A diverse group of mental health professionals, medical providers, legal experts and activists will come together for the symposium, “Gun Laws, Public Health, and the Prevalence of Gun Violence: A Critical Look at an Important Balance,” on Saturday, March 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Quinnipiac University. The free event, hosted by the Quinnipiac University School of Law’s Health Law Journal, will be held in the auditorium in the Center for Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences on Quinnipiac’s North Haven Campus.
Leading experts will discuss gun accidents and injuries, public health and guns, mental health and guns, and gun laws and the Second Amendment–all within the context of the Sandy Hook tragedy and other recent events across the nation. Connecticut’s recently enacted “Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety” will be examined. The event promises a thought-provoking discussion of some of the most critical issues facing our nation.
“Gun control and mental health is a highly polarizing topic and important values are at stake on both sides of this debate. After the December 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook, this issue became hotly debated not only in Connecticut, but all over the nation,” said Kelly McKeon, editor-in-chief of the Health Law Journal and a third-year law student at Quinnipiac.
“We decided to structure a symposium centering on gun laws and mental health that was well-balanced, and presented both sides of the debate as evenly as possible. We wanted to bring together leading voices in the community, in the hopes that a healthy and robust exchange of ideas would encourage policymakers everywhere to engage in a meaningful dialogue over where to go from the senseless events of recent years,” McKeon said.
The first panel discussion will address mental health treatment reporting requirements in “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety” with remarks by Kathy Flaherty, a senior staff attorney at Statewide Legal Services of CT, Inc.; and Dorothy Stubbe, associate professor at the Yale Medical School/Yale Child Study Center, program director of residency training, associate medical director Children’s Psychiatric Inpatient Service Yale New Haven Hospital.
The second panel will focus on data, with remarks by Linda Degutis, former director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; Amanda Durante, epidemiologist for the City of New Haven Health Department; and Garry Lapidus, director of the Injury Prevention Center at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and Hartford Hospital and an associate professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine.
The final panel will address the legal validity of “An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety” with remarks byJoseph Hogan, assistant professor of legal skills, Quinnipiac University School of Law; Ron Pinciaro, executive director of CT Against Gun Violence; and Brian Stapleton, partner with the law firm Goldberg Segalla.