If Vermont is one of the safest and least-violent places in the country, why are some legislators proposing more gun control?  A new poll from the Castleton Polling Institute at Castleton State College shows that a majority of hunters and gun owners in Vermont want some laws strengthened, as do a majority of all Vermonters.

Vermont Public Television invites Vermonters to discuss gun laws via a new online platform for community engagement that launches Friday, Feb. 22, at 8 p.m. on vpt.org.

The link to participate is http://bit.ly/WaSjmv.

VPT will screen the one-hour PBS documentary “After Newtown: Guns in America” online.  The film traces the evolution of guns, their link to violence and the clash of cultures that reflects competing visions of our national identity.

At the same time, viewers can participate in an online discussion.  Journalist Jon Margolis, who blogs for VPT, will be a panelist.  His latest post, “Does Vermont Need More Gun Control?” is at http://vermontpublictv.blogspot.com/2013/02/does-vermont-need-gun-control.html.

Other panelists will be Rep. Linda Waite-Simpson, D-Essex Jct., the sponsor of H. 124, An Act Relating to Firearms Regulation; and Chris Bradley, secretary of the Vermont Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs.

VPT has been selected to be one of  25 test sites for a new public television platform called OVEE, which stands for Online Video Engagement Experience.  The service can accommodate up to 500 online viewers at a time to be part of a real-time chat, ask questions and express their reactions as they screen a video.

Vermont Public Television’s chief content officer, Kathryn A. Scott, said, “Travel can be challenging in our mountainous state, especially during the winter months, which is why we are thrilled to be able to use OVEE to convene robust discussions with our neighbors throughout Vermont.”

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