Jacksonville Florida-Melissa Nelson, the state attorney for Florida’s Fourth Judicial Circuit, says she is fighting back against gun violence by seeking longer sentences for people convicted in gun crimes.
The State Attorney’s Office did research to see how it was handling gun violence cases and it decided to come up with a checklist to determine the property penalty if someone is found guilty. Every scenario will be considered.
“It’s not a reaction to one thing. It was formulated and put together by multiple people after a lot of thought,” Nelson said.
Nelson’s office says there have been 79 gun related homicides in Jacksonville 2020 and that as of early August there had been over 300 non-domestic shootings.
This is one aspect of combating gun violence in America but as an active local community activist and founder of The Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, Ben Fraizer, commented:
“My one word response to this new policy is “hogwash.” The overarching issue here is how do we reduce gun violence? Stricter sentencing recommendations will not result in a reduction... We must invest more in social programs for the intervention and prevention of crime...”
There are many approaches to tackle gun violence in communities, stronger sentences are a beginning framework to ensure people know the repercussions of their actions but it is imperative, especially in local instances, we look at gun violence holistically and address underlining socioeconomic, racial, and political dynamics to truly address the issue.