Date ArticleType
8/10/2018 Member News

SPC Forum to Explore Myths of Gun Violence

This is a press release from St. Petersburg College. For more information, contact Rita Farlow, Assistant Director, Marketing and Strategic Communications, 727-302-6526 or Marilyn Shaw, Communications/PR Coordinator, 727-341-4712.
SPC Forum to Explore Myths of Gun Violence
One reason America seems unable to have a rational conversation about reducing gun violence is that the issue is so steeped in myth and misinformation. Because that misinformation informs the political debate about guns, little substantive action to reduce gun violence is likely to occur, the #NeverAgain Movement notwithstanding.
Busting some of those myths is the focus of a forum sponsored by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College. The forum, titled “Guns in America: Myth-Busting in Search of Solutions,” will be from 6-8:15 p.m. Aug. 30 at the SPC Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. Advance registration to the dinner event is required. Media co-sponsors are the Tampa Bay Times and WEDU Television.
The massacre of 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14 renewed a fierce debate about gun restrictions that has been simmering in this country for years and touched off the #NeverAgain movement that challenges policy-makers who have failed to address the violence. More horrific mass shootings have followed, including a massacre at Santa Fe High School in Texas in May that killed 10 and wounded 17.
Each week, it seems, brings another horrific scene of carnage in schools, malls, theaters, and churches as the nation reels from an epidemic of gun violence. These events lead to the inevitable reactions of shock and disgust about the failure to treat mental illness, the lax screening of gun purchase applicants, and the failure of lawmakers to impose stricter controls on guns, especially semi-automatic weapons.
Each of the statements in the above paragraph represents a myth to which a panel of experts will apply actual data to provide clarity – and hopefully sound policy solutions – to the gun debate. Lead speaker will be Dr. John S. “Jack” Rozel, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburg and co-author of a study of gun violence titled, “The Link Between Mental Illness and Firearm Violence: Implications for Social Policy and Clinical Practice.”
Joining Rozel in addressing other aspects of the gun violence equation will be USF St. Petersburg Professor Emeritus of History Dr. Gary Mormino, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Tampa attorney David T. Kronenfeld. The Moderator will be David Klement, Executive Director of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at SPC.

Admission to the dinner and program is $25, or $20 for students and educators. To register, go to, or phone 727-394-6942.