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Wesley United Methodist Church at Green and Goodwin in Urbana will present a seminar on Guns and Society at 2 p.m. on Sept. 22. All are welcome to attend.

The speakers for this event will be:

— Janet Jokela, M.D., M.P.H., regional dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana, who will present “This is Our Lane: Physicians, Gun Violence and Public Health.”

— Sheldon Jacobson, founder professor of computer science, speaking on “Guns in Society: A Data Analytics Perspective.”

— Andrew Leipold, professor of law, and director of the program in criminal law and procedure, addressing “How Much Does the Second Amendment Matter?”

— Tracy Parsons, community relations manager for the city of Champaign and the leader of the Champaign County Coalition, speaking on “Addressing Our Community Gun Violence Issues Together.”

— Marlon Mitchell, I-Stem graduate research assistant, department of curriculum and instruction, and founder of First Followers, discussing “Families of Shooting Victims.”

— Ruby Mendenhall, associate professor in sociology, African-American studies, urban and regional planning and social work, presenting “Parenting in the Midst of Violence and Fear: Finding Meaning and Transcendence.”

A roundtable discussion with audience participation will follow.

This seminar was arranged by Annette Lansford, with the help of several other members of Wesley Church.

The goal is to have experts from the UI and our communities speak on this topic at a time when gun-related deaths in this country exceed automobile deaths each year.

The recent mass shootings across America and the local gun violence has raised concerns for all of us and demand better awareness of the public health crisis.

With nearly 40,000 firearm deaths in the U.S. in 2017, it is time to create policies to reduce firearm injuries, deaths and the public fear engendered by mass shootings.

With polls now showing a majority of gun owners (along with those who don’t own guns) agree that universal background checks should be implemented, and recognizing the different political and philosophical differences surrounding guns, now is the time for bridges to be built across these differences.

Americans have responded to public health crises in the past and hopefully will do so regarding the gun issue, which indeed is a crisis for our country.

Charles Lansford, a retired physician, lives in Champaign.