April 4 2018, Bowdoin College, Guns

Let’s talk about guns. What do you think?


Why is it so important to allow them?

Why is it so important to limit them?


7:30pm to 9:30pm

Wednesday, April 4

Bowdoin College

Smith Union

255 Maine Street

Brunswick, Maine


The purpose of this conversation is to understand each other, not persuade each other.

If you believe strongly in the 2nd amendment right to bear arms, tell us why? Should people be able to own any type of gun? Should any person be able to own a gun? Should guns be allowed everywhere?

If you believe strongly in gun control, tell us why. Should all guns be banned? Should all people be prohibited from owning guns? Should guns be prohibited just from certain places?

All sides: Why do you believe the way you do?

Can you see room for compromise? If so, what would you be willing to give up to come to agreement? If not, why not?

As in all Make Shift Coffee Houses, we want to hear your thoughts and feelings AND how your thoughts and feelings were shaped by your childhood, your education, and other influences on your life.

LEAVE YOUR GUNS AT HOME! Bowdoin College does not allow guns on campus.

Free Admission: Open to the public and the Bowdoin College community.

Complimentary food and non-alcoholic beverages will be available.


We begin with free food and live music; a chance to get a snack and chat with in pairs or small groups to get started.

The heart of the event is the next hour where the full group will engage in facilitated discussion. Following guidelines for a civil conversation, we learn from each other by asking questions and hearing what’s important to the “other side.” All that’s required is a desire to understand and the willingness to listen.

After the full group discussion we’ll strike up the music again, get another cup of coffee, and talk in small groups about specific topics. Some of us will talk in pairs. It’s informal. It’s a coffee house!

Before wrapping up, Craig will bring the group back together in one last group dialogue. This time could be used for a wrap up with a summary of key concepts as well as any more input from the group. Depending on the topic and the people involved, the time frame may vary. It might look like this.

7:30 pm      Live Music. Coffee, tea, snacks. Small informal conversations.

7:45 pm      Full Group Conversation

8:40 pm      Live music. Coffee, tea, snacks. Small informal conversations.

9:10 pm      Full Group Conversation

9:30 pm      End

This Make Shift Coffee House will be part of the What Matters dialogue series organized by Bowdoin’s Joseph McKeen Center for the Common Good. The program features regular discussions that bring together students, faculty, and staff of different perspectives to share their experiences and learn from one-another. The McKeen Center is grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Make Shift Coffee House and expand our perspectives to include those from the Brunswick community!


Special Musical Guests Live and In Person

The Bowdoin Jazz Ensemble!

Click here to learn about the Make Shift Coffee House culture and why understanding each other is so useful.