Discussion Guide

With school walkouts related to gun violence in America, we know that educators are wondering how to address this topic with students.

In response, the Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence in partnership with Team ENOUGH created a discussion guide to gun violence in America. The guide is grounded in facts which are neutral and nonpartisan. It offers an overview on the legal framework for gun sales in America, facts on gun violence in America, and policy initiatives currently being considered by legislators. Grouped into four main discussion areas, this backgrounder is intended to support classroom discussions about gun violence prevention and to encourage students’ thinking and debate on the issue. It does not propose particular policy solutions.

We hope this will be helpful to you as you consider how to talk about gun violence, particularly in educational settings. We built this guide around a 40-minute classroom discussion. While the guide will lend itself well to use in a high school or middle school history or civics class, you can adapt it for your own classroom purposes, based on student age and time available to devote to the topic. Some teachers might also use the guide as a handout to those participating in a walkout, or as the foundation for a school-wide assembly. You may also find it helpful to assign or suggest related assignments to students to prompt further reflection.  A short essay on student protests, or on the history of guns and gun use in America is one example of such an assignment. Organizing an in-school debate could be another approach.