VALDOSTA — Georgia Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp confirmed his stance on gun control during a Wednesday visit to Smok’n Pig BBQ.
A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, he said, gun control is not the answer to handling the issue of school shootings.
“I don’t think that’s the answer,” he said. “The answer is we got a lot of crazy people that have been shooting our kids up, and that’s very disturbing, and I think we need to partner and work with our local school systems to address school security.”
Kemp said he understands there is a mental-health aspect regarding the matter.
“I think it’s important to keep in mind that there’s somebody pulling that trigger,” he said. “It’s a sickening thing, right now, but I don’t think gun control is the answer to that.”
When asked how he plans to ease parental concerns if elected governor, he said he’s putting his trust in local communities.
“I don’t know that state government has the answer for every school because not every county’s like Lowndes, and not every school is the same, even within Lowndes County,” he said.
State government does need to be involved with the discussion, but providing relief to parents for their children’s safety will need to be a group effort, Kemp said.
“It’s going to start with me, with the local superintendent, the schools, the parents and the local law enforcement deciding how to do that,” he said.
Kemp also spoke about his conservative plan to put Georgians first if he wins the governor’s seat.
“We’re going to make Georgia number one for small businesses, fundamentally reform state government, the way it spends, tax and operates (and) make sure all of our state is moving forward,” he said.
He said he will ensure people in the Valdosta/Lowndes area, along with surrounding areas, have similar opportunities as residents of Atlanta or his hometown, Athens.
Kemp said he wants to add or strengthen access to high-speed internet, good rural health care and employment opportunities.
“It’s time that rural Georgia and places in South Georgia have a governor that’s going to fight for them ahead of the special interest of status quo and the politically correct, and I have a track record of doing that," he said.
Kemp said workforce development needs to be increased within the local community through resources such as post-secondary education and programs that assist with soft skills such as interview training.
“We have a lot of jobs that are available in the state now but we have a lot of people that don’t want to work in those jobs or either they’re ill-prepared,” he said.
More information about Kemp can be found on kempforgovernor.com.
Amanda Usher is a reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at 229-244-3400 ext.1274.