A Vermont lawmaker hopes to open a conversation about the issue from both sides of the gun control debate.

Tuesday night, Vermont State Rep. Paul Poirier hosted an open forum in Barre.

Gun rights and gun control activists opened a discussion about the polarizing issue.

Some people are concerned about their second amendment rights.

“Our country, of the high income countries of the world, has the highest number of gun deaths per capita by far. By far over any country that’s not in an open conflict and that’s just something that I don’t know what we do about it entirely. But, I think to think that it has nothing to do with guns is just not true,” said one community member.

Barre Police Chief Tim Bombardier took to the microphone as well.

“They all have one thing in common: a person. And the majority of those somewhere along the line had contact with the mental health system. My officers deal with daily, people with mental health issues. Those are the number one problem we have,” said Bombardier.

The chairman of the Spaulding School Board also commented, saying the issue comes down to having better safety in schools, including more school safety resource officers.