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ECU hosts gun control debate

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina University hosted a debate on the controversial issues of guns and gun control.

The forum featured President of the Crime Prevention Research Center and anti-gun control advocate John Lott Jr. and former president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence Paul Helmke.

“You know all of us have the potential to make a mistake: get drunk, go crazy, get angry, and when you make a mistake and you have a gun; something's going to happen,” said Helmke.

Helmke tried relating to students in order to sway their opinions on the open discussion.

Passionate opinions on both sides of the debate flared when Helmke criticized opponent’s statistics.

"If you look at all the mass shootings with just two exceptions, they keep occurring where guns are banned,” said John Lott Jr.

“Every day in this country, 32 people are murdered by guns," Helmke said. "That's a Virginia Tech happening every day in this country"

Helmke and Lott have debated multiple times in the past, and say they remain friends despite their difference in opinions.

The debate was sponsored by several ECU organizations and is part of the "Talking Across Difference" series designed to promote open dialogue on controversial issues.

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