Gun Sense Vermont hosts public forum on gun violence

A free educational forum to discuss reducing gun violence in Vermont will take place on Monday, Nov. 11, from 6:30 to 8 pm at Contois Auditorium in Burlington City Hall.

Featured speakers include Eliot Nelson, MD; Sally Kerschner; Karen Tronsgard-Scott; Sean Ackerman, MD; and Vermont State Representative Mike Yantachka. These experts in public health, domestic violence, mental illness, and Vermont’s current gun laws will help us understand how we can better protect the safety of Vermonters.

Dr. Nelson is a pediatrician in the Vermont Children’s Hospital at Fletcher Allen and a professor at the UVM College of Medicine. In 2002, Dr. Nelson received a Special Achievement Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for his work on firearm injury prevention through legislative efforts.  Sally Kerschner has worked for over 35 years as a nurse in community health and maternal and child health and is on the Board of the Vermont Public Health Association. She will address gun violence as a public health issue.

Karen Tronsgard-Scott is the Executive Director of the Vermont Network Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. She is a nationally recognized speaker on issues related to domestic and sexual violence and on non-profit leadership. Dr. Ackerman is in the third year of his child psychiatry residency at UVM. He will speak about the intersection of mental illness and gun violence. Rep. Yantachka has been a longtime advocate for gun safety legislation and has co-sponsored bills in the Vermont State Legislature directed at reducing gun violence.

Gun Sense Vermont is a quickly growing grassroots organization that is working to keep guns out of the wrong hands. It includes gun owners and non-gun owners, doctors and teachers, hunters and veterans, and civic leaders, and religious leaders. It bridges organizations, such as Child Safe Vermont and the Vermont Public Health Association.

According to Ann Braden, Gun Sense Vermont founder and lead organizer, “Vermont is not immune to gun violence, and our laws are out-of-date and incredibly lax. This is a public safety issue that needs to be discussed.”

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