Senator Jay Hovey, whose district includes the city of Dadeville, said lawmakers cannot “legislate morality” in response to Saturday’s mass shooting that killed four teens and injured 32 other people.
“People are going to try to politicize this event as so many others that break our hearts,” Hovey said on the Senate floor. “But I’m going to tell you now and you’ll hear me say over and over again over the next few years that we work together that we’re never going to be able to legislate morality.”
Hovey added that while legislators have a responsibility to protect their communities “this war can only be won by changing hearts.”
Sen. Mericka Coleman spoke after Hovey and asked her colleagues to have the political courage to do something about the problem of mass shootings. Coleman also revealed that the granddaughter of a personal friend passed during the shooting.
“I just want us as a body to have the political courage to actually do something,” Coleman said.
On Monday, Democratic lawmakers including Coleman held a press conference in Hueytown asking Republicans to work with them to pass gun reform legislation.
Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in the country including Alabama according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.