David Axelrod’s new University of Chicago Institute of Politics is hosting its first big event next Tuesday, and Axe is bringing in a big name.
Among the panelists at a discussion on “The Politics of Guns in America” will be former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw. Also on the panel: Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former Ohio congressman Steven LaTourette, Tribune columnist Steve Chapman and a token academic, University of Chicago Crime Lab Director Jens Ludwig.
The event will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Performance Hall at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., and will be webcast on the UChicago Facebook Live tab.
The panel is a response to the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
"The tragedy at Newtown has reignited a national debate on guns,” Axelrod said in a statement. “In this panel, we hope to explore the politics of the gun issue. What are the barriers to gun safety laws? What is their utility in dealing with episodes such as the shootings in Connecticut?"
It’s a little sad that it took a shooting in Connecticut to inspire a debate on gun violence at the University of Chicago, since 47 children under the age of 18 were murdered in the university’s hometown last year -- a good proportion of those within a few miles of campus. As the website Crime in Chicago put it, “Connecticut doesn’t have s--- on Chicago when it comes to school children killing and maiming.”
Let’s hope the panelists also mention the murders on the other side of the Midway.