than 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.