‘Horrific and tragic’: Columbus mayor speaks on gun violence in State of the City Address

Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 10:06 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Over 300 people filled the Cunningham Center at Columbus State University to hear about the big issue in the room after several shootings over the weekend in Columbus.

“The gun violence that took place in our city that wounded and injured 9 children in our community was horrific,” says Mayor Skip Henderson. Using strong vocabulary, he emphasized public safety is an issue, he and others are working to fix and address. But he says he believes the root of the problem is the demise of the family. “The rise of violence in our country coincides with the deterioration of the family,” says Mayor Skip Henderson. Boys & Girls Club Program Coordinator, Tavari Turner, says the mayors points of creating quality programming for teens and families is spot on.

“The future of our city is our young people, and so making sure those young people have resources and opportunities to be productive is critical,” says Tavari Turner, Senior Director of Programs for the Boys & Girls Club.

The mayor said although law enforcement is in place to handle criminals, it also is up to the community to engage and assist. “We can make a decision to ignore it and point out the fact that those children are running wild, and getting guns and hurting people if we want to make a decision to do what we can as a community to not only protect our family, but also our community,” says Mayor Skip Henderson.

The mayor also says while crime is down investors are still willing to come and keep development strong, which is good for the chamber of commerce and the development of jobs. “There are many communities that are having challenges and trying to figure that out and fix the public safety picture,” says Jerald Mitchel, CEO of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. All in all we asked they mayor to use one word to describe the state of the city. “Good,” says Mayor Skip Henderson.