ROCHESTER, Minn. - Following the recent mass shootings across the country, Pesident Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci are calling gun violence a public health crisis.
KIMT News 3 spoke with Rochester Mayor Kim Norton to see how the city handles it and what steps they have in place to prevent another shooting. She broke down the harsh reality of it. "When I meet with other mayors, sometimes there's unfortunately a larger and growing group of mayors who have faced gun violence tragedies in their community," she explained. "They were quick to point out it's not if it will happen, it's when will it happen and what can we do to help you be ready. And so we do have those conversations."
Gun violence has been an issue for years now so it's nothing new. Mayor Norton said quite frankly, there's no agreement from the government on how we can address this. She explained in our community, there's a lot of talk on gun safety and how to properly store your guns to make sure it doesn't end up in the wrong hands. Mayor Norton also said there have been recent laws brought up about how to safely remove guns if someone is having a mental health crisis.
Mayor Norton was asked if she fears ongoing conversation about gun violence could prompt more gun play. "We definitely hear that as a community concern that if you talk about it, you might be raising awareness of it," she explained. "But I think I would push back a little bit and that there are so many incidents right now happening across the country that you can't not know this is going on."
There might be some things the city can do to prevent any gun violence from happening, like creating a gun buyback program. But ultimately, it comes down to the federal government coming to an agreement there. In March, the Democratic-led House passed two gun reform bills that would expand background checks for all gun sales. The legislation has stalled in the Senate.