by T.A. DeFeo
A new report from WalletHub found that Atlanta experienced the 38th highest increase in the homicide rate of the 50 largest cities in the country.
The topic of crime in the state was a hot topic during this week’s Atlanta Press Club debate of the attorney general candidates: incumbent Republican Attorney General Chris Carr, Libertarian Martin Cowan and Sen. Jen Jordan, D-Atlanta.
All three candidates weighed in on a question about crime, gun control and mass shootings and what they would do to keep Georgia streets safe.
“As a Libertarian, I’m opposed to all gun laws,” Cowan said during the debate on Georgia Public Broadcasting. “I think the great tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, has shown that 400 police officers will, just following orders, stand outside a school while 19 children and two adults are brutally murdered. Tragically, that terrible act, the failure of the police department’s… almost 400 police officers not to run in there and stop that, has damaged the reputations of police officers all over the country.
“…My model for police behavior is that of the Andy Griffith show. You all remember … Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, North Carolina, who didn’t have a gun, who’d walk around the streets being pleasant to his constituents,” Cowan said. “That’s my model for police. I despise this new let’s all military up and carry enormous firearms … for our subjects. I’m opposed to that.”
Jordan criticized Carr’s record as attorney general, saying he has allowed “illegal guns” to proliferate the state’s streets.
“Every single person needs and deserves to feel safe in their communities, and I think that’s the single most important function of government,” Jordan said. “And specifically with respect to gun laws, I am a believer in the Second Amendment, and I believe that people should be able to own guns. …In this country and only this country is the number one killer of children gun violence. I support safe storage, I support red flag laws, I support background checks to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them.
“As a mother, let me tell you something, I am furious — furious — and as a senator, I know we can do better,” Jordan added. “As the next attorney general, I’m going to work with local police departments and agencies to get illegal guns off the streets and out of violent street gangs.”
Carr tied Jordan to the national debate over policing and criticized her record as a state lawmaker.
“Over the past six years, I’ve protected lives through our human trafficking unit, now through our gang unit, and I’m glad that they have this unit that can now go statewide because we have certain district attorneys … that don’t want to enforce certain laws,” Carr said. “Well, now we can go into those communities — like in Athens — and make sure that everybody is safe.
“And I want to welcome my opponent, Sen. Jordan, to the discussion because she hasn’t talked about crime yet,” Carr added. “In fact, crime went up 60% in her own district in the short time she was in the Legislature. She never said a word; she never offered any solutions. …We’ve been having to clean up the mess from democratically run cities in this state, and we’ve seen it around the country.”
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T.A. DeFeo is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Chris Carr” by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. Photo “Jen Jordan” by Jen Jordan. Photo “Martin Cowen” by The Libertarian Party. Background Photo “Georgia State Capitol” by DXR. CC BY-SA 4.0.