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Panel discussion on gun reform held in Fayetteville after multiple mass shootings across America

In the wake of multiple mass shootings across America, organizers in Fayetteville gathered to discuss gun reform and safety.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A local organization held a panel discussion at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville Thursday, June 2, to talk about gun safety and gun reform. This comes after several mass shootings took place in the U.S. over the past two weeks. 

The main focus of the discussion, hosted by Let's Take Action, was to educate those who attended the event on gun reform and to encourage them to take action in their communities.

"This event is all about people walking away feeling like they’re confident, they’re educated, and that whenever they’re ready to take action they know exactly what organization to reach out to," said Corey Huffty, organizer of Let’s Take Action.

Huffty created this event because she believes that time is of the essence and she did not want to wait until the next mass shooting happened to take action. This event is deeper than gun reform though, she’s also a mother to a three-year-old boy and wants her child to be safe when he attends school.

"But between the incident that happened to Tulsa and it happening at elementary schools, you feel it, you feel it when you picture your child getting into a closet," she said.

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson spoke at the Capitol Thursday and called for hardening school security measures, but says he will not support any gun control legislation at the state level.

"We need to have some patience here, I really think the effort that the bipartisan group of senators is doing is important," Hutchinson said. "There are going to be looking at background checks and the thoroughness of those."

"I think it’s going to be all about everyone putting their heads together, whether you’re Republican or Democrat, a lot of people fall in the middle too… that there is common sense solutions we just have to get around a table and talk about what those solutions are," Huffty said in response to the Governor’s discussion about any gun reform legislation.

Gennie Diaz, Director of For AR People, is a gun violence survivor herself. Since her childhood incident, she says she's used that experience to move from a victim mentality to an empowerment mentality.  

"But being able to reclaim that experience and then take that and turn it into action with my work and my job,” Diaz said.

Overall, the goal of the gathering was to connect and inform voters on important issues like gun control before they head to the polls.

“I think that this was the perfect opportunity to be given real information and real time and how I can turn my opinions and passions into action and I think this was the perfect first step," Erin Moody said.  

The group Moms Demand Action also attended the event. On Saturday, they are hosting an event called “Wear Orange” from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Downtown Springdale at Shiloh Square to honor victims of gun violence.  

RELATED: Gov. Asa Hutchinson not considering gun reform in response to mass shootings

RELATED: Victims in Tulsa medical office shooting identified

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