White House invites Tenn. Democratic leaders to announcement on gun violence prevention
Senate minority leader Akbari, House minority leader Camper and Rep. Love will attend the event
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tennessee will be well represented tomorrow at a White House event where President Joe Biden is expected to announce the creation of a federal office on gun violence prevention. Tennessee Senate minority leader Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, and Rep. Harold Love, D-Nashville, will be in attendance along with Tennessee House minority leader Rep. Karen Camper, D-Memphis.
Sen. Akbari and Rep. Love issued a joint statement today applauding President Biden’s action:
“President Joe Biden’s decision to establish the first-ever federal office of gun violence prevention is a promise kept and a crucial step towards addressing the pressing issue of gun violence in our nation, particularly in states like Tennessee.
“For a decade, Tennessee’s controlling party has made it easier for criminals to get guns and shootings have skyrocketed.
“After a crushing state special session on gun violence where no action was taken, this announcement is welcome news for Tennesseans who want new approaches to stop future shootings. Tennesseans deserve better than what they’re getting from our state government so we are thrilled to play a part in this announcement and we look forward to helping this office realize its potential.”
The AP reported the office will coordinate efforts across the federal government and will offer help and guidance to states struggling with increasing gun violence, while taking the lead on implementation of the bipartisan gun legislation signed into law last year.
Tennessee could certainly use the guidance. The latest annual state health data shows that gunshot wounds were the leading cause of death for children in Tennessee. But the crisis of gun violence is not limited to minors.
According to the CDC, the rate of firearm homicides in Tennessee have increased 120 percent over a decade — an increase that mirrors the GOP’s repeal of gun safety laws. Tennessee now ranks 7th in the nation for firearm homicides, 62 percent above the national average.
Rep. Karen Camper cheered the president’s action as well: “As a native Memphian, I am so very honored to be a part of this historic announcement. Gun violence is a plague on our city, our Tennessee communities and our country. As a state legislator, I have seen laws passed at the state level that have put more guns on the street and policies that have led to more gun crimes, particularly here in Memphis. Our neighborhoods and our schools are less safe today than they were in the past. We should be able to shop, worship and learn without worrying about being shot. We’ve all seen too many tragedies in Memphis, in Nashville, and across the U.S. that have unfortunately led to the necessary creation of this office and I fully support the President and Vice President Kamala Harris in their efforts.”