Opinion: Summit offers hope for finding common ground on guns

Opinion: Summit offers hope for finding common ground on guns

Sunnyvale City Councilwoman Nancy Smith is seeking common ground on firearms-related issues. (Bay Area News Group File Photo) Something remarkable happened recently in Silicon Valley. No, not the next big thing in technology. But perhaps the next big thing in civic engagement. Hundreds of residents from across the spectrum of viewpoints dedicated their Saturday to productive dialogue around firearms issues in our communities. The vision for the Community Summit on Firearms and Safety began with the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors shortly after the news of the horrific massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Schoolin Parkland, Fla. Supervisor Dave Cortese took on the task of hosting a summit designed to demonstrate how we can share diverse opinions and avoid the all-too-common shouting matches we have experienced at town hall meetings. Get editorials, opinion columns, letters to the editor and more in your inbox weekday mornings. Sign up for the Opinion newsletter. The American Leadership Forum, along with consultants Greg Ranstrom and Lawrence Ellis, stepped in to train 80 facilitators to conduct table-top exercises and discussions. Organizers set goals to increase a shared understanding of firearms and safety, create space for residents to talk and listen, and identify opportunities for action. We who attended represented a wide variety of viewpoints and experiences with firearms, including National Rifle Association members, public health workers, educators, Second Amendment Rights advocates, students, clergy, parents and community leaders. They were conservative and liberal, diverse in ethnicity, age and income. At dozens of tables spread […]

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