(North Charleston, SC) – In response to a string of gun violence in North Charleston, which culminated in a shooting near a baseball field during a little league game on Monday night, State Representative Marvin Pendarvis (D-North Charleston) released the following statement:
“I was shocked and disappointed to see children – who were out playing a game of baseball in front of friends and family – forced to flee the field as gunfire rang out around them on Monday night following a string of deadly shootings in our community. We are no stranger to gun violence in North Charleston, but rarely is that violence so jarring and upsetting.
At its core, the epidemic of gun violence we continuously face in North Charleston and across South Carolina is a failure in leadership. We know what measures we can take to reduce shootings and save lives. We know that universal background checks make gun transactions safer and reduce the chance of a gun falling in the wrong hands, but we do nothing to act on it. A bill to close the Charleston loophole has sat stagnant in the legislature for years.
A lot of people feel powerless to stop the violence and I don’t blame them. When nothing changes, nothing changes. And because of that, it’s become the norm. It’s become an institution.
I’m meeting with mayors from across the country this week to learn how they are tackling gun violence in their communities and make recommendations to Mayor Summey and Chief Burgess to find solutions.
We must remember that gun violence is a symptom of a much wider, intersectional issue: economic distress. If we are going to end this epidemic, we must treat it as a public health issue and address the root causes of these shootings. That’s why we need more affordable housing, a higher minimum wage, a better education system, and improved infrastructure to foster an environment where people don’t turn to violence.
I’ll keep fighting for change no matter how hard it is and how long it takes.”