In the wake of two landmark Supreme Court decisions on the right to bear arms—District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago—the Four College Issues Forum, a joint initiative of Bennington College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Southern Vermont College, and Williams College, has invited a panel of rural and urban law enforcement officers from Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York to discuss their crucial, yet seldom heard perspectives on gun control.
The event will take place on Monday, November 8, at 7:30 pm, in Bennington's Greenwall Auditorium; it is free and open to the public.
In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to keep and bear arms for traditionally lawful purposes. This decision was clarified in 2010, when the Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. Chicago that the Second Amendment applies to state as well as federal law. Recognizing that no one is more affected by gun laws than those who are asked to enforce them, the Four College Issues Forum has gathered a unique panel that includes Special Narcotics Prosecutor for the City of New York Bridget Brennan, Boston Police Superintendent Paul Joyce, retired Bennington (VT) Police Chief Richard Gauthier, Pittsfield (MA) Police Chief Mike Wynn, and North Adams (MA) Commissioner of Public Safety John Morocco to discuss the ramifications of these decisions based on their wide-ranging experiences in the field. Bennington College President Elizabeth Coleman will serve as moderator.
"The right to bear arms has long been one of this country's most intractable and contentious issues," Coleman says. "Its implications are constitutional, ethical, practical, and legal. We are privileged to welcome such a wonderfully diverse group of law enforcement officers to illuminate this issue through the invaluable lens of first-hand experience."
For more information, contact Brian Davidson at Bennington College: (802) 379-5116; Bernadette Lupo at MCLA: (413) 662-5203; Susan Biggs at Southern Vermont College: (802) 447-6389; or Jim Kolesar at Williams College: (413) 597-4277.
Founded in 2007 by Bennington College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Southern Vermont College, and Williams College, the Four College Issues Forum brings significant discussion of national and global issues to the region. The location of the symposium rotates among the four campuses, alternating between a Massachusetts and a Vermont college.Past speakers have included Amory Lovins, author of Winning the Oil Endgame and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute; Anita Hill, professor of social policy, law, and women's studies at Brandeis University; and Dr. Delos M. Cosgrove, president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic.