NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Lawmakers are taking a hard stance against gun violence after the tragedy in Virginia Beach claimed 12 lives.
On Monday, Congressman Bobby Scott hosted a round table discussion in Newport News on what it will take to stop the violence all throughout Hampton Roads.
It was a panel made up of leaders throughout Newport News and Hampton roads in general.
Some of these leaders will be in Richmond on Tuesday during the special session on guns.
Many say this was the perfect timing to discuss this, because they don’t want one more person killed by senseless gun violence. They believe that means including everyone in the conversation.
“There are a lot of different aspects to solving the problem, and we need to deal with all of them,” Scott said.
At today’s round table discussion Congressman Bobby Scott laid the foundation for leaders in the community to speak about what should change for gun prevention.
Delegate Marcia Price says we can’t do that without hearing from every perspective
“It is important to hear from all angles of it, and I know that I’ve talked with families that have been victims of gun violence, I’ve talked with experts,” said Price
But the one perspective not everyone expected was from a Newport News man, James Braxton
“I’m speaking on behalf of someone who has contributed to gun violence in my community. Some of these fights and these shootings that happened back in the day — that was us,” explained Braxton.
He now works with a group called RISE for Youth, and made it his mission for his voice to be heard today.
“If you want to understand the solutions to gun violence, first of all you have to have people on the panel that have contributed to gun violence. Unless you talk to us and ask why we picked up that gun and fired it, you’re not going to know,” Braxton said.
The panel comprised of law enforcement, delegates and social leaders talked about mental health, background checks, previous convictions and domestic violence, but even Price said on Monday she saw there is always room at the table.
“We were called out on not having involved some of the people that have previously committed crimes with guns and I look forward to have already reached out so that we can hear some of those voices,” Price said.
Scott says everything they heard today they’ve heard before it is just a matter of moving forward with progress on things like background checks and assault weapon bans.