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A Discussion of Gun Violence

Posted 10/13/15

Cover of "Gone Boy" by Gregory GibsonFitchburg State University welcomes author Gregory Gibson for a discussion on gun violence on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 3:30 p.m. in the Randall Lecture Hall of the Antonucci Science Complex, 333 North St. Admission is free and open to the public.

When Gibson’s 18-year-old son was killed in a shooting rampage on a college campus in Western Massachusetts in 1992, he found himself undertaking an unusual, highly personal investigation to discover the truth about his son’s murder. The result was his acclaimed book Gone Boy: A Walkabout. Gibson will discuss his book, an exploration of gun violence in America that shows a man talking his way out of grief with toughness, honesty and a sense of humor.

Galen Gibson and a professor were killed on Dec. 14, 1992 during a shooting rampage at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington, Mass., by an honors student who had bought an assault rifle over the counter that morning. Three other students and a college security guard were injured. The shooter is serving two life sentences without possibility of parole.

In a column for The New York Times published days after the mass shooting at Shady Brook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Gibson lamented the continuation of gun violence in America.

“In the wake of Galen’s murder, I wrote a book about the shooting. In it I suggested that we view gun crime as a public health issue, much the same as smoking or pesticides,” Gibson wrote in the Times. I spent a number of years attending rallies, signing petitions, writing letters and making speeches, but eventually I gave up. Gun control, such a live issue in the ‘early’ days of school shootings, inexplicably became a third-rail issue for politicians.”

Gibson continued by reflecting on “the inevitable lament, ‘How could we have let this happen?’ It is a horrible question because the answer is so simple. Make it easy for people to get guns and things like this will happen. Children will continue to pay for a freedom their elders enjoy.”

Gibson’s presentation is sponsored by the Behavioral Sciences Department and the Office of Academic Affairs at Fitchburg State University.

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