Crime and Gang Violence
Ensuring the safety of my constituents is a top priority. In town hall events, I have heard concerns from many constituents about gang violence and its penetration of schools in the area. The Clayton News-Daily reported that Clayton County has among the worst gang problems in Georgia, second only to Gwinnett County in our area. In light of these problems, I have and will continue to work diligently to provide our local law enforcement with the resources they need to combat crime and protect our communities from violent activity. I have been a steadfast supporter of law enforcement and continued funding through grants such as the COPS Hiring and Byrne JAG programs, which have enabled law enforcement agencies to form vital partnerships among communities and law enforcement officers, combat criminal activities, and develop and implement problem-solving and crime prevention programs nationwide.
Regarding gun violence, let me emphasize, like you, I am deeply troubled and saddened with the recent violent shootings that have occurred within our country. Such senseless tragedies are of grave concern to me, and I strongly feel that sound investigations must occur so that our legal system can act appropriately and that future tragedies may be avoided. Many citizens and lawmakers have raised deep concerns regarding gun control, and I would like to address my views and recent developments in the gun control debate.
A careful balance between Second Amendment rights and safety in gun ownership is necessary in crafting any policy towards gun control, and I am sensitive to both sides of the issue. In the past, I have worked towards making guns safer by requiring that they include safety locks. During my many years in the Georgia General Assembly, I helped create legislation that holds adults responsible for the safekeeping of guns around children. Moreover, I continue to support efforts to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. We must work to ensure that gangs and malicious groups or individuals are not allowed access to guns, and with them, the means to conduct violent acts within our communities. However, I also understand the right of Americans to protect themselves, and I have worked on bills that ensure this right will continue to be safe-guarded.