Courtesy Photo

Alexandria Scott

The heated debate on gun control policy has both liberal and conservative viewpoints, and the Cal Poly College Republicans will host a speaker to discuss the latter today.

Katie Pavlich is an alumnus from the University of Arizona with a degree in journalism who has reported on topics ranging from White House scandals to gun rights and control, which she will be discussing in “Fully Loaded” today at 6 p.m.

“I welcome everyone to the event,” Pavlich said. “Knowledge is power and the Second Amendment is often something ignored or belittled on college campuses.”

Pavlich is the news editor for, a conservative news source, a Fox News contributor and the author of New York Times best seller “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Shameful Cover-Up” which investigates the implementation of 2,000 U.S. guns into Mexico led by the Obama administration. Her level of research, young age and accomplishments made her an ideal candidate for the event, Elena Reynolds, president of the Cal Poly College Republicans and graduate student, said.

“We felt like it’s important to address the issue of gun control and gun rights after the shootings at Sandy Hook and all the smaller shootings, it’s obviously something the student body is interested in,” Reynolds said. “We want to present our side because usually the conservative side doesn’t get heard or represented in the media or on college campuses.”

There is a perception that conservatives are gun crazy, and this is not true, Reynolds said. There are plenty of law-abiding citizens who would never go on shooting rampages, she said.

“I feel like liberals have had a monopoly on the discussion over gun control and I think students need to come out and think about both sides; this is just an opportunity for us to talk about it,” Reynolds said.

Whether in agreement with conservative ideas involving the Second Amendment or not, it is important to sometimes hear an “enemy” perspective and where the opposing group is coming from, modern languages and literature professor and adviser to the Cal Poly College Republicans Brian Kennelly said.

“It’s all about education, and education is sometimes not pleasant; I tend to think it needs to be uncomfortable,” Kennelly said. “You need to be forced out of your comfort zone to learn something or else you’re self-satisfied and appeased and catering to your own whims.”

Pavlich speech offers an opportunity for students to hear her ideas on the Second Amendment along with a Q&A which can lead to a healthy, robust discussion where people can learn from one another, Kennelly said. If students agree, that’s great, if they don’t that’s great too, as long as people can articulate why they believe a certain way in an informed answer, he said.

Being informed about political stances on gun control laws becomes increasingly vital as President Barack Obama is willing to push legislation on gun control through the use of Executive Orders, political science sophomore and vice president of Cal Poly College Republicans Gabriel Bastomski said.

Students can get a little more educated about what’s at stake behind the potential for tightened gun control under the Obama administration, Bastomski said. The idea that the Second Amendment being further compromised is a very central issue.

“The larger idea is not as though the majority of gun owners are killing people, it’s a few people who crack and are casting a stigma of violence over the whole issue,” Bastomski said. “You watch the news and a lot of it is a sensationalizing of the shootings. Yes, it’s always very tragic, but the majority of gun owners are good people and not causing problems.”

Pavlich will speak at 6 p.m. today in Architecture and Environmental Design (building 4), room 100. Tickets are not required.

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