UCSB College Republicans will host their annual keynote speaker lecture at the Loma Pelona Center, featuring FOX News contributor Ben Shapiro, who will give a lecture entitled “Dismantling the Left’s Anti-Gun Media Strategies.”
Beginning at 6:30 p.m. and free for all UCSB students, Shapiro’s lecture will focus on the nationwide debate surrounding gun control and Second Amendment rights, with discussion also touching on how leftist media sources are allegedly biased in their coverage of these issues. As the event will largely include discussion of Shapiro’s most recent work, Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences Americans, there will be a book signing following the lecture in addition to a Q&A session.
Editor-at-Large of the conservative news site Breitbart.com, Shapiro is a UCLA and Harvard Law School graduate and has authored best-sellers such as Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth and Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism is Corrupting Our Future.
Shapiro was also the youngest nationally syndicated columnist in the nation and now also oversees Benjamin Shapiro Legal Counseling.
According to Shapiro, the debate on gun control must be discussed without using sentimentalism as a tool of persuasion, as he claims many left-leaning media outlets do. Shapiro said refraining from such use of emotions will produce a more even-handed and unbiased argument.
“These are important issues that deserve the best evidentiary hearing,” Shapiro said in an email. “I believe that many on the left are interested in avoiding real discussion in favor of emotional appeals that rely on demonization of political opposition.”
This lean on emotion, Shapiro said, is what he hopes to caution students about, in regards to formulating opinions on political issues like gun control.
“I would love to make students aware that not only is there another side of the argument, [but also that] people aren’t evil, mean or nasty for articulating it,” Shapiro said in an email. “They will be taught by their professors that only morons or jerks are conservative. That isn’t true, and it’s a disservice to the students.”
While in the past, College Republicans has hosted controversial guest speakers like Karl Rove and David Horowitz, rousing up student protest, Callahan said this year the club attempted to pick a speaker who would represent a more moderate viewpoint.
“We tried to pick a speaker this year that would not incite a bunch of controversy,” Callahan said. “He is fairly conservative, our club overall supports his stands, he is for common sense gun control, background, etc. He just underscores hypocrisy on the other side.”
While advocating such “common sense gun control,” Shapiro still tackles what he sees as a clear liberal bias in many American media outlets, according to Alice Gilbert, president of College Republicans.
“He’s going to present the pros and cons on gun control and show another side that hasn’t been showed by the media,” Gilbert said. “There are two sides to the gun control debate, and he wants to let everyone know there’s another side to it.”
Bullies is centered on the liberal media’s alleged use of bullying and fear tactics to persuade viewers of a political stance while silencing opposition, according to Shapiro.
While the club has received some feedback on Twitter for their speaker choice, Callahan said they are surprised there has been no backlash to Shapiro’s visit.
College Republicans is hoping to provide a broader perspective on national issues by inviting Shapiro as a speaker, Gilbert said, with hopes to attract a broader audience to the lecture.
“I hope audience members realize that not all Republicans are super right-wing and crazy or super conservative and extreme,” Gilbert said. “So hopefully, by hearing Shapiro, they get to see the other side and hear from someone who’s very knowledgeable, so that even if they don’t agree, they recognize there is another side.”