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Our Nation Needs More Leaders Like Stephen Benjamin Who Work For Gun Control

July 8, 2018

There is a limit as to how much violence and death the American public should have to deal with when it comes to guns.  There are those in the land who have heard the cries for gun control measures and are taking a leading role in working for changes.

One such man is Mayor Stephen Benjamin..  And he is one of our heroes. 

Stephen Benjamin’s transformation from an ordinary gun-owning Southern mayor to one who advocates limits on firearms began in the summer of 2015. That’s when the Ku Klux Klan and the New Black Panther Party came to his hometown, Columbia, South Carolina, to face off over the removal of a Confederate flag from the state Capitol.

Fearing a gunbattle, Benjamin and the City Council enacted an emergency ordinance banning firearms from an area surrounding the Statehouse.

The gambit worked.

No one was shot.

And an idea was born.

Today, Benjamin is helping to lead a movement among municipal governments to control the possession and use of firearms within their borders. Frustrated by state and federal lawmakers’ reluctance to address gun violence, local officials are taking on their lawmakers and governors, an uphill task given that all but seven states have laws prohibiting them from enacting measures that restrict the use of guns.

But their work is slowly catching on. In recent months, local governments have limited certain kinds of semi-automatic rifles, created “gun-free zones” and adopted zoning laws to keep out gun stores. Even though some of these measures have faced legal challenges, the movement’s leaders say they’re just getting started.

“The failure of the Congress to pass policies that keep our communities and children safe means towns feel compelled to act,” Benjamin said. He considers himself in a unique position to press the issue, because he strongly supports Second Amendment rights, is a former law enforcement official and is president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “We don’t have to accept the carnage,” he said.

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