WCU students share their gun violence ‘number’

After losing a dear friend, Dr. Roger Hartley, associate professor of political science at Western Carolina University, created a Facebook group called “What is Your Number? Our Network of Gun Violence.” The group has gained national attention through MSNBC and The Washington Post. Dr. Hartley spoke with WCJ about his project.

Read the full story here.

With so much talk of gun control and gun violence in the country today, we wanted to know the numbers of some of the students at WCU.  We took the question “What is your number?” across the campus to learn how many people the students knew who had been affected by gun violence.

WCJ asked over 90 students and their numbers ranged from 0 to 10. We found that many students were fortunate to be able to say that their number is zero. However, many are not so lucky. See the slideshow of WCU students and their numbers below.

We found during our investigation that many students have very strong feelings on the subject of gun control. The students repeatedly asked us, “Are you for or against guns?” when we asked about their number. While we were not concerned with those views, many students did not want to be associated with the story if they believed it would support the side of the controversy that they opposed.

Some students were courageous enough to share their stories with us and some shared their opinions on guns in America. To our knowledge, these are true stories of events that WCU students or someone they know have gone through.

Monica Papworth, Randy Conn and Thomas Thayer contributed to this story.