They were here because of Parkland. And before that: Sandy Hook. Before that: Columbine.
Outside, as the sun came up, kids wearing “March For Our Lives” T-shirts clogged the streets carrying signs reading “PROTECT KIDS NOT GUNS.” It was the weekend of the young people’s protest.
These 21 strangers gathered inside, away from the noise. They had traveled to Washington, D.C., not to march, but to take part in an experiment. They were victims of gun violence, and gun collectors, and cops and lawyers and hunters and teenagers and moms.
Could they do a better job talking with a group of strangers than they had managed to do with their own families? Could they agree on some measures to mitigate the crisis? Could they have a productive conversation, or even a civil one?