TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Gun Control is a hot topic across the country right now. With shootings at the Florida high school and as recently as Tuesday at the YouTube headquarters in California.
The discussion continues locally at the University of Toledo Campus where students and other members of the community are taking matters into their own hands.
It was a tense environment at UT Wednesday night. This hot button issue continued to heat up as the night went on.
Some of the protesters citing feelings of the timing of Wednesday night's discussion being inappropriate, due to it being the day, 50 years ago, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed.
Julian Mack was protesting with a small group outside the meeting space, but moving inside during the discussion.
"We stand against gun violence and stand for common sense reform here at the campus, here in our community and all around this nation," Mack said.
Despite tensions being high for some, Wednesday night's meeting was meant to be peaceful, and short of some disruptions, the educational quiet discussion remained reasonable.
A lot of questions were asked by both sides of this issue Wednesday night including but not limited to: What does gun control on campus and in cities really do for the population? Does gun control prevent mass shootings or just prevent mass shootings from being stopped? How do gun-free zones tie into all of this?
Larry Pratt, Wednesday night's keynote speaker and Executive Director Emeritus of Gun Owners of America explained why he came to speak.
"We still have a lot of work to do on getting campuses cleaned up because this has been one of the favorite targets of dirtbags," Pratt said. "And we've just got to put a stop to that if we want to see mass murder curtailed."
Pratt spoke to these issues at The University of Toledo's Student Union Room Wednesday night. The meeting was open to the public and there were about as many non-students in attendance as there were students.
Ron Johns, Jr., former student, was at the debate in part supporting the group sponsoring the event, Young Americans for Liberty. He was optimistic about what the crowd took away from the discussion.
"I really hope that people think about what's actually going to help people," Johns Jr. said. "What's going to protect people? Is it going to be stealing the guns away from people or is it going to be more good guys with guns so that we can actually see not as many Parklands, not as many Columbines."
The event started at 7 p.m. and groups were still around chatting until nearly 11 p.m.