The Flying Brick will be hosting an open roundtable discussion this coming week on the topic of guns in our community.

The nature of violence and self-defense have always provoked an interesting conversation among the left, especially when gun ownership figures into the discussion. The Flying Brick Library is hosting just such a forum on Aug. 23 among Richmond’s leftist community members. Join us for a respectful, moderated discussion at which we can all be heard and walk away understanding someone else’s point of view a little better.

These are the questions we’ll be covering:

1. Core Principles and Practicalities

    a) Is there a difference between violence and violent self defense?

    b) Is there an ethical difference between owning firearms for self-defense and owning other potentially lethal weapons for self-defense – a knife, sword or baseball bat, for instance?

    c) Many of the same companies that sell firearms to individuals also sell to militaries and paramilitary groups. Are we supporting military violence by spending money on guns and ammunition? Whatever your answer, how much should this factor in to whether we purchase them?

2. Guns in the Home

    a) Is there a place for guns in our home as sporting equipment – for skeet and target shooting as entertainment?

    b) What should the progressive and radical communities teach their children about gun use and ownership?

3. Guns & Politics

    a) Should progressives and radicals have a position on gun control by the state? If so, what should it be?

    b) Can progressives and radicals who believe in gun ownership ethically support the NRA, given its active support for right-wing elements in government?

    c) Does the advocacy of gun ownership in progressive, radical and activist communities make our traditionally strained relationship with federal and local law enforcement better or worse? Safer or more dangerous? Whatever your answer, how heavily should this factor in to whether we have them around?

4. Carrying

    a) Does the carrying of firearms for self defense make our communities more or less safe in the long run? How does your answer relate to people who are disproportionally targeted with violence (queers, trans folk, women)?

    b) Virginia is an “open carry” state, meaning that no permit is required to visibly carry a handgun. Regardless of whether you support carrying firearms at all, are there ethical differences between open and concealed carry for self defense?

We hope to see you all there!


~ by flyingbrickrva on August 9, 2010.

3 Responses to “Guns!”

  1. Maybe this is a stupid question because my browser is not displaying it … but WHEN during the day is this forum?

  2. hey sorry bud man, our bad. It starts at 7pm.

  3. Thanks for coming everyone! It went really well!

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